Tribe honored with Heritage Excellence Award

04.26.2019 Danielle Frost
Tribal Elder Kathryn Harrison looks at items from the Summers Collection that are part of the new exhibit in Chachalu Museum & Cultural Center’s Grand Exhibit Hall during an open house held on Friday, June 1, 2018. The items, which include a horn bowl, dance rattle and a parfleche, are on loan from the British Museum in London. (Smoke Signals file photo)

MEDFORD -- The Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde was honored with an Oregon Heritage Excellence Award from the state Department of Parks & Recreation for its successful efforts to preserve cultural history.

Oregon Heritage Excellence Awards recognize individuals, businesses and organizations for outstanding efforts on behalf of Oregon heritage, drawing public attention to these efforts, raising the quality of heritage-oriented activities, and making the most of available resources and skills, according to its website. Special consideration is given to the development of new ideas, approaches and innovations.

The Tribe was honored for its 20-year quest to have Tribal artifacts from the Summers Collection, housed for 118 years in a warehouse outside of London by the British Museum, returned.

Those efforts culminated in a long-term loan of 16 of the artifacts, which arrived in May 2018 and were housed at the Chachalu Museum & Cultural Center in the exhibition, “Rise of the Collectors.” The artifacts will be going back to the British Museum on May 23.

Awards were presented on Thursday, April 25, at the Oregon Heritage Summit in Medford by Heritage Programs of the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, which houses the Oregon Heritage Commission and the Oregon State Historic Preservation Office.

The Excellence Awards have been given annually since 2007 and include individuals, businesses, government entities and nonprofits.