Story of the Wanapum People by Rex Buck, Jr.
Rex Buck, Jr., 61, chief of the Priest Rapids Band of the Wanapum, discusses the impact of displacement on his tribe and his hope for renewed connections to the land among future generations of Wanapum Indians in this hour-long talk and slide show. Buck grew up near the Manhattan Project site at Hanford along the Columbia River. When the U.S. government selected Hanford as a site for plutonium production, Buck and the rest of the Wanapum tribes were forced off their land. Upriver at the last village, which contains 11 buildings in the shadow of the Priest Rapids Dam, the few surviving Wanapum people wait to see what will happen as they cope with the tremendous cultural change brought by displacement. Buck explains how the Wanapum’s continued connection to a portion of their homeland has helped to preserve centuries-old cultural traditions including their strongest belief: That Priest Rapids is a special, sacred place. A place that the Wanapum people must protect and preserve for future generations.
The event will run 7 - 9 p.m. on the evening of January 22. A $5 donation is requested at the door. Light refreshments will be available along with a no-host wine bar.