Indigenous Peoples’ Day

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By Joshua Baker

In 2021, Oregon officially began celebrating the second Monday in October as Indigenous People’s Day. The official state recognition of this holiday was a long time coming: advocates have been pushing since the 1970s for the remembrance and celebration of indigenous people not only throughout history, but in our present and future. 

Today, we would like to recognize the history of what is today known as the Lloyd neighborhood. Lloyd, as well as all of the greater Portland metro area, rests on traditional village sites of the Multnomah, Wasco, Cowlitz, Kathlamet, Clackamas, Bands of Chinook, Tualatin Kalapuya, Clatskanie, Molalla and many other tribes. These tribal lands are one of the world’s oldest examples of permanent indigenous settlement and society. However, state and federal policies throughout the 1800s and 1900s forcefully removed many of these tribes from their native lands and wrested children away from their families—and in the [decade],white settlers claimed 2.5 million acres of tribal land over the course of just seven years.  To learn more about this history, visit Oregon Public Broadcasting’s site here.

Today, Portland’s urban Native American community is descended from more than 380 tribes—and the ninth largest urban population in the United States. There are nine federally recognized tribes across the state. 

While recognizing these tribes and honoring their history, we would also like to celebrate and uplift the present-day leadership and vibrancy of indigenous communities in Lloyd, Portland, and throughout Oregon. One example of this is right here in Lloyd, a storefront in Lloyd Center Mall called Cultural Blends. When the Native American Youth and Family Center (NAYA) profiled Cultural Blends, they said:

“In just a few short years, Troy Douglass, Grand Ronde, has cemented his place as one of Portland’s most visible Native-owned business owners. Influencer, entrepreneur, and innovator, Douglass and his Cultural Blends line of clothing have become fixtures in the Pacific Northwest Indigenous community. . . Since re-opening, it’s clear that Douglass has resumed being a visible and generous member of the community. He recently invited community members to stop by the shop for free masks and other PPE to anyone who is in need. He explains, “Our shop is a place for young people to feel comfortable and a place that is inclusive to all.”

NAYA, Oregon Native American Chamber (ONAC), and Athletic & Outdoor Young Professionals (AOYP) partnered together to create a summer event called Native Creative in which Troy Douglass was a featured panelist and vendor. AOYP shared about Troy Douglass, “He created Cultural Blends to explore the concept that when you learn about other people’s cultures, commonalities will be found, and expressing those common ties strengthens humanity”.  In the Lloyd community, we strive to find those commonalities and together build a strong, resilient community.

Check out Cultural Blends and other small businesses at Lloyd Center!