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Kalapuya's relationship to native plants focus of new mural

Mural artist and designer, Susan Applegate, at work.
Photo provided by Lisa Arkin of Beyond Toxics.
Mural artist and designer, Susan Applegate, at work.

A new mural is underway that will show Oregon’s original Indigenous residents, the Kalapuya people, harvesting and using native plants.

The 64-foot long mural depicts Native people gathering camas and other plants. It was done in consultation with Kalapuya elder, Esther Stutzman.

Susan Applegate is the designer and artist, who’s putting the mural on the east side of the Dr. Edwin Coleman Junior Community Center.

“The community should know that these are just not weeds or something, but they had special relationship with the people, special meaning," she told KLCC. "It also informs the general population about the people who lived here before white settlement.”

The mural, titled “Willamette Wetlands of the Kalapuya” will be done ahead of a July 9th honoring ceremony featuring songs, stories, and Eugene Mayor Lucy Vinis. It’s part of a larger project sponsored by Beyond Toxics and the Friendly Area Neighbors Equity Action Team.

Copyright @2022, KLCC.

Brian Bull is an assistant professor of journalism at the University of Oregon, and remains a contributor to the KLCC news department. He began working with KLCC in June 2016.   In his 27+ years as a public media journalist, he's worked at NPR, Twin Cities Public Television, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including four national Edward R. Murrow Awards (22 regional),  the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award, Best Radio Reporter from  the Native American Journalists Association, and the PRNDI/NEFE Award for Excellence in Consumer Finance Reporting.
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