PCC supports Portland Metro Council’s decision to acknowledge Indigenous Peoples’ Day
Photos and Story by Kate Chester
Monday, Oct. 12 marks Indigenous Peoples’ Day in greater Portland, following a unanimous vote by the Portland Metro Council. The council resolution recognizes “the greater Portland area is built upon the ancestral homelands, villages and traditional use areas of the Indigenous People and tribes of this region who have been caretakers of these lands we cherish since time immemorial.”
The resolution also acknowledges the United States’ history of violence against Indigenous People, including forced migration, broken treaties and relocation.
Indigenous Peoples’ Day will now be celebrated in greater Portland every year on the second Monday of October.
Recognition of such history is prioritized by Portland Community College. When hosting events or building new facilities, PCC has a longstanding tradition of kicking off festivities with a land acknowledgement to honor the history tied to the land on which the college stands and carries out its mission.
Its campuses and centers rest on the traditional village sites of the Multnomah, Kathlamet, and Clackamas bands of the Chinook, Tualatin Kalapuya, Molalla, and many other tribes who made their homes along the Columbia River. Multnomah is a band of Chinooks that lived in this area.
Portland has one of the largest urban Native American populations in the U.S., with more than 380 federally recognized tribes represented in the Urban Portland Metropolitan area.
“Acknowledgment is a simple, powerful way of showing respect and a step toward correcting the stories and practices that erase Indigenous Peoples’ history and culture, and toward inviting and honoring the truth,” said Tricia Brand, PCC’s chief diversity officer who leads the college’s Office of Equity and Inclusion.
“Acknowledgment by itself is a small gesture. It becomes meaningful when coupled with authentic relationship and informed action. But this beginning can be an opening to greater public consciousness of Native sovereignty and cultural rights, a step toward equitable relationship and reconciliation.
“For these reasons, PCC is fully supportive Metro’s decision to honor and celebrate the contributions of the original inhabitants of the Americas,” she said.