Lakamas Lane on the McMinnville campus

Camas and deer in Cozine Creek running through Linfield's McMinnville campusSoon, a two-block private road on the Linfield University McMinnville Campus will have a new name. What has been known as Brumback Street will instead become Lakamas Lane in an effort to better honor the history of Linfield, the surrounding area and the Native American community.

The Board of Trustees approved the resolution to change the name on May 1, 2021.

A committee of students, faculty and staff has been working through the spring semester to consider a new name for the road. After months of meetings and research, the group proposed the new name.

The committee sought guidance and support from the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde to consider a name of historic significance to the geography and indigenous peoples of the McMinnville area. A representative from Grand Ronde worked closely with the committee to help determine six possible names, and ultimately the committee voted unanimously on Lakamas Lane.

In the Chinuk Wawa language, “Lakamas” is the word for camas. Camas is a primary historic food staple of the Kalapuya, the indigenous people of the Willamette Valley. While the word Lacamas exists in other parts of the Northwest, Lakamas (with a “k”) is unique to Chinuk Wawa, a language spoken by the Kalapuya people, and would therefore be unique to Linfield and the only place in the world where one would find a Lakamas Lane.

Camas is an edible tuber with a blue or purple flower that blooms annually. While camas is an important traditional food to the Kalapuya, it is also broadly significant across the Pacific Northwest, California and inter-mountain west. This is a traditional food that is broadly recognizable to many native peoples who are or may become students at Linfield. Additionally, Linfield’s McMinnville campus is home to large remnant patches of camas that, under intentional management, continue to thrive around Cozine Creek.

Find out more information and background on the renaming of Lakamas Lane.