Welcome to the Klatowa Eena Alumni Network

Kkwey nedabeh,

Welcome to the first edition of the biannual newsletter of the Klatowa Eena Alumni Network, which represents the collective interests and culture of the Indigenous and Native alumni and students of Oregon State University. This newsletter is intended to inform our membership of events and opportunities for engagement in the university and Indigenous community, and highlight the culture of our peoples. The leadership of the Klatowa Eena Alumni Network is excited to introduce you to the languages and historical tribal facts of our members as well as members themselves. Join us in celebrating the Indigenous and Native communities of OSU.

As the newest extension of the OSU Alumni Association, our leadership still has several tasks to accomplish. One such task is the development of artwork that will represent the cultural significance of our network, an artistic representation of the community we represent. The leadership has decided that this task is best performed by our members. To that end, we are asking for our membership to submit their own artistic expression of what it means to be an Indigenous member of the Oregon State community. The winning submission will be featured on our website and newsletter. Details are below on how to submit your art.

Our inaugural newsletter concludes with an update and information on how to connect with our network. We encourage you to reach out to us with ideas and information that could be shared in upcoming editions of our newsletter and look forward to your feedback. Please opt into our communication to receive timely updates and information including the future editions of this newsletter. Also, we encourage you to contact us with any questions you might have related to our association, the university or the Native and Indigenous communities.

On behalf of the leadership of the Klatowa Eena Alumni Network, we ask you to stay safe and continue to walk in the footsteps of our ancestors.


Klatowa Eena Alumni Network

Visit our webpage and join our Facebook group.

Photo of Lu Whitebear standing in wooded area

7 questions for the 7th Generation

A conversation with Luhui Whitebear (she/her/hers), ’03, ’13, M.A.I.S. ’16, Ph.D. ’20, pictured above.

Luhui Whitebear is the assistant director of the Native American Longhouse Eena Haws, a four-time Beaver graduate and a cornerstone in the OSU Indigenous community. In this interview, she covers a wide range of topics: The challenges Native students face at OSU, intertwined movements for racial and cultural equality, the importance of including Indigenous transgender and Two-Spirit people and perspectives, approaches to Native activism, goals for the future and much more.



Then, register to watch Luhui's upcoming Dec. 14 Changemakers live webcast, where she'll talk about supporting Indigenous communities.

Photo of Orman Morton, '16 and Dr. Dr. Delphine Jackson, M.S. '79 hugging

Dr. Delphine Jackson, '79, embraces Orman Morton III, '16.

Offer community strength and kind words to current students

This fall, the munk-skukum Indigenous Living Learning Community opened to new and continuing students. The on-campus residential space offers students the opportunity to find community and resources, explore Indigenous identity, connect to cultural events and learn more about the lands on which they are living and studying. Munk-skukum means “to strengthen” in chinuk wawa, the local trade language — and we believe a strong community is central to your time at Oregon State.

If you would like to help support the growth of the living learning community, join us in sending messages of encouragement to help first-year students on their educational journey. Share your message with us, and we’ll compile them and distribute within the living learning community.

And, we’ve partnered with the OSU Alumni Association to capture your words of encouragement and strength through the You’ve Got This campaign. Use the form below and your words will be placed on postcards and mailed to first-year students on and off campus.

Photo of totem inside NAL Eena Haws with tables in the background ready for an event

Upcoming Events

KEAN Community Connect | Nov. 17 at 5 p.m.

Changemakers: Supporting Indigenous communities | Dec. 14 from 5 - 6 p.m.

KEAN Design Contest
Design concepts due by Jan. 15, 2021. Email concepts to klatowaeena@osualum.com with subject line "Design Concepts." We encourage you to think of art that can be featured digitally.


Alumni are welcome to join the following student events:

Two-Spirit Stories of Resilience | Nov. 19 from 5 - 6 p.m.

Traditional Foods | Nov. 24 from 5 - 6:30 p.m.


Do you have suggestions for alumni events or would you like to get involved? Connect with us on Facebook or email klatowaeena@osualum.com.

Photo of Orman Morton reading a book on a couch in a NAL Eena Haws room

Orman Morton III, '16, spends time at the Native American Longhouse Eena Haws during a visit to campus. Orman, who is a Penobscot Indian, earned his degree in environmental sciences online through OSU Ecampus.

The little-known true stories of Indigenous history: Louis Sockalexis – A Penobscot Legend

Louis Sockalexis (Oct. 24, 1871 – Dec. 24, 1913) was a member of the Penobscot Indian Nation. At a young age, his great athletic talent in baseball earned him the nickname of the Deerfoot of the Diamond and a stint in a local baseball league of teams from coastal towns in Maine. When his college baseball coach accepted a position with the baseball team at Notre Dame in 1896, Louis followed, leaving behind a career .444 batting average while playing for the College of the Holy Cross.

His short career at Notre Dame was filled with experiences of racism — taunting fans mimicked war whoops and Native dancing and the media was disrespectful and derogatory. In a disputed incident, a pitcher from an opposing team was quoted as stating, “I’m going to strike out that damned Indian.” In his first plate appearance against the pitcher, Louis hit a home run. After the game, the media was quick to note that Louis had single-handedly defeated the same pitcher, Amos Rusie, in an earlier meeting by hitting a walk-off game-winning home run. However great his baseball talents, Louis’ use of alcohol while attending Notre Dame led to his expulsion.

In 1897, Louis was offered a contract with the Cleveland Spiders, becoming the first Native American to play professional baseball. In his first year, he compiled a .338 batting average including three home runs, 42 RBIs and 16 stolen bases. After suffering an ankle injury, Louis was never the same player again and was released by the Spiders in 1889. Media reporting his release attributed it to alcoholism, stating the disease as an inherent “Indian weakness.”

In 1915, the ownership of the Cleveland baseball team polled fans for a list of new names for the team. A young girl submitted a letter requesting that the team be called the Indians in recognition of Louis Sockalexis. The ownership agreed on the name. Local media reporting the new name included racist and insulting references to Native Americans with no mention of Louis Sockalexis. Through all the taunting, Louis was known for keeping a wide grin. The designer of a new team logo in 1947 incorporated this grin in a caricature named “Chief Wahoo.” In 1972, a lawsuit was filed against the team for slander and libel for the use of the Chief Wahoo logo and mascot. The Penobscot Indian Nation petitioned the Cleveland Indians to discontinue the logo in 2000 but received no response from the team. In 2019, the Cleveland Indians officially removed the logo but kept the name.

Mountain Echoes scultures inside NAL Eena Haws

Learning language resources

Native and Indigenous communities can be found across the planet, inhabiting and utilizing the natural resources in almost every ecosystem. In North America, the Native American and First Nation communities have historically formed confederacies for protection and the exchange of resources to promote survival. Within these confederacies, cultural expression through song, dance, legends and attire are synonymous between the associated tribes.

However, one cultural element separates each tribal unit into their own identity: language. Differences in dialect and written word serves to distinguish each tribe from their brothers and sisters. And while cultural assimilation and racist harassment have rapidly eroded the use of our tribal languages, we have become aware of the fading of our languages and the need to resurrect the foundation of our tribal identities.

The Klatowa Eena Alumni Network is proud to be a participant in the resurgence of our community’s interest in language preservation. Please review the resources provided below for assistance in the preservation of our most important cultural attribute.

Close up photo of Native drum

Activism: More than an inspiring idea

Coretta Scott King once said, “The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members.”

There is a plethora of organizations in our country dedicated to bringing about social or political change. The Native American Longhouse at OSU was instituted as a direct result of student activism, as were each of the cultural centers on campus. Changes to perception and treatment of students have occurred at OSU primarily because of student activism paired with the support and encouragement of faculty and staff.

Activism can be as simple as sending an email or letter, or posting a yard sign reflective of your inclusive partnerships with people who may not enjoy the same privileges as others. We are at a precipice in our country, a time of transformative change, where citizens are frustrated with the mistreatment of our neighbors, relatives and friends. Many have taken to the streets to express our frustration. Many activists are working behind the scenes to support visceral and lasting change in our communities toward inclusion, respect and unity.

Those who choose the opposite also exist, expressing their rights to freedom of speech and freedom of assembly. It is vital that we allow all voices to be heard, even those we don’t agree with. However, we must remain vigilant against legislation limiting our First Amendment rights across the country. We must remain observant of those whose violence is designed to falsely malign others.

When we stand together against oppression, fascism, autocracy and prejudice, we become stronger. If you are looking for opportunities to use your voice, with a good mind and heart, there are many ways you can help. Run for office in your community or your state. Support the candidates whose values mirror your own. Reach out to candidates to ensure they understand and support the causes you deem important. Join activist groups to support their financial and marketing efforts to effect change.

Start a food bank for students. Volunteer for causes you believe in. Make a difference in your community, your state, your country. You can do it.

Here are some Oregon State initiatives you can contribute to that help students navigate their needs.


Know of events, activism or employment opportunities for Indigenous community members? Let us help spread the word. Post the information on our Facebook page or email the information to klatowaeena@osualum.com.


Let’s stay connected

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Oregon State University Alumni Association
204 CH2M Hill Alumni Center, Corvallis, OR 97331, USA

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