Above: Tumwata (Willamette Falls)

In 2021, the Oregon State Legislature voted to recognize the second Monday in October as Indigenous Peoples Day. In doing so, Oregon joined 10 other states in recognizing the significant contributions that Native Americans have made to the U.S.— and more specifically, the contributions of Oregon’s nine federally recognized tribes to the culture of this state. The Willamette Valley, specifically, is home to the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde.

Indigenous Peoples’ Day was first proposed in 1977 by a delegation of Native Nations to the United Nations. The Oregon state legislature passed a bill on May 18, 2021, declaring the second Monday of October to be Indigenous Peoples’ Day, replacing Columbus Day.

We invite you to explore these resources to expand your understanding of the history of our land and the culture of our Indigenous community. In our modern-day culture, land is largely seen as a commodity — this was not always the case. We hope this exploration expands your awareness and enriches our community.   

Willamette Valley Indigenous People’s Day Events

Travel Salem

October 11, 2:00 p.m.
Oregon State Capitol
Native dancing and singing.

Image: The Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde

The Museum of Natural and Cultural History

October 11, 2021
Free admission to honor Indigenous People’s Day.

Image: The Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde

University of Oregon
Tribal flag-raising ceremony in the EMU Amphitheater each October.

Image: The Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde

WU Honors Indigenous Peoples’ Day with an information table and cake.

Image: The Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde

Explore a traditional art collection focused on Northwest tribes with an emphasis on tribes from Oregon and more specifically the Willamette Valley.

Image: The Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde

October 11, 5-6:00 PM
Featured speakers are from the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians and the First Indigenous Nations Society as well as the Corvallis Mayor. 

Image: The Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde

Virtual Events & Indigenous Art ExhibitJoin the Portland Indigenous Marketplace and Great Spirit Church to celebrate virtually with speakers, music and more. 

Image: The Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde

Learning Leads to Understanding

Wenix Red Elk, the Education Outreach Coordinator for the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation (CTUIR), shares the specifics and preparation of First Foods like salmon, deer, elk, camas bulbs, biscuitroot and huckleberry.

Join a conversation on Indigenizing Theology with Dr. Randy Woodley (Keetoowah Cherokee), Co-Creator and Co-Sustainer of Eloheh Indigenous Center for Earth Justice, and Erna Kim Hackett Founder of Liberated Together.

More Resources

Follow Grand Ronde

Eloheh Indigenous Center for Earth Justice (website)

Zenger Farms (website)

Native American Student & Community Center (website)

Indigenous Food Sovereignty Movements Are Taking Back Ancestral Land (article)

Can Bridging the Gap Between Landowners and Farming Tenants Help Improve Soil Health (article)

Decolonize and Indigenize Your Future
7-month training program: $2,400 per attendee

National Farm Viability Conference
Virtual multi-day event: $100 per attendee

Uprooting Racism in the Food System
3-hour virtual event: $150 per attendee