Camas on Campus

Archaeologist and University of Oregon faculty member Madonna Moss has researched camas as part of the traditional pre-contact diet of the Kalapuya people of western Oregon, part of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde. In 2017 she worked with a group of graduate students, under the supervision of Dr. David Lewis (Grand Ronde) and Marie Knight (Warm Springs), to dig camas bulbs and to clean, process, and bake them in an earth oven located at the Many Nations Longhouse on the university campus. In her blog she writes that earth ovens (or pit ovens) for roasting camas have been dated to more than 9000 years ago, and are prolific throughout the Pacific Northwest region. Dr. Moss’ blog gives an account of this process. This work is significant because, like the Songhees First Nations camas roast on the University of Victoria Campus, it involves utilizing the platform of the university campus to draw attention to traditional Indigenous foodways and food sovereignty.

Further reading on Dr. Madonna Moss’ archaeological work at the University of Oregon

Dr. Madonna Moss, University of Oregon blog

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