HomeCategory Indian Country

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Native American Activists See Purpose with Black Lives Matter By Brian Bull For more than a century, “The Pioneer” stood tall on his pedestal on the University of Oregon campus in Eugene. With his bushy beard, boots, and buckskin, he struck many Oregonians as the embodiment of frontier courage and determination, representative of settlers who traveled thousands of miles to tame the Wild West and build a new life for themselves. On the day the...

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 By David G. Lewis, Ph.D. As Oregon tribes know only too well, the Native American experience with COVID-19 is only the latest chapter in a centuries-long tragedy. The first recorded wave of new diseases visited the tribes of Oregon in the 1770s. Smallpox, hitchhiking in the bodies of white traders, came up the Columbia River and killed about 30 percent of the Native Americans in the Willamette Valley and Columbia River basin. Around 1805, explorers...

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Pandemic has forced the cancellation of events everywhere. But in Indian Country, not congregating comes with added cost—and risk. By Kevin Abourezk Every spring, inside the Celilo Longhouse at Celilo Village on the edge of the Columbia River, traditional elders, food gatherers, and members of the public prepare to feast on the first Chinook salmon of the season. Ahead of the annual celebration, the sound of traditional songs and drums fills the air, as celebrants...

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Native American dancing celebrates life at a distance by Kevin Abourezk, Underscore.news Zak Hoops, 6, couldn’t understand why the powwows he typically attends and where he performs the grass dance were canceled. His mother, Toma Campbell, tried to explain coronavirus and why it was important to cancel those events. But she told him about another opportunity for him to share his talents. She had recently discovered a Facebook group called the Social Distance Powwow, where people...

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Coronavirus numbers for Native Americans begin to climb. By Kevin Abourezk, Underscore.news As the coronavirus increasingly makes its presence known in tribal communities across the country, a leading Senate Democrat took the Trump administration to task Friday for skimping on help for tribes. Sen. Tom Udall, New Mexico—senior Democrat on the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on the Interior, Environment and Related Agencies—said the landmark legislation approved by Congress would infuse $10 billion into the coffers of...

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While the majority of Indian people in Oregon live off reservation, the high cost of rent and home ownership in Portland makes housing unattainable for the average Native American household. Collaboration and multiple partnerships built “Our Place” to change the financial bottom line. by Dawn Stover Underscore.news Artist and wood-carver Greg Robinson, a member of the Chinook Indian Nation, stood on a ladder, troweling swaths of bright, red paint onto the lobby wall of an...