Monday, October 11th is Indigenous People’s Day, a day set aside to honor and celebrate the history and culture of Indigenous Peoples around the world. In Oregon, it is a time for us all to reflect on what this day means and to learn about the Native Peoples who have called this land home since time immemorial.
This day is an opportunity to learn and appreciate the rich and beautiful cultures, languages, and history of Indigenous Peoples, as well as to recognize and reflect on the ugly history of how Oregon, and America, have treated Native Peoples. The harmful colonial legacies of forced removal and genocide continue to impact the nine federally recognized Native American Tribes of Oregon, as well as tribes like the Chinook who are not federally recognized, yet have ancestral lands in this state. This also includes tribes like the Nez Perce who have traditional connections to these lands, and all displaced Indigenous Peoples who reside in Oregon.
Learn more about each of the federally recognized tribes in Oregon by visiting their websites: The Klamath, Burns Paiute, Coquille, Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Indians, Confederated Tribes of Umatilla, Confederated Tribes of Siletz, Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua, and Siuslaw, and the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs.
For educational resources, including how to find out who’s land you live on, visit our website.
Indigenous Peoples worldwide have enduring and current relationships with the land, including public lands, but also spaces where cities, towns, farms, ranches and timberlands have been built and managed by settlers. They add vibrancy and knowledge to our urban and rural communities as well. This special day calls us to celebrate Indigenous creativity, leadership, sovereignty, and resilience especially as we reflect on all the work that tribal nations, Indigenous activists, and Indigenous youth are doing to protect the landscapes and species that we love. Native voices are speaking out for the protection of everything from old-growth forests and coastal lands to sea otters and condors.
I ask you on Monday especially to reflect, support Indigenous businesses, learn about the many different Native cultures, and uplift their voices while continuing this work far into the future.