Chinook Plaza ceremony is Thursday

Interpretive panels will be unveiled at Parkersville National Historic Site

A basalt column carved by Greg Robinson, a tribal council member of the Chinook Indian Nation, is located in the Chinook Plaza, in Washougal. Three interpretive panels will be unveiled at the plaza Thursday, in the Parkers Landing Historical Park.

The vice chairman of the Chinook Nation is expected to be among the participants of a ceremony at Parkers Landing Historical Park.

The event will begin Thursday, at 4:30 p.m., with a traditional Chinookan blessing by Sam Robinson.

Three interpretive panels will be unveiled by members of the Parkersville National Historic Site Advisory Committee. The panels describe area plant use, Chinook Indian artifacts and the local Chinookan Royal Family. The ceremony will be open to the public.

The Chinook Plaza was dedicated in September 2009, near the Port of Camas-Washougal office and marina, at 24 S. “A” St., Washougal. The plaza includes a “Welcoming Figure” — a basalt column carved by Greg Robinson — an artist and tribal council member of the Chinook Indian Nation.

The site also includes a column engraved by Bruce Fuerstenberg, featuring names of some of the chiefs who have lived along the Columbia River. Chinook Indians have lived on both sides of the river for more than 3,000 years.

The Parkersville Heritage Foundation, Clark County Historic Promotion Grant Program and the port provided funding for the $62,500 project. The Chinook plaza is located near a man-made pond, created by Molly Eggleston, Dave and Lisa Plous and Dale Kirkpatrick.

The water feature is located near the Van Vleet Historical Plaza, which contains close to 1,000 bricks that have been engraved with the names of individual Chinook Indians, explorers and fur traders, as well as donation land claims holders, homesteaders, pioneer farmers, entrepreneurs and civic leaders, current citizens, churches, clubs and organizations.

Parker’s Landing Park, listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1976, is named in honor of David C. Parker — the first permanent American pioneer settler in East Clark County.

For more information, call the port office at 835-2196 or visit www.portcw.com.