The Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians
Mayor Eric Niemann, right, presents Robert Kentta, Cultural Resources director for The Confederated Tribes of the Siletz, with a framed copy of a mayor’s proclamation that had been issued by the city in recognition of Indigenous Peoples’ Day. (Photo by Brad Fuqua/Philomath News)

Over the past two years, Philomath and the Confederated Tribes of the Siletz have reached new heights with their relationship.

The school district and the Siletz easily come to mind with the journey they’ve embarked on out of the mascot/logo agreement in 2017. An important part of the deal revolved around the establishment of educational programs that would focus on tribal history and culture.

The Siletz have also had an increased present on various other fronts within the community. Mayor Eric Niemann for the past two years now has issued proclamations to recognize Indigenous Peoples’ Day in Philomath — presenting framed copies of them to Siletz tribal council representatives.

At the 2019 Philomath Frolic & Rodeo, the Siletz were named grand marshals of the very popular parade. Philomath resident Jeff Williams, who graduated with the local high school’s Class of 1966, represented the Siletz in the parade. It was the perfect choice with the connection that he and his family (his mother earned her PHS diploma in 1937) have with Philomath.

From the Siletz, they routinely award Philomath groups with grants out of a charitable contribution fund that provides a wide range of support that can truly be felt by several organizations in the community. In October, a Siletz historian, Robert Kentta, shared a fascinating historical and cultural presentation with city officials and a significant audience watching virtually.

I’m sure there have been other interactions that I’m not thinking of right away, but that gives you an idea of the point I’m trying to make.

And that leads me to the latest example of the positive nature of this relationship. During Thanksgiving week, the city of Philomath was notified that they will be receiving a gift. The Confederated Tribes of the Siletz Tribal Council is donating a high-quality flag — double-sided and made with heavy material — perfect for flying outside.

I’m fairly certain this isn’t the last time I’ll be writing about the Siletz-Philomath connection. One of these days when the world returns to normal, I’d like to take the family to a Siletz pow-wow and try to capture the experience in words for a future column.

(Daily Scoop is a blog published by the Philomath News. This blog often contains news items but also could include opinions of Brad Fuqua, publisher/editor).