Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Garry's making a comeback

Posted on Tue, Jan 25, 2011 at 3:50 PM

A local car club has zoomed in with what might be called a clutch donation to the Spokane Tribe, providing a huge push towards the target of $34,000 to construct a new memorial to Spokan Garry.

The original statue to Garry, an early leader who strove for peaceful coexistence between tribal members and the influx of white settlers in the mid-1800s, was knocked down and hauled off to a rubble pit (“The Vanishing Indian,” Inlander, May 21, 2008) from its site at Chief Garry Park in eastern Spokane.

The tribe was incensed that it was given little notice of the demolition, and by the city’s decision to replace the Garry statue with an abstract totem pole sculpture, seen to be insensitive for an interior Plateau Culture tribe.

The tribe eventually took over fundraising for a replacement and a design was announced last year. But the fundraising was slow.

Enter the Lowcos car club. Club President Tony Strand says the Lowcos donate to various charities every year. When one donation fell through, they heard about the Garry fundraising effort.

Strand delighted tribal leaders recently with a check for $3,500. In addition, the presentation of the money at a tribal function sparked further gifts of $2,050 from other people in attendance.

The surge of donations “was a very nice surprise,” and should allow for construction of the new monument this spring, says tribal spokeswoman Jamie Sijohn.

Visit The Gathering Place link on the Tribe's website to learn more.

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