Thousands of years ago, at the beginning of Takelma Indian time, when the Great Dragonfly called Daldal brought the Salmon Ceremony to Ti’lomikh Falls on the river that is now called the Rogue, there were two stone chairs. The first was a natural stone seat at the base of the falls called the Story Chair, where the elders of the Takelma would net the first salmon of the spring to share among all the Tribes. The second chair was a stone on the riverbank called the Storytelling Stone, where the story of the Great Dragonfly and the Salmon Ceremony was told. The Salmon Ceremony was a living story that brought peace to all the people.
The long peace was broken when New People came and found a yellow-colored fever stone that was more important to them than salmon, more important to them than anything. Takelma means “People of the River,” but the New People called the Takelma “Rogues,” which means savage, and called themselves “Exterminators.” The New People killed the People of the River to take the yellow fever stone.
Over the years the New People gradually realized that they too are People of the River. The Story Chair was rediscovered and Great-Great-Grandmother Aggie, the very oldest living Takelma Indian, took her seat to bless the water and to once again bring peace.
The New People apologized. A special day—First Nations Day—was established to honor all the First Peoples of Oregon. Meanwhile, a search began for the Storytelling Stone. What was found on the riverbank was this stone chair with an iron sword right through the heart of it.