Engagement -> C.I.S. -> Creating Bonds -> Action

Creating Bonds with Tribal and Community Partners

From the beginning, Confluence Project stepped forward to work as a community of partners, an inclusive approach designed to rethink what a commemoration of the Lewis and Clark Northwest Expedition could be. The initial planning team included tribal elders and civic leaders. Representatives traveled to New York City to ask Maya Lin to design art that would focus on cultural, historical and environmental viewpoints. The collaborative request compelled the artist to accept.

As Confluence Project in the Schools moved forward, tribal members took two 450-mile bus trips along the Columbia River with teachers to share their culture and history. Government and school officials approved sites for student-created art that connected Native American reflec-tions to contemporary places. Tribal families volunteered in classrooms, and businesses donated materials and expertise.

Participants noted that Confluence Project in the Schools catalyzed new bonds with unexpected partners external to schools. Site blessings and symposia refreshed friendships and sustained the shared mission to create a legacy. Collaborators numbered over forty organizations. Participants remarked that their work together created a model for how community groups could collaborate together on a mutual goal.

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