The Next Door celebrated with a Tribute to Celilo Falls event featuring an open house and unveiling of the new mural on the outside of its building at 1113 Kelly Ave. The event was held Saturday, March 9, just one day shy of the anniversary of the flooding of the falls by The Dalles Dam.
The tribute featured guest speakers from the Native American community, including Gaylyn Jackson, Linda Meanus of Celilo Village and Patricia Whitefoot of the Yakama Nation. Presenters, most of whom were in grade school when Celilo Falls was flooded, spoke of their memories of the falls, as well as their mixed emotions of pride and sadness when remembering the falls.
The mural, which was completed by Pacific Northwest muralist Toma Villa in late fall, depicts Native fishermen at Celilo Falls over a basket weave backdrop.
The basket weave, commonly used by the Wishram tribe and others along the Columbia River, represents the faces of fishing families, held together by gillnet and laying on their sides to represent the flow of the river.
The event also provided an opportunity for The Next Door to recognize its 2018 Philanthropists of the Year: Shawn and Catherine Whalen of The Dalles. The award is presented to an exemplary supporter or supporters of the organization. The Whalens, who have been contributing to The Next Door in a variety of ways for over 10 years, have been valued members of the board of directors and steering committee for the capital campaign in The Dalles.
The Next Door, the Gorge’s largest human services nonprofit, began serving The Dalles community in 1984.
The organization has vastly expanded since then, currently serving seven Gorge counties and approximately 3,500 people every year.
In early 2018, The Next Door purchased the 10,000-square-foot building on 11th Street and Kelly Avenue with the goal of expanding services and programs in The Dalles and throughout Wasco, Sherman and Gilliam counties. To learn more about their mission, visit nextdoorinc.org, call 541-296-8118, or stop by 1113 Kelly Avenue.