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About Appeal tribune. (Silverton, Or.) 1999-current | View Entire Issue (July 14, 2021)
WEDNESDAY, JULY 14, 2021
Sweetheart cherries on a branch at Vaughan’s
Cherry Farm outside Salem. CONNOR
Connor Radnovich Salem Statesman Journal
USA TODAY NETWORK
The Chemawa Indian School band, late 1950s. PROVIDED BY GRAND RONDE CULTURAL RESOURCES, CHARLES HOLMES PAPERS
AND MELISSA PARKHURST
At Vaughan’s Cherry Farm, co-owner Dan Vaughan
can point out the branches of Sweetheart cherry trees
that resemble what the trees on the rest of the 10-acres
should look like during a typical growing season.
However, ideal cherries aren’t as common this year
after the historic heat wave two weekends ago shrunk,
shriveled and burned cherries at farms across the Mid-
Willamette Valley, and did a number on raspberry
plants as well.
“The cherries are smaller, even though we irrigate,
and we’ve gotten sunburn on our cherries as a result of
the run of hot weather that we’ve had,” said Judy
Vaughan, co-owner of Vaughan’s Cherry Farm. “When
it gets up to 117, the tree will absorb the water and the
water won’t go to the fruit.”
However, other crops, including peaches and blue-
berries, were largely unaﬀected by the heat, as was the
u-pick season as people from around the region are still
buying fruit despite what some would consider a sub-
Judy said they won’t have the farm open for u-pick
as many weeks this year because the quality drops the
longer cherries are on the tree. At some point, they pre-
fer to donate instead of charge.
At other farms, the heat moved up the peach season.
Kathy Beachy, a co-owner of Perryhill Farm, said
their season will start in mid-July.
“Things are ripening faster. Usually we don’t have
peaches coming on this far in advance, usually it’s to-
ward the end of July. We already have varieties that are
ripening,” Beachy said.
As with other farms, it was the cherries and rasp-
berries that showed the worst damage, she said.
While the heat this year was abnormal, Beachy said
the smoke from last year’s wildﬁres was actually more
damaging to crops, blotting out the sun and starving
the leaves of clean air.
Stuart Olson of Olson Farms said they haven’t seen
as much impact from the heat as other locations, with
raspberries and blackberries faring the worst for them.
He attributes the farm’s location for helping save
them from the worst of the heat – they sit at a higher
elevation than other farms and having consistent
“It was hot, don’t get me wrong, but that wind
helped,” Olson said. “That doesn’t let the heat settle
down into the orchards.”
Peaches can take heat a lot better than other fruits,
Olson said, though he added they may still see lingering
eﬀects later in peach season.
During the heat wave, they limited picking for u-
pickers and employees, for several days forcing both
groups to leave by late morning. U-pickers were in-
structed to use the buddy system and the farm had a
plan in place for how to cool people down if they were
experiencing heat-related illness.
They did not have to implement it, Olson said.
Reporter Connor Radnovich covers the Oregon Leg-
islature and state government. Contact him at
firstname.lastname@example.org or 503-399-6864,
or follow him on Twitter at @CDRadnovich.
Continued from Page 3A
Work has now shifted to add vaccine education and
vaccination events to that focus.
The OHA is committed to eliminating the gaps in
vaccination rates, Banks said.
“We’ve been working with our local public health
authorities to have them submit equity plans,” she
Counties that submit equity plans to reach parity
by Aug. 31 will receive 50% of the funding requested
upon submitting those plans. Demonstrated eﬀort to
close gaps and success will bring the rest of the fund-
Marion County’s equity plan was made available in
May and it outlines their goals to partner with com-
munity-based organizations to oﬀer vaccinations to
communities of color.
Lane and Polk counties also released their equity
plans in May.
Lane County described similar partnerships with
community organizations in addition to the use of
both U.S. Census tract and ZIP Code level data to un-
derstand vaccination rates across race and ethnicity
Polk County’s equity plan celebrated targeted vac-
cine events alongside Salem Health partners that led
to the distribution of 2,200 vaccine doses at mobile
vaccine events. They also outlined ongoing work with
12 local community-based organizations funded by
OHA in an eﬀort to serve communities of color,
LGBTQ people and people experiencing homeless-
“What we’re really trying to do is oﬀer vaccines
and, ideally, have people accept and have 80% of our
Black, Indigenous, communities of color vaccinated
or oﬀered vaccines by the end of August,” Banks said.
Overcoming barriers, hesitancy
PCUN has collaborated with OHA and other part-
ners to organize mobile vaccine clinics, including
some at agricultural worksites.
Continued from Page 1A
now. But this history and trauma have been here for
Beginning with the Indian Civilization Act of 1819
and running through the 1960s, the United States en-
acted laws and implemented policies establishing and
supporting Indian boarding schools across the nation.
During that time, the purpose of Indian boarding
schools was to culturally assimilate Indigenous chil-
dren by forcibly relocating them from their families
and communities to distant residential facilities
where their American Indian, Alaska Native, and Na-
tive Hawaiian identities, languages, and beliefs were
to be forcibly suppressed.
In most instances, Indigenous parents could not
visit their children at these schools. Many students
endured routine injury and abuse. Some perished and
were interred in unmarked graves. Survivors of the
traumas of boarding school policies carried their
memories into adulthood as they became the aunts
and uncles, parents, and grandparents to subsequent
The loss of those who did not return left an endur-
ing need in their families for answers that, in many
cases, were never provided. Distance, time, and the
scattering of school records have made it more diﬃ-
cult, if not impossible, for their families to locate a
loved one’s ﬁnal resting place and bring closure
through the appropriate ceremonies.
There have been calls to investigate gravesites at
Chemewa speciﬁcally for years.
Marsha Small is a doctoral candidate at Montana
State University, and until recently was the Teppola
distinguished visiting professor at Willamette Univer-
sity’s anthropology department, according to a recent
article by Oregon Public Broadcasting.
She conducted research on Chemawa’s cemetery in
2016 for her master’s thesis. In her research, Small dis-
covered 222 sets of remains at Chemawa, OPB report-
ed. That’s more than the 208 she said the federal gov-
ernment had documented at the school cemetery.
But other than one row of graves, the markers and
locations of remains don’t match up, according to the
report. Also, Small noted her radar technology could
only penetrate one meter into the ground, leaving her
to suspect there are more remains buried deeper.
She’s hoping to ﬁnd out more when she returns to
the Salem campus in September.
Chemawa’s school site has been used almost con-
tinuously since the 19th century, with the date 1880
displayed prominently on campus.
The National Native American Boarding School
Healing Coalition has created a list of at least 367
school sites across the country, the vast majority of
which haven’t operated as schools for years.
Kevin Alejandrez, a community navigator at Centro
de Servicios para Campesinos and a member of PCUN’s
healthy workplaces team, said his work at vaccine clin-
ics has included coordinating people’s appointments,
serving as an interpreter and once driving two men who
didn’t know how to use a phone and didn’t have a car to
Access issues like these also led to the disparities in
vaccination rates, Quiroz said.
Not having insurance, not having a regular provider,
transportation challenges and other factors make it
more diﬃcult for people to get vaccinated, she said.
Bedolla Sotelo said she successfully advocated for
accessibility on the committee through not making so-
cial security numbers required on the vaccine form, and
not turning away people who lacked a photo ID.
Health care systems are not built to accommodate
Latino farmworkers, Alejandrez said. Adding in a new
vaccine many people have questions about may make it
more diﬃcult for them to navigate these systems and
trust if the vaccine is safe, he said.
Ensuring that more people receive a vaccine starts
with choosing accessible locations, which have includ-
ed churches and laundromats, Bedolla Sotelo said, and
being mindful about where people may not be comfort-
“When I was on the vaccine committee, the major
place where people could go was the Salem fairgrounds,
and the National Guard was there helping, and that was
a huge concern for us,” she said. “Obviously our com-
munity doesn’t associate the police and National Guard
with feeling safe, so there was a lot of people who didn’t
want to go and were more comfortable at an organiza-
Clinic organizers all speak Spanish, Alejandrez said,
but there’s not enough vaccine information and inter-
preters available who speak Indigenous languages. The
greatest need is for Mixtec, Mam and Zapotec speakers,
Bedolla Sotelo said. PCUN has one organizer who
speaks Mixtec and is working on hiring a Mam-speak-
ing organizer, she added.
Organizers try to oﬀer people a choice among the
Pﬁzer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines, Be-
dolla Sotelo said. They noticed that some migrant and
seasonal workers preferred the one-dose J&J vaccine,
but people generally wanted the Pﬁzer vaccine after the
Outside of the living dorms at the Chemawa Indian
School in Salem, Oct. 2, 2019. MADELEINE COOK /
It lists nine schools in Oregon – the current Chemawa
site in Salem and its predecessor in Forest Grove, as well
as seven other locations scattered throughout the state
that are not currently open, according to the healing coali-
In more recent memory, Chemawa was featured by
NFL Films for rebounding from a winless, pointless sea-
The school was also at the heart of an original investi-
gation by OPB that highlighted allegations of fraud, mis-
management and student deaths.
A 2017 investigative series by OPB reported the deaths
of three Chemawa students, one who died on campus and
two who died shortly after leaving the school. A fourth
student died in Wyoming less than two weeks after leav-
ing Chemawa and after the series was published.
The reports came to light during a congressional hear-
ing in 2019 when Oregon U.S. Reps. Kurt Schrader and Su-
zanne Bonamici criticized the school for failing students
and the tribes who entrusted their children to the school’s
A federal gag order stopping school administrators and
community members from speaking to journalists and
elected oﬃcials was lifted that year, leading to a story pub-
lished by the Statesman Journal in 2020.
When the announcement for the federal review initia-
tive ﬁrst came out last month, Amanda Ward, Chemawa’s
academic principal and acting superintendent, said she
hadn’t heard anything yet on how it could impact Chema-
The Statesman Journal has reached out to Chemawa
leadership since but has not heard new updates on the
school’s role in the future investigation.
Were you or your family members students at this
school? We would appreciate hearing about your ex-
periences. Natalie Pate is the education reporter for the
Statesman Journal. She can be reached at
email@example.com, 503-399-6745, Twitter
@NataliePateGwin, or Facebook at www.Face-
temporary pause on J&J, she said.
More support wanted from employers
Alejandrez said he’s encountered some vaccine hes-
itancy, usually stemming from people worrying about
post-vaccine symptoms and their ability to go to work
after, or wondering how the vaccine may aﬀect them if
they have various medical conditions.
The solution has been allowing people to ask plenty
of questions, being transparent about the various vac-
cine reactions people may experience, and sharing their
own vaccine experiences, Alejandrez and Bedolla Sote-
Quiroz said it’s up to agricultural employers to help
make it easy for workers to get vaccinated. She said she
would like to see OSHA and the Department of Agricul-
ture take a more active role.
“They rarely get sick hours, and for the farmworker
community, this is the season where they make more
money, and this helps them to sustain themselves and
get a little savings for throughout the year,” Quiroz said.
“It’s really diﬃcult for the farmworker community to
step away, get the vaccine when they don’t feel support-
ed by the owner. By losing their job, they’re putting their
family’s wellbeing at risk.”
Alejandrez said most employers he’s interacted with
look forward to their employees being vaccinated, but
have tended to be less receptive to the idea of employ-
ees taking time oﬀ to recover and have favored employ-
ees getting their vaccines at the end of the workweek.
“There’s been this culture in U.S. agriculture and cul-
ture in general in terms of how unequal accessing
health care is,” Alejandrez said. “They’re still out work-
ing six days a week and putting themselves in these po-
sitions, and they’re scared to ask for a day oﬀ to get vac-
Dianne Lugo is a reporter at the Statesman Journal
covering equity and social justice. You can reach her at
firstname.lastname@example.org, 503-936-4811 or on
Dora Totoian covers farmworkers through Report for
America, a program that aims to support local journal-
ism and democracy by reporting on under-covered is-
sues and communities. Reach her at dtotoian@states-