PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — November is National Native American Heritage Month, and there are many ways to honor Portland’s Native and Indigenous population — which the Oregon Metro reports is the ninth largest of any city in the nation.
Here are just five ways you could support Portland’s Native American community this month.
Learn which tribes are native to the Portland area.
The Oregon Metro says there are about 58,00 Native Americans who have more than 380 tribal affiliations in Portland. After a long history of many Native Americans being displaced from their ancestral homelands, land acknowledgments are important in recognizing where many of these tribal nations may have lived in a particular area.
According to the Parks Foundation, “The Portland Metro area rests on traditional village sites of the Multnomah, Wasco, Cowlitz, Kathlamet, Clackamas, Bands of Chinook, Tualatin, Kalapuya, Molalla, and many other tribes who made their homes along the Columbia River.”
Learn more about Oregon tribes here.
Donate to Native American organizations.
There are several Native American organizations based in Portland that are committed to community service, and that could benefit from volunteering or donations. The Oregon Native American Chamber has a full list of them here.
For example, one organization is the Native American Youth and Family Center. NAYA “is a family of numerous tribes and voices who are rooted in sustaining tradition and building cultural wealth.”
NAYA provides resources such as community economic development, college and career services and foster care services. There are a few ways people can support the organization, like attending its fundraising gala or donating.
Go see the Indigenous Portraits featured around town.
According to a release from Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler’s office, “The presence of the portraits in public spaces will ask viewers to interrogate their preconceptions of Native people and consider their own experience as it relates to Native land, people and communities.”
Some of the portraits can be found here:
- RACC Building at 411 NW Park Ave.
- Metro Regional Center at 600 NE Grand Ave.
- County Elections Office at 1040 SE Morrison St.
- Central Courthouse at 1200 SW 1st Ave.
- NE Health Center/Walnut Park – 5329 NE Martin Luther King Jr Blvd.
Support Native-owned businesses in Portland.
Bison Coffeehouse is the city’s only Native-owned coffee shop. Located in the Cully neighborhood at 3941 Northeast Cully Boulevard, the shop has a selection of locally-roasted drinks and fresh baked goods, including its signature house biscuits.
In need of a spa day? Rose Alchemista is a spa and skin care service owned by holistic esthetician Rodi Bragg. She offers relaxing glow facials, as well as botanical skincare. Rose hibiscus face masks, calendula moisturizing oils and sweet rose body moisturizers are a few of the beauty products on Rose Alchemista’s roster.
The pieces from Wiwinu are great to spruce up any jewelry collection. Owner Nicole Adams handcrafts all of the jewelry, taking inspiration from her grandmother’s beadworking customs. She has a variety of jewelry ranging from $10 to $35 on her website.
Go to a poetry event.
Voices Like Thunder: An Afternoon of Poetry with the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation is coming right up on Sunday, Nov. 6. The event honors the release of NACF’s debut anthology The Larger Voice – Celebrating Native Arts and Cultures Foundation Literature Fellows.
Tickets are free to the public.