Introducing: Tumwata Village

The Grand Ronde Tribe chose a new name for its 23-acre site near Willamette Falls in Oregon City

The Willamette Falls plunge into a bowl-shaped depression in the middle of the Willamette River, surrounded by former paper mill infrastruture.

The old Blue Heron paper mill buildings surrounding Willamette Falls will be torn down.

Photo by PDXtoday

The Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde has chosen a new name for its 23-acre site near Willamette Falls in Oregon City: Tumwata Village. The name honors the native name for the falls, tumwata, as well as the tribe’s ancestral ties to the area.

The site was once home to the Clowewalla village of the Willamette band of Tumwaters and the Kosh-huk-shix village of the Clackamas people, who were forcibly relocated by the federal government in response to the Willamette Valley Treaty of 1855.

The Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde’s acquisition of the former Blue Heron paper mill in 2019 paved the way for the tribe’s return to their role as caretakers of the land and falls. Demolition work at the site began a year ago as part of the tribe’s vision to restore the area, both culturally + environmentally.

Learn more about the tribe’s long-term goals for the area at Tumwata Village’s new website.

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