Group begins plans for Chetco Indian memorial

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Curry Costal Pilot - Sept. 5th 2009

A memorial to honor the Chetco Tribe, the original residents of the Brookings-Harbor area, will be built at the Port of Brookings Harbor.

Brookings artist Patrick Chew was selected to design the memorial is planned to be constructed at the end of the planned boardwalk ex-tension near BC Fisheries and Transport and the port cold storage facility.

The memorial’s location is near the site of a village inhabited seasonally by the Chetco Tribe until their forcible removal 150 years ago.

The design stage of the memorial was funded by a grant from Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians.

The Chetco (Cheti, in their their own language) people lived along the Chetco River.

The design will feature a statue of Lucy Dick, the last full-blooded Chetco Indian to live in the Brookings area, a water feature, a representation of a traditional Chetco plank house and educational interpretive panels featuring the history of the Chetco people and culture, said Chew. Many of the native plants at the site will be included in the design.

Lynda Timeus, Adrienne Crookes and Karen Crump, descendants of the Chetco Tribe, are the driving members of the Chetco Memorial Committee.

The port commission approved in concept the memorial’s location. The placement of the memorial will depend on final port commission andOregon Department of Transportation approval.

Once the design is complete, the next step is to raise $238,000 to fully implement it, Chew said.

Sculptor A. Vincen "Rusty" Talbot will create the bronze statue of Dick, depicted as an elderly woman seated among traditional Chetco woven baskets.

Dick was born between the years of 1841 and 1847 in a Chetco village on the north side of the Chetco River, overlooking the river mouth. She was the daughter of the head chief (Tyee) of the Chetco Indian Tribe.

In the 1850s Dick, along with her family, was forced to move to the Siletz Indian Reservation, where she received her English name.Dick’s Chetco name was forgotten. There she met and married Richard Dick and moved to Harbor in 1870, where she remained until her death in 1940. She was the last full-blooded Chetco Indian to live on Chetco ancestral lands.

 

Nicholle Kessinger of the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians, left, presents check to Lynda Timeus, Adrienne Crookes and Karen Crump of the Chetco Indian Historical Memorial Committee.