By Teresa Simmons, Vice Chair, Siletz Tribal Arts & Heritage Society
On the morning of March 11, 2023 the Siletz Tribal Arts and Heritage Society Board of Directors hosted a reception in the STAHS Boutique and Museum that was followed by the actual noon groundbreaking ceremony for the permanent museum, Ghii Dee-Ne Dvn: A Place for the People, to be built on Government Hill. The Board Members all arrived early to set out snacks and spiffy the place up so everything would look its absolute best for our guests.
At the stroke of 10 a.m., the appointed time to open, we heard a knock on the back door of the shop that was the beginning of a marvelous gift!
Dave Moffitt, whose family settled in the Waldport area in 1936, had contacted us earlier in the week. Over the phone, he told of arrowheads, scrapers, spear points and a net weight that he wished to donate to STAHS for possible display in the soon to-be-built museum.
Dave and his sister, Betsy Maxfield, along with other family members found the artifacts on the beach of Alsea Bay and in the fields of their family farm between 1940 and 1960. His family felt that the items should be returned to a place where they would be treasured as they had been for many years.
Dave’s actions are an example of how we are seeing items returned to the care of the Siletz Tribe as we build a place to share Tribal history today and for generations to come.
Over the last two years, we have had many people contact us when they find or have Siletz artifacts they want to donate to the STAHS collection for the museum. We are so grateful for the overwhelming support! If you find or have artifacts you would like to contact us about; email STAHS.Board@gmail.com or call Angela Ramirez at (541) 270-7282.