At Children First, we recognize the importance and respectfulness of naming whose land we stand on. This is one of our first organizational steps toward truth-telling, repair, and conciliation with the Indigenous people of this region.
Every community owes its existence and vitality to generations from around the world who contributed their hopes, dreams, and energy to making the history that led to this moment. Some were brought here against their will, some were drawn to leave their distant homes in hope of a better life, and some have lived on this land for more generations than can be counted. Truth and acknowledgment are critical to building mutual respect and connection across all barriers of heritage and difference. We begin this effort to acknowledge what has been buried by honoring the truth.
Children First for Oregon acknowledges that the land now known as Portland sits on unceded territory of the original peoples of this land.– the Multnomah, Wasco, Kathlamet, Clackamas, Cowlitz, Bands of Chinook, Tualatin Kalapuya, Molalla and many other Tribes who made their homes along the Columbia (Wimahl) and Willamette (Whilamut) river.
This area was originally populated by many Indigenous people, who lived and thrived in profound, complex, and interdependent relationship with the land and the other beings here – long before white colonial settlement. The Indigenous people are still here, and are still connected to this land.
Today, our region’s diverse and vibrant Native communities are 70.000 strong, descended from more than 280 Tribes with at least 18 unique languages, both local and distant.
We recognize those Native communities in our region today and extend our deepest gratitude to those who have stewarded this land, and offer our respect to their elder’s past, present, and future.
Our recognition of the indigenous Native American inhabitants of this land is just one small step in recognizing our responsibility for restoration and repair.
Acknowledgment by itself is a small gesture. But this beginning can be an opening to a greater public consciousness of Native sovereignty and cultural rights, a step toward equitable relationship and conciliation. Join us adopting, calling for, and spreading this practice.
These are some of the ways that we can all step forward:
Recognize the staggering impact of the historical trauma of genocide
Support programs that help to hold Native families together
Protect the water and those who protect it
Resist the exploitation of resources such as mining and pipelines on indigenous lands
Seek to pay personal reparations to indigenous families and communities by donating to organizations like the Native American Family Center which serves a large base of Native peoples here in Portland, Oregon.