Ukrainian delegation

With the help of a translator, Douglas County Commissioner Tim Freeman speaks to a delegation of Ukrainian educators during lunch at the boardroom of the Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians in Roseburg on Tuesday. The delegation was visiting as part of the Open World program.

A delegation of five Ukrainian educators and their translators met with members of the Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians for lunch in the tribal council boardroom in Roseburg on Tuesday.

The meeting was part of the delegation’s nine-day visit to Roseburg through the federal Open World program. The program brings professionals from former Soviet-block countries to the U.S. to promote the exchange of culture and professional knowledge.

This is the 12th time Umpqua Community College has hosted educators from Uzhhorod National University and Kremenchuk National University. This year, the goal of the trip was to discuss the promotion of Science, Technology, Engineering, Math Education and Career and Technical Education. The delegates stay with community members to learn about American families, participate in community events and explore UCC classes and facilities.

“They love the idea of learning about our tribe,” said Donna Fields, executive assistant to the CEO with the Cow Creek Band.

The lunch included a presentation by the delegates about Ukrainian education and culture. Members of the Cow Creek Band discussed tribal governance and officials from Roseburg and Douglas County spoke about local government structure.

With a mural of the South Umpqua Falls in the background, participants ate salmon, salad and potatoes.

“We wanted to serve salmon because it was one of the tribe’s first foods,” Fields said. “We try to tell them about our tribal history and how it took nearly 100 years to gain sovereignty.”

The boardroom featured blue and yellow decorations to represent the Ukrainian national flag. Each table included a Ukrainian flag. Fields said she hopes the decorations make the delegates fell more welcome.

The delegation will also meet with staff from the Oregon Department of Education and tour the Phoenix Charter School in Roseburg.

“We believe this cultural and professional exchange is really important,” said Jason Aase, the Dean of Career and Technical Education at UCC. “I hope to see it continue into the future.”

Max Egener can be reached at megener@nrtoday.com and 541-957-4217. Or follow him on Twitter @maxegener.

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City Reporter

Max Egener is the city reporter for The News-Review. He has a master's degree from the University of Oregon, and is an avid skier and backpacker.

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