In 1990, November was officially designated as a heritage month to recognize America’s original inhabitants and celebrate their rich culture and contributions. But efforts to pay tribute to Indigenous people started long before.
Red Fox James, a member of the Blackfeet Nation, rode horseback across the U.S. seeking approval for a day to honor Native Americans and presented an endorsement from 24 states to the White House in 1915. The first official American Indian Day was declared in New York in 1916.
Nine federally recognized tribes live within Oregon. But for thousands of years, more than 60 tribes lived across these lands, speaking about 18 languages across hundreds of villages. By 1855, white settlers claimed 2.8 million acres of Indigenous land across the Oregon Territory thanks to the Donation Land Claim Act, leading to the displacement of this land’s original inhabitants.
This year’s theme is “Celebrating Tribal Sovereignty and Identity.” There are 574 federally recognized nations, tribes, and pueblos within the U.S. comprising over 3.7 million people. Self-governance is at the heart of Native people’s ability to protect and enhance the health, safety, and welfare of their communities.
Here are some places where you can pay tribute in Oregon this month:
All month long, Tuesdays - Saturdays, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
All month long, Tuesdays - Saturdays, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Nov. 18 - 25, Tuesday - Saturday, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m., Tamástslikt Cultural Institute
Nov. 23 - 25, 10:45 a.m. - 2 p.m., Naya Family Center
Nov. 24 - 26, 10 a.m. - 3 p.m., PSU Native American Student Center