• Image of the reconstructed stockade at Fort Vancouver and Pearson Air Museum looking northeast from the Land Bridge.

    Fort Vancouver

    National Historic Site OR,WA

Confluence Project and Fort Vancouver NHS Host August 24th Event at Vancouver Land Bridge

Vancouver Land Bridge
Photo courtesy of the Confluence Project

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News Release Date: August 15, 2013
Contact: Courtney Yilk, Confluence Project Outreach Coordinator, (360) 639-0123
Contact: National Park Ranger Aaron Ochoa, (360) 816-6233

The Confluence Project and Fort Vancouver National Historic Site will host a community celebration on August 24, 2013, from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM at the Vancouver Land Bridge in Vancouver, WA. Family friendly activities, including American Indian dancing by the N'chi Wanapum Canoe Family, storytelling by Ed Edmo, a presentation by artist Lillian Pitt, and other events in the fort will mark the five year anniversary of the construction of the pedestrian land bridge connecting the Columbia River to Fort Vancouver NHS. On hand will be volunteer guides and National Park Service staff and volunteers to help visitors explore the bridge and park. Local food carts will serve coffee and juice.

Visitors will encounter three themed overlooks on the Land Bridge - River, Land, and People. A hub of European and American Indian cultures, Fort Vancouver was constructed in 1829 as a regional center for the Hudson's Bay Company's fur trading operations in the Pacific Northwest. Eventual construction of railways and Highway 14 disconnected the fort from the Columbia River.

In 2008, the Vancouver Land Bridge was built as an interpretive installation that explores the unique environmental and cultural heritage of the site. The creation of the Land Bridge is an extraordinary example of a successful, complex partnership project, that requires many partners to work together, including the Confluence Project, the City of Vancouver, the National Park Service, American Indian Tribes, the State of Washington, the Federal Highways Administration, the Washington Department of Transportation, and the Washington Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation.

Event Schedule

9:00 AM-10:00 AM

  • The N'chi Wanapum Canoe Family (Warm Springs) opens with fancy dancing, singing, and drumming
  • Ed Edmo, traditional storyteller, shares tales of the Columbia River's origins and other stories

10:00 AM-10:15 AM

  • Introductions from Mayor Tim Leavitt, Fort Vancouver National Historic Site Superintendent Tracy Fortmann, Former Chairman for the Umatilla and Confluence Project Chairman Antone Minthorn, and American Indian artist Lillian Pitt.

10:15 AM-12:00 PM

  • The Northwest Indian Veterans Association Color Guard leads a procession over the Land Bridge. Once over the bridge, guests observe and/or join a Ceremony Circle representing different tribes and communities at the event; visit Fort Vancouver's Village, representing over 35 ethnic and tribal groups that lived and worked at the Fort from 1829 to 1860; tour the Fort's current archaeological sites, including what was likely the site of the home of William Kaulehelehe, a Hawaiian educator who worked for the Hudson's Bay Company; and stroll through the historical Fort Vancouver NHS Garden.

 

About the Confluence Project

The Confluence Project employs place-based art as the lens through which to explore confluences of culture, environment, and regional heritage of the Columbia River and its tributaries. We are a collaborative effort of Pacific Northwest Tribes, acclaimed artist Maya Lin, and local communities from Oregon and Washington to reclaim public spaces of cultural, physical, and ecological significance to the Columbia River Basin. We do this through public art installations, environmental restoration, and educational programming. Four of the six planned sites featuring art by Maya Lin have been completed. In 2010, these sites served 1.7 million+ visitors at Cape Disappointment (Ilwaco, WA), Vancouver Land Bridge (Vancouver, WA), Sandy River Delta (Troutdale, OR), Sacajawea (Clarkston, WA). Chief Timothy and Celilo Parks will be complete in 2014 and 2016 respectively.

For more information about the August 24th event or Confluence Project, please contact Outreach Coordinator Courtney Yilk at courtney@confluenceproject.org, or call (360) 693-0123.

About Fort Vancouver National Historic Site

Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, a unit of the National Park Service, is the heart of the Vancouver National Historic Reserve. The Vancouver National Historic Reserve brings together a national park, a premier archaeological site, the region's first military post, an international fur trade emporium, one of the oldest operating airfields, the first national historic site west of the Mississippi River, and a waterfront trail and environmental center on the banks of the Columbia River. The partners of the Reserve teach visitors about the fur trade, early military life, natural history, and pioneers in aviation, all within the context of Vancouver's role in regional and national development. The Reserve's vast array of public programs -- including living history events, cultural demonstrations, exhibits, active archaeology, and other special events and activities -- create a dynamic, fun, and unique tourist destination for people of all ages.

 
 
Lillian at entryway
Artist Lillian Pitt leading a school tour at the Vancouver Land Bridge Welcome Gate
Photo courtesy of the Confluence Project

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