Mourning Dove Symposium

Mourning Dove Symposium and Celebration at Omak and Okanogan Nov. 7-8

Media Contacts: Peter Donahue, WVC at Omak English faculty, 509.422.7840, Livia Millard, WVC at Omak multicultural coordinator and academic adviser, 509.422.7814, or Libby Siebens, community relations executive director, 509.682.6436 (Mon. – Thurs.)

Registration is open for a two-day Mourning Dove Symposium Nov. 7 and 8 at Okanogan County PUD and Omak Long House. The symposium will honor the life and work of Christine Quintasket (1888-1936), who wrote under the pen name of Mourning Dove, author of Cogewea, the Half-Blood, Coyote Stories and Mourning Dove: A Salishan Biography.

Space is limited for this free event and preregistration is required. To register, visit Anyone wishing to register a group of five or more people should contact Peter Donahue at 509.341.4619.

The symposium begins on Thursday, Nov. 7, at 9 a.m. at Okanogan County PUD, with a welcome by Wenatchee Valley College President Jim Richardson and John Sirois of the Colville Business Council, and a Native American prayer by keynote speaker Jeanette Armstrong. Events include two panel discussions: The Life of Christine Quintasket/Mourning Dove with Kenneth Favrholdt, executive director and curator of the Osoyoos and District Museum and Archives, and Alanna K. Brown, professor of English at Montana State University; and The Period and Place of Mourning Dove, with Dr. Richard D. Scheuerman from Seattle Pacific University, historian and author Richard Hart, and Michael Holloman from the WSU Plateau Center for Native American Studies.

The Washington state premier of the film Cherokee Word for Water will also be shown, along with a conversation with Kimberly Norris Guerrero, a Colville tribal member and actress who plays Wilma Mankiller in the film.

The second day of the event will begin at 8:30 a.m. at the Omak Long House on the Colville Reservation. Events include an opening by Lynn Palmanteer, Colville tribal council businesswoman; coyote stories told by Wendell George and Loretta Watt; writing contest awards; and the dedication of a memorial plaque. There will be two panel discussions: Native American Literature Today with Okanagan Canadian author Jeanette Armstrong and John Purdy, Western Washington University English professor; and Native American Issues in Mourning Dove's Work—and Today, featuring Laurie Arnold, director of Native American Studies at Gonzaga University, Jennifer Ferguson, director of the Colville Tribal Museum, and author Lawney Reyes.

Christine Quintasket was born in northern Idaho to Joseph Quintasket, of Okanagan ancestry, and Lucy Stukin, of Lakes and Colville ancestry. Quintasket worked as a migrant field laborer around the Pacific Northwest for many years, was active in Native American politics, served as an adviser to tribal leaders, and gathered traditional Native American stories. She was the first Native American woman to publish a novel, and one of the first women to serve as a tribal leader. She died in Medical Lake, Wash., and was buried in Okanogan.

This event is sponsored by Wenatchee Valley College at Omak, the Colville Confederated Tribes, the WVC at Omak Foundation, the Community Foundation of North Central Washington, Humanities Washington, Okanogan Family Faire, the Associated Students of WVC at Omak, the WVC at Omak Red Road Association and the Okanogan Historical Society.