We Are Here

The 19- foot, 3,000-pound “We Are Here” statue, formerly located where Lithia Way and North Main merge, is located on the first floor of the library. Carved from a 53-year-old alder tree by artist Russell Beebe and commissioned by local attorney Lloyd Haines, the sculpture memorializes Native peoples of Southern Oregon. Likenesses on the artwork include Takelma elder Agnes Baker Pilgrim.

In 2006, the statue was donated to the city of Ashland. Gradual deterioration necessitated relocation. A full-size bronze replica of the sculpture, created by Jack Langford, now stands in its place on a stone base created by Jesse Biesanz. “We Are Here” was carefully moved into Hannon Library in a daylong process involving a crane, forklifts, chains, ropes, a flatbed truck, prayers, and laughter. The move was coordinated by Dan Wahpepah, with assistance from community members and the SOU Native American Student Union.

The May 23, 2013 dedication and blessing of “We Are Here” included presentations of blankets to those instrumental in the creation and moving of the sculpture. Elder Agnes Baker Pilgrim and well-known author and activist Winona LaDuke were on hand.

Photo of the We Are Here sculpture