MASS Design Group has been selected to lead the tribal engagement process of the future Willamette Falls Riverwalk. The partnership was announced by the Willamette Falls Trust, with the team working to ensure that the Riverwalk centers on indigenous experiences and educates the greater Portland community on the Native stories of the region. The project will focus on public space that celebrates the human and natural history of Willamette Falls.
As the trust states, working with local government, Native communities, and private businesses, funds for the project have been raised since 2016. Not only will the Riverwalk be a public space, but it will also allow visitors to access the complex and difficult histories of Oregon City through curated storytelling and programming. “We build our work on the fundamental belief that architecture is never neutral — it either hurts or heals,” said Joseph Kunkel, Design Director of the Sustainable Native Communities Design Lab at MASS. “The opportunity that exists at the Falls to engage collaboratively with multiple tribes is a just and much needed healing gesture. We look forward to working with the Trust to make this ambitious vision for a sacred and restorative cultural and recreational space a reality.”
During the Riverwalk development process, the Trust and MASS are seeking input and advice from the five confederated tribes, as well as the Portland metro region’s urban Native American population. The five tribes are the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians, Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, and Confederated Tribes and Bands of The Yakama Nation.
News via MASS Design Group