Longhouse

Native American mother with child.

The Longhouse at Lane

The Lane Community College Longhouse is a multi-use facility available to all students and provides program and classroom space for culturally appropriate activities. 

Examples of such classes and activities could include: 

  • American Indian Language classes
  • Ethnic Studies classes
  • Native American Studies
  • Credit and non-credit classes on Native American culture
  • Activities and events sponsored by the Native American Student Program and the Native American Student Association
  • Outside events

In order to ensure that activities that take place in the Lane Longhouse are in keeping with the spirit and purpose of this type of facility, the Lane Longhouse operates under the auspices of the Longhouse Steward as part of the Student Engagement Division.

Want to reserve the Longhouse for a class or activity?

Reservations for fall term will be accepted beginning July 1 of each year.

Please allow us a week to process your application.

Why a Longhouse?

­In 1994, Frank Merrill, a member of the Karuk Nation in Northern California and founder of the Native American Program at Lane, had a dream of having a Longhouse on the college campus. The Longhouse Project was supported largely by students and many local, State, and tribal governments and organizations. On December 3, 2010 Merrill’s dream came true; Lane Community College was the first in the State of Oregon to open the doors of a Longhouse on a community college campus. Situated in Kalapuya territory, the Longhouse is a sovereign space where Native American students and the community can share their values and cultures to create mutual learning relationships. 

The building is a symbiosis of traditional and contemporary construction methods with donated timber from the Coquille Forest in Southwest Oregon and blessed by the Coquille Tribe before being turned at a mill in Molalla. The building has intentional axial relations to the cardinal directions in accordance to Native philosophy, with a main entry facing east welcoming new beginnings and one facing west to honor our past. The Longhouse Great Room is a space that represents a place that has familial, sacred, and traditional modes while providing technology necessary for effective teaching and learning. Three entries open to a circular Hall of Honor, a place where we honor the nine federally recognized Native nations of Oregon. The Longhouse also includes a kitchen which allows us to continue to care for each other through sharing meals. The salmon pit allows the continuity of the relationship the Pacific Northwest tribes and Salmon. Adjacent to the southwest corner of the building is the Frank Merrill Veteran’s Memorial Garden, giving reverence to our relations who have and are serving in the armed forces of the United States. The building provides a landmark for the campus and is a gateway introduction for visitors to the campus.

As cultures adapt throughout time, the Longhouse at Lane Community College continues its mission to provide a culturally sustainable home and place of learning. The elegant building is a container of rich and diverse Native American cultures. The Longhouse has had a positive impact on the campus and is a place of hope in the present day.

Learn about the Longhouse Gardens