Eena Haws kicks off a new facility
Published: Thursday, February 7, 2013
Updated: Thursday, February 7, 2013 00:02
This term, the Native American Longhouse changed homes near the corner of 26th and Jefferson. Eena Haws, the new Native American Longhouse, stands to promote cultural awareness and community campus-wide.
The story of the longhouse dates back about four decades. In 1975, a storage shed use by Langton Hall was remodeled into the first Native American Longhouse directly behind Moreland Hall. The building would serve as a meeting place for NASA, the Native American Student Association and AISES, the American Indian Science and Engineering Society.
It was meant to be temporary and a more authentic longhouse was supposed to be built soon after, but financial reasons prevented it. It wasn’t until about seven years ago that NASA, AISES and those working for the longhouse began being able to seriously push for an authentic longhouse. Last year the construction started, and the new longhouse officially opened at the start of this term.
“We’re still known as the Native American Longhouse, but now also called the Eena Haws,” said junior Nadia Alradhi, secretary of the Longhouse. “In Chinook Jargon, a common trade language spoken between Pacific Northwest tribes, it means ‘Beaver House.’
“This is to not only honor the Pacific Northwest Indian tribes, but also to create a sense of community campus-wide,” Alradni added. “This way people can come to the longhouse as an OSU Beaver, not necessarily having to be Native American.”
The longhouse includes a lounge, a study area, a kitchen, a large open space for events known as the Gathering Hall and a separate sacred room for meditation and smudging. Smudging is a traditional Native American practice using the smoke from sage, cedar or sweetgrass for spiritual cleansing.
The lounge also features a large totem pole carved from a fallen 600-year old cedar tree and donated to the longhouse by Jim White. White has donated to OSU in the past, including the new track and field.
The longhouse hosts multiple events throughout the year open to the OSU community, including a powwow, a salmon bake and a regalia showcase. The regalia showcase, a new event this year, will display Native American ceremonial wear on either models or mannequins.
“These are making the OSU community more culturally aware in a fun way,” said Sade’ Beasley, freshman in civil engineering.
Of the events, the salmon bake is one of the largest. Last spring 1,000 people attended the event, a 200 person increase from the previous year, and were served fresh salmon donated by Oregon tribes. This year the longhouse staff estimate around 1,300 people will attend.
“While the salmon bake is a very chaotic time for staff, it’s also my favorite,” Anna Marquez said. “It’s really cool to serve so many people.”
Apart from serving the OSU community, the longhouse also seeks to help Native Americans make their way successfully into and through college. Over the Martin Luther King Jr. weekend, the longhouse’s external coordinator, Tyler Hogan, met with a group of junior high school students from the Warm Springs Indian Reservation to discuss college.
“We want to reach out and show Native Americans on reservations that if they want it, college is equally for them as it is for anyone else,” Alradhi said.
While helping Native Americans find their way to college and providing a safe place for them through college, the longhouse seeks to make this a campus-wide effort in letting all students celebrate Native American culture.
“We want people to be able to appreciate the culture and feel welcomed,” Marquez said. “We want the campus to know Eena Haws is here.”
Ryan Dawes, news reporter