Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Call to remove statue of explorer who brutalized Native Americans ignites firestorm in Tillamook County


A statue of Capt. Robert Gray is prominently featured outside the Maritime Museum in Garibaldi off Highway 101. (Photo by Charles Wooldridge)

On the eastern shoulder of Highway 101, as it runs through the small coastal town of Garibaldi, stands a tall, imposing statue of Capt. Robert Gray. He is dressed in the traditional garb of an 18th-century sea captain, with a tri-cornered hat, big buckle shoes and a spyglass.

Gray is depicted standing atop a traditional cedar burial box carved with human hands and face, a sacred artifact used by Northwest tribal chiefs and shamans for storage of ceremonial regalia. Following the death of the chief or shaman, the box became the protector of the soul of the deceased.

The captain's feet are spread wide apart on the ornate box in a stance of domination and victory over a vanquished people.


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