Indian Country 52 #17 – Story Pole (Playing Indian)
“After a recent surge of criticism, a Native American-style totem pole will not be installed at the Oregon Country Fair. The Fair Board made its decision Monday night. KLCC’s Brian Bull reports.
The five-year project was long-criticized by some as an act of cultural appropriation. The plan had been to raise the “Story Pole” in the Ritz Sauna and Showers area this summer.
David Lewis is a cultural anthropologist and member of the Confederated Tribes of the Grande Ronde. He says the Haida-style pole isn’t authentic, and is a case of white privilege trumping cultural sensitivity.”
– KLCC (NPR), Oregon Country Fair Board Axes “Story Pole”.
“A slow-motion collision between art and cultural politics led the Oregon Country Fair this week to cancel the planned installation of a 36-foot-tall Native-inspired carved story pole at its 280-acre site in Veneta.
For at least the past five years, the Fair has been planning to erect the pole, which was created by Ritz Sauna and Showers, an independently incorporated business that has been part of the four-decade-old summer festival from its beginning years.
But Native Americans, particularly from the local Kalapuya tribe, increasingly objected to the pole as “cultural appropriation.” At a sometimes-acrimonious OCF board meeting the night of May 1, Natives compared the pole to “cultural genocide.””
– Eugene Weekly, Oregon Country Fair cancels story pole.
Download the 18″x24″ poster (.pdf), Indian Country 52 #17 – Story Pole (Playing Indian).
Indian Country 52
Indian Country 52 is a weekly project by David Bernie that uses the medium of posters that promote issues and stories in Indian Country. Follow the series: Indian Country 52
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