Two events to honor indigenous leadership, Native American Heritage Month in November
Release Date: 10-22-2014

The Native American Youth and Family Center, Ecotrust, and City Club of Portland, present two events on Nov. 14 to celebrate outstanding indigenous leadership during Native American Heritage Month.


EVENT 1: City Club Forum, “Cultural Revitalization: A Building Block to Prosperous Communities”

WHEN: 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.; Friday, Nov. 14


WHERE:  Sentinel Hotel, 614 SW 11th Avenue, Portland Ore. 97205


WHAT: Prominent national indigenous leaders will discuss during an hour-long panel session how use of traditional cultural practices are intentionally creating more prosperous communities in rural and urban areas. Through cultural revitalization, a process of affirming and promoting a community’s collective identity, Native American, Alaska Native and First Nations people are successfully recreating their traditional building blocks to greater cultural and economic prosperity. Speakers represent large urban Native communities (including the 40,000 Native people in Portland), as well as reservation-based communities in Oregon and Washington.

This Friday Forum will feature indigenous leaders from around the region speaking on this approach. The panel includes Nichole Maher, Tlingit, of the Northwest Health Foundation, Janeen Comenote, Hesquiaht, Kwakiutl First Nation, Oglala Lakota and enrolled Quinault of the National Urban Indian Family Coalition, Roberta Cordero, Coastal Band of the Chumash Nation, of the Chumash Maritime Association, and Eric Quaempts, Enrolled member of the Yakama Indian Nation, Natural Resource Director for the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Reservation. The panel will be moderated by Roy Sampsel, Wyandotte and Choctaw, the Director of the Institute for Tribal Governance at Portland State University.

Come and learn how indigenous leaders are transforming their communities with age-old ideas, and in the process creating a stronger society across the Pacific Northwest.

Reserve a seat.


EVENT 2: Annual NAYA Gala, “Celebrating 40 Years of Service”


WHEN: 5:30-9:00 p.m.; Friday, Nov. 14


WHERE: Portland Art Museum, 1219 SW Park Avenue, Portland Ore. 97205


WHAT: Oregon’s largest celebration of Native American Heritage Month. An intimate gathering of nearly 600 of our community’s closest friends, the Gala is an opportunity to enjoy Native American cuisine, traditional dance performances, Native songs and drumming, and beautiful Indigenous art up for bid in our live and silent auction. The Gala is also a great place to meet with Native American community leaders and our allies from across the region. Representatives from tribes, foundations, businesses and non-profits come together to celebrate our community’s growth and continued success.


NAYA is proud to announce an exciting new partnership with Ecotrust at this year’s celebration. Since 2001, Ecotrust’s Indigenous Leadership Award has honored 58 tribal leaders for demonstrating dedication to their culture and improving the economic and environmental conditions of their homelands and people. The 2014 recipients of the Ecotrust Indigenous Leadership Award will receive their awards in a private ceremony on November 14th, and will be honored at this year’s NAYA Gala. Together, NAYA and Ecotrust are working to sustain NAYA’s efforts within our region’s Native community, and to strengthen the innovative work Ecotrust does across our region on farms, forests, oceans and fisheries, water and watersheds, climate and energy, and the built environment.


Native American Youth and Family Center is the Youth Centered, Family Driven and Elder Guided cultural hub for American Indian, Alaska Native and First Nations people in Portland. For 40 years, NAYA has been at the heart of the 9th largest urban Indian community in the United States, sustaining tradition and offering a variety of culturally-specific services designed to increase the health, education and assets of our diverse and growing Native American community. NAYA’s mission is to enhance the diverse strengths of our youth and families in partnership with the community through cultural identity and education.


Ecotrust‘s mission is to foster a natural model of development that creates more resilient communities, economies and ecosystems here and around the world. Ecotrust’s many innovations include co-founding an environmental bank, starting the world’s first ecosystem investment fund, creating a range of programs in fisheries, forestry, food, farms and indigenous affairs, and developing new scientific and information tools to improve social, economic and environmental decision making. Ecotrust works locally in ways that promise hope abroad, and it takes inspiration from the wisdom of Native and First Nation leadership. Learn more at @ecotrust


City Club of Portland is a nonprofit, nonpartisan education and research based civic organization dedicated to community service, public affairs and leadership development. Through weekly Friday Forums, citizen-based research and advocacy, and after-hours civic programs, City Club examines issues of importance to the Portland metropolitan region, the state and society as a whole. City Club’s 1,850 members represent a cross section of people in business, government, academia, social services and other professions, who are committed to making a positive difference in our community. Members come from a wide range of ethnic, racial and religious backgrounds. Membership is open to everyone of high school age and older.