Mentors, teachers, on healthy ways to live for our bodies, souls, and the planet are extremely valuable in this century.
Grandmother Agnes Baker Pilgrim is one of them, that I have been blessed to know and serve for the last seven years.
It is not very often that one has a famous Grandmother living in their hometown. Sometimes people are not even aware that the Grandmother living next door or whom shops in their store is honored and recognized worldwide for their contribution to the earth and humanity. Grandmother Agnes Baker Pilgrim is one of those famous people living in the town next to me, Grants Pass Oregon.
Grandmother Agnes is the oldest living female member of the Takelma tribe, which has resided in Southern Oregon for 22,000 years. Grandmother Agnes is an alumnus of Southern Oregon University and was elected Alumni of the year in 2003. She sits on the MRIPA (Mid- Rogue Independent Physicians Association) board in Grants Pass and has been on the Culture, Sacred Lands and Heritage Committee for over thirty years. In 2004 she became an honored member and chair of the International Council of Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers who travel the world teaching wisdom on healing the earth and praying for the next seven generations.
Grandmother Agnes Pilgrim has been a diligent “voice for the voiceless” trees, animals and plants. In 1994 Grandmother Agnes restored the Sacred Salmon Ceremony on the Applegate and Rogue River. This year will be the 19th year and is being held on June 30 at Tilomikh [formerly known as Powerhouse Falls]
Grandmother Agnes has a long history of being a keynote speaker and even gave a blessing at the beginning of the Moody Blues Concert at Jackson County Expo. There is a 16 foot craved statue of her in Ashland, a tree in Yellowstone National Park has been named after her, and to recognize her influence and standing, in the community even a mountain east of Ashland was named after her in her native name, “Taowaywee”.
As a dedicated voice for the voiceless she speaks for water.
“I’ve been traveling the world and I am very concerned about our water. Water is a very precious thing. It is as native people call it, our Mother Earth’s blood. Never in my life did I think I’d grow to this age and have to buy bottled water. To me it’s frightening. I always tell people, “If you would jump in the bathtub and let me throw garbage in with you, you wouldn’t like that.” So I pray that this message will go to all people, to be able to teach their children and their children’s children, not to make a garbage dump out of rivers and streams. We need to start cleaning it up. Those swimmers in the water, they have the right to live just the same as anything else.”
Grandmother is a recipient of the Imagine Award, a Peace Makers Award by Mediator Works, a community dispute resolution center in Medford Oregon and is honored as a “Living Treasure” by her tribe the Confederated Tribes of Siletz.
“Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is our gift, and we better use it wisely…” Agnes Baker Pilgrim