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a photo of the new Lakamas Lane on McMinnville's campusThe New Lakamas Lane On the McMinnville Campus

The Linfield University Board of Trustees passed a resolution in November 2020 requesting a committee of students, faculty and staff to consider a new name for a two-block private road on the McMinnville campus. The committee assembled and began meeting early the following year, eventually voting unanimously that the road should be known as Lakamas Lane. The Board of Trustees approved that recommendation in a second resolution on May 1, 2021.

The committee reached out to the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde early in its deliberations, asking for guidance about whether Linfield might consider a nameCamas flower in Cozineof historic significance to the geography and indigenous peoples of the McMinnville area. A representative from Grand Ronde then worked with the committee through the spring to consider six alternatives, before the group eventually settled upon Lakamas Lane.

In the Chinuk Wawa language, “Lakamas” is the word for camas. Camas is a primary historic food staple of the Kalapuya, the indigenous people of the Willamette Valley. It’s an edible tuber with a blue or purple flower that blooms annually, and there are remanent patches that bloom to this day on the McMinnville campus.

The new name will take effect as soon as is reasonably possible, before July 1, 2021. The campus post office is on Lakamas Lane, so all student correspondence will go to that address beginning with the 2021-22 academic year.

The committee would like to extend its heartfelt appreciation to the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde. In particular David Harrelson, Cultural Resources Department Manager and Tribal Historic Preservation Officer. David was instrumental in providing leadership, guidance and knowledge, and generous with his time. His willingness to engage with the university in this renaming effort has led us to envision a fruitful and collaborative future between Linfield and the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde.