Oregon City, Oregon
A mutually sympathetic telling of the Oregon Trail story between Pioneers and Native Americans, told in the very place where that narrative reached its final and deadly conclusion. The play is based on the infamous 1847 Whitman Massacre by the Cayuse Indians in Western Oregon. It was intended that there would be a script committee from the Indian reservation and one composed of descendants of the pioneers. When the effort was made to include the Cayuse, the response from the tribe was “Not only will we not participate in creating the script, but if you are successful with your endeavor, we will burn down the sets for the play.” Through a long series of meetings, the play ended up including members of the Cayuse tribe as actors. The music was a Native American score.
Oregon from west to east, ending at the Oregon Trail Historic Site in Oregon City north of Portland, tracking the trails of the pioneers through the spectacular Columbia River Gorge and on out to the western desert, with a stop at the Cayuse Indian Reservation and the Whitman Mission National Historic Site in nearby Walla Walla Washington.
Peform Home Again
The cultural clash and misunderstanding between the White pioneers and the Native Americans is emblematic of so many struggles, while the Whitman massacre remains an important historic event. An all new and more essential version of the script is available for standard royalty arrangements. Groups interested in traveling to the land at the end of the Oregon Trail can arrange a trip through World Communities, which we will host.