“Healing The Big River” comes to Wallowa, on Saturday, March 14 at 3 p.m. at Wallowa City Hall. The talk, by Hood River photographer Peter Marbach, is sponsored by Friends of Wallowa Public Library, Wallowa Resale Store, Nez Perce Homeland, Wallowa Valley Photo Club, Fishtrap and Bell Pepper’s in Joseph.
“Healing The Big River — Salmon Dreams and the Columbia River Treaty,” masterfully combines the art of visual storytelling with passionate essays. From the source, a tiny spring in the Canadian Rockies, to the sea, readers are guided on a journey to the origins of the 1,243-mile Columbia and learn about the complicated history of the Columbia River Treaty.
“Nch’I Wana (Big River) represents the lifeblood of indigenous peoples of the Northwest, providing bountiful salmon runs benefiting communities well beyond the Pacific Northwest. We have never given up on the vision to restore salmon runs above Grand Coulee Dam. This book is a testament of our tenacity to achieve this vision,” says Paul Lumley, a Yakama Nation citizen, director of the Nation American Youth Association and former director of the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission.
“Since time immemorial, the history of Oregon has been deeply connected with the history of the Columbia,” said Kerry Tymchuck, executive director of the Oregon Historical Society. “Peter’s imagery, combined with compelling essays from individuals concerned about the river’s future, provides us a unique window into this critical moment in the history of the Columbia.”
For Marbach, it is nothing short of a miracle that his dream came to fruition.
“I am humbled by the coalition of powerful voices that agreed to share their stories. This is truly a collaborative effort, I take no ownership other than shepherding the book out to the public,” Marbach said. “This is just the beginning of a long journey to bring about change, to right the wrongs of the past, and convince decision makers to do the right thing.”
Marbach will be donating 50% of book sales to the Wallowa Public Library.