Statue Honors Agnes Baker Pilgrim and Rogue Indians


Monday, July 10, 2017


Sharon Bywater


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A 19-foot-high statue carved from a single alder tree by Russell Beebe of Talent, Ore., greets those who enter the Hannon Library on the Southern Oregon University campus.

The statue features the carved face of Agnes Baker Pilgrim and some wildlife.  Titled “We Are Here,” the statue memorializes the Native Americans who lived along the Rogue River for more than 8,000 years. 

Baker Pilgrim is the oldest descendent of the Takelma Indians. She was born in 1924 as a chief’s daughter on the Siletz Indian Reservation on the Oregon Coast.  Drawn to nature and spirituality, she has become a spiritual leader for the Takelma and other Native Americans.  She helped bring the ancient Sacred Salmon Ceremony back to the Rogue River, first in the Applegate and later at Ti’lomikh Falls, near Gold Hill.  It honors the salmon for their long journey upstream to feed the people, referred to as “two-legs.”

At age 50, Agnes graduated from SOU with a degree in psychology and Native American studies. She is a member of the International Council of 13 Grandmothers, an alliance of elders from around the world dedicated to the environment, human rights and world peace.


Sources:  "“We Are Here” statue relocated to Hannon Library." The Siskiyou The Voice of SOU Students, Southern Oregon University, 15 Jan. 2013, Accessed 23 June 2017; "Grandma Aggie and the Storytelling Stone." Gold Hill Whitewater Center, Accessed 23 June 2017; "Grandmother Agnes Baker Pilgrim." Native Village, Native Village Resources, Accessed 23 June 2017.




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