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Columbia River topic of Tonasket presentation

TONASKET — A presentation on understanding the Columbia River is planned at 6:30 p.m. Friday, March 2, at the Community Cultural Center, 411 S. Western Ave.

“Based on historical narratives from a host of explorers and adventurers, William Layman will shed light on our connection with this once very wild river,” organizers said. “Rare historical photographs will take us underneath the reservoirs to see the river as it was before the dams, when generations of indigenous people left their legacy and then voyagers braved the rapids, twists, and turns of the free-flowing Columbia.”

Layman has spent much of his adult life working on the Columbia River’s story through theater, sculpture, books and writings that include “Native River: The Columbia Remembered,” and “River of Memory: The Everlasting Columbia,” the latter of which was an exhibit featuring poetry, music and historical photographs that toured internationally to seven venues.

“All the rivers in these parts flow into this one great river – the Columbia,” Layman said. “Though its waters are held back, we long to know and see the river as it was – it’s oh-so-fresh water flowing freely toward the Pacific.

“Perhaps by doing so, we draw closer to the river’s soul – and to our own,” Layman said. “Perhaps we discover the big river, Nichi-wana, expresses something inside us that desperately wants those very same freedoms – to live with that kind of fullness – that kind of wild abandon as we rush toward the ocean.”

Admission is free.

A pre-show dinner – including pork stroganoff over rice, garlic/almond green beans, salad and garlic bread – will be offered at 5:15 p.m.

There will be a charge for the dinner.

The Highland Wonders educational series has brought a variety of free events to the community since 2010 on topics ranging from beavers to native plants to dragonflies and more.

The educational event is provided by the Okanogan Highlands Alliance, a non-profit organization that works to educate the public on watershed issues.

The Highland Wonders educational series features the natural history of the Okanogan Highlands and surrounding areas.

More information is at


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