In October last year, the Metro Council recognized in a resolution proclaiming the second Monday in October Native American Day in Greater Portland that this region is “built on the ancestral homelands, villages, and traditional land of indigenous people and tribes We have cherished the caretakers from these countries since time immemorial. ”
Earlier this year, Metro awarded the City of Portland and the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) a $ 750,000 grant that will include a broad coalition of partners to help develop the Tribal Nation Center and a waterfront educational park examine. The project aims to use the redevelopment of the OMSI property to model a new partnership between OMSI, tribal and tribal organizations, the wider Portland Native American community and the city of Portland, and to restore the Native American community’s presence on the Willamette.
The United States has a history of violence against indigenous peoples, including dismissal and assimilation policies, broken treaties, and relocation – injustices that have taken place in Oregon and across the country.
“This grant is part of Metro’s effort to recognize this story,” said Metro Councilor Bob Stacey. “Metro recognizes the fact that indigenous peoples have made, and continue to make, immense contributions and innovations to the arts, education, health, economic development, environmental protection and civic community that make Greater Portland a better place to live and work. The grant will help project partners through this project to create access and opportunities for the wider Portland Indian community. “
The planning grant allows project partners to involve tribes, tribal organizations and the Native American community to identify a wide range of uses on the site and begin planning. The award is part of Metro’s planning and development grant program for 2040, which supports regional and local planning, economic development and stabilization of communities, as well as equitable development projects across the region. The grant program is funded by Metro’s Construction Excise Tax (CET).
The center and the educational park on the water try to restore the connection between the indigenous people and the Willamette River in a meaningful way. The center and adjacent park will be part of an integrated redevelopment package that includes riverfront restoration and meeting rooms for Native, tribal and tribal organizations living, working, or visiting in the Portland metropolitan area.
“These efforts – this kind of partnership and that kind of visibility – are something tribes and indigenous communities have wanted for decades,” said Laura John, director of tribal relations for the City of Portland. “It shows a turning point in time, in which indigenous people have to be present, recognized, visible and space. This space will help bring the vision of the city of Portland to life as it helps make the city a desirable destination for Native Americans – whether they come to visit or live and work here. “