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May 23, 2002

Author Lawney Reyes Reads FromWhite Grizzly Bear’s Legacy: Learning to be Indian

Thursday, May 30
6:30 pm in the Burke Room

Seattle - With a distinctive voice, Lawney Reyes, grandson of Pic Ah Kelowna or White Grizzly Bear of the Sin Aikst, relates the history of his family and his people, in White Grizzly Bear's Legacy: Learning to be Indian (University of Washington Press, 2002). On May 30, Reyes will read from and sign copies of his book at the Burke. The Lawney Reyes reading begins at 6:30 pm in the Burke Room and is included with museum admission.

"I walked across the highway and stood on the bank overlooking Lake Roosevelt. My attention was directed to the area where Kettle Falls once flowed. As I stood there the wind came. As I listened I imagined that it talked to me. It seemed that it was telling me of how things once were. I began to think of friends and relatives who were no longer living. They began to appear before me, perched on the large rocks, fishing for the great salmon." [from White Grizzly Bear's Legacy: Learning to be Indian]

The son of a Filipino immigrant and a mother who traced her ancestry to the earliest known leaders of the Sin Aikst, Reyes paints a vivid picture of his early life in the Indian village of Inchelium, destroyed by the building of the dam. Reyes describes the loss of homeland and traditional way of life, the scarcities that followed, and his experiences in a court-ordered Indian boarding school in Oregon. These well-known facts of loss and injustice take on a compelling dimension in Reyes's blend of history and autobiography.

Despite the loss of heritage beneath the waters of the Columbia River, and the flood of white acculturation, Reyes and his younger brother, the late Native American leader Bernie Whitebear, were able to fashion rich lives in a changed world, lives that honor the past while engaging with the present.

Lawney Reyes is former art director for the Seafirst Corporation and a member of the Seattle Arts Commission. He is a recipient of the Peace and Friendship Award for Contributions to American Indian Art and the Governor's Art Award in sculpture. His sculpture has won numerous awards and is held in collections in Europe, Asia, and throughout the United States. He lives in Seattle.

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The Burke Museum is located at the corner of NE 45th St and 17th Ave NE, on the University of Washington campus. Hours are 10 am to 5 pm daily and until 8 pm Thursdays. Admission is $6.50 general, $5 senior, $3 students/ youth. The Burke is free to members, children 5 and under, UW students, staff, and faculty. Admission is free to the public the first Thursday of each month. For more information and a complete calendar of events, visit www.burkemuseum.org or call 206-543-7907.Please note that there may be additional fees for special exhibits and programs

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