Henry Perkins talk at The Dalles

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On February 6 I gave a talk at the old county courthouse in The Dalles titled “Henry Perkins, forgotten Oregon Missionary.”  It was a repeat of a talk I gave at the Columbia Gorge Discovery Center in The Dalles in June 2015.  Perkins was the principal missionary at Wascopam Mission, whose papers formed the backbone of People of The Dalles: the Indians of Wascopam Mission.  The talk summarized all the personal biographical information on Perkins and much historical context that had been left out of the 1996 book, and that has been sitting in my files ever since.  Perkins was a singular and contradictory man, often at odds with his religious colleagues, but well-liked by The Dalles Natives.  Unlike most other Northwest missionaries, he appreciated and was interested in Native culture, and documented large parts of it.  If he hadn’t I wouldn’t have been able to write the book! The talk was helped immensely by a power point of visuals that Susan Buce, marketing manager at the Discovery Center (and my webmistress) put together.  I’ve never been keen on public presentations, but my experience at The Dalles shows that with a good script, lots of visuals, a mike that amplifies my voice, and an interested and appreciative audience (and the folks in The Dalles are definitely that!), I do well.  I hope to give more talks in the future.