Chinuk sculptures installed at Tilikum Crossing

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PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A three-part artwork to be displayed on the Tilikum Crossing Bridge was presented to TriMet Friday.

The pieces, collectively titled “We Have Always Lived Here,” were made by Chinuk artist Greg A. Robinson of the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde. They were placed on both sides of the Tilikum Crossing Bridge, “The Bridge of the People.”

The presentation was made Friday morning with local dignitaries in attendance, including Portland Mayor Charlie Hales.

“It’s meant to be a testament to the survival of Chinukian people along the Columbia and Willamette rivers and the ongoing cultural activities that happen here constantly,” Robinson told KOIN 6 News. “I’m very happy it’s going to be here and be visible by the Portland people as well.”

Two of the three pieces are basalt scupltures, each 6 feet tall. A bronze medallion on the side of the bridge is 5 feet in diameter. Basalt carvings are an ancient tradition among the Chinuks.

“This is so exciting for us to represent,” said Confederated Tribes member Jon George. “It’s just one more thing that our tribe, our ancestors and all the people before us, get to be represented.

The Tiliikum Crossing Bridge will be the route used by TriMet’s Orange Line and is set to open September 12, 2015.

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