Guest Speakers

In Their Footsteps Lecture Series

On the third Sunday, September through May at 1 p.m., this speaker series is an opportunity to meet scholars, authors, and artists. Join the conversation and be inspired by history, people and culture. This forum is sponsored by the Lewis & Clark National Park Association and presented in the Netul River Room of Fort Clatsop's visitor center, and is free of charge.

Washington Territory Cowlitz Rangers Militia unit

From the Great Lakes to the Lower Columbia: French Canadians and Metissage on Our Evolving Frontier

March 18, 2018

Lewis and Clark National Historical Park, Fort Clatsop is pleased to announce the next In Their Footsteps free speaker series event. From the Great Lakes to the Lower Columbia: French Canadians and Metissage on Our Evolving Frontier by Robert Foxcurran will be on Sunday, March 18, at 1:00 p.m.

Pacific Northwest history was heavily influenced by French-speaking people. The Lewis and Clark Expedition included George Drouillard, Toussaint Charbonneau, Francois Labiche, Jean Baptiste Lapage and Pierre Cruzatte in the permanent party that wintered at Fort Clatsop. More French Canadian engagés were employed on this voyage’s earlier Missouri River segment. Later many French speakers came to the Pacific Northwest with the fur trade and Catholic missions. Today an abundance of French geographic names can be seen on Oregon and Washington maps. Robert Foxcurran’s presentation will talk about some of this saga that is often overlooked as, “nations are created through the burial of inconvenient history.”

Robert Foxcurran co-authored a 2016 book entitled Songs Upon the Rivers: The Buried History of the French-Speaking Canadiens and Métis from the Great Lakes and the Mississippi across to the Pacific. Foxcurran is a retired Boeing historian whose research interest includes the lesser-known demographics associated with the North American fur trade. His book, Songs Upon the Rivers, will be available for purchase at this event which will include a book-signing afterwards.

Upcoming Speakers

April 15, 2018: Steven McClure - Lewis and Clark’s Discovery of the Willamette River: Recent Findings of Their Secondary Mission

May 20, 2018: Judi Lampi - Ethnobotany Near the Mouth of the Columbia River


Nature Matters: Where Nature and Culture Meet

A lively monthly conversation about the intersection of nature and culture, takes place on the second Thursdays of the month at 7:00pm, August through May, at the Fort George Brewery + Public House in Astoria, Oregon. Doors open at 6 p.m. to purchase dinner or beverages at the George before the event. The series delves into the many ways that human beings look to the natural world for inspiration, sustenance and survival - the intersection of nature and culture. The collaborative series is hosted by Lewis and Clark National Historical Park, Lewis & Clark National Park Association and the North Coast Watershed Association in partnership with the Fort George Brewery + Public House and is free to the public.

Person hiking on a highland with a view of the ocean

Life on the Coastal Edge
March 8, 2018

The land between Cannon Beach and Nehalem is home to an unusual variety of animals and plants, some found nowhere else, thanks in part to a surprising geologic history. The North Coast Land Conservancy calls this land the Coastal Edge, and it is the focus of its most ambitious conservation effort to date: creation of a 3,500-acre Rainforest Reserve.

The March 8 Nature Matters talk features NCLC Executive Director Katie Voelke as she explores this place in “The Wild and Rare in Our Own Backyards: Life on the Coastal Edge.” The 7 p.m. presentation takes place at the Fort George Lovell Showroom, 1483 Duane St. The free event is open to the public. Doors open at 6 p.m. to purchase dinner or beverages at the George before the event.

Voelke will discuss the origins of Onion and Angora peaks and Neahkahnie Mountain and the abundance of unique life forms found on and around those peaks, and she’ll share stories about some of the heroes who have worked to keep the Coastal Edge wild. Voelke says she was raised in a home under oak trees, where she spent many hours collecting bugs, making mud pies with her sister, and camping and hiking with her parents in the summers. She is sure that this lifelong exposure to the natural world is what led her on a path to study biology in school. She has worked in the field with the Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, and Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife before she finally found her calling: Working in land conservation with NCLC. She started as NCLC’s first stewardship director, working under founding executive director Neal Maine, before taking the helm as executive director in 2008.

Last updated: February 26, 2018

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

Lewis and Clark National Historical Park
92343 Fort Clatsop Road

Astoria, OR 97103


(503) 861-2471

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