In 2010, in collaboration with Native communities and local tribes, Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R) co-created the Native American Community Advisory Council (NACAC), with the understanding that the Willamette Valley and Columbia River indigenous people hold a unique status as the original stewards of this region’s land. PP&R is a large land manager in Portland and is committed to the stewardship of public properties and the community interactions with parks and natural areas. This stewardship creates a unique relationship between the Native community and PP&R. In recognition of this shared interest, and the essential value of working with the Native community, a unique council of interested Native community members advise PP&R about Native cultures, lifeways, and needs was created. Their role is to advise and collaborate about park development, land management, bureau policy, and projects.
PP&R recognized their contribution with the Native community by formalizing the Native American Community Advisory Council on November 6, 2013.
The NACAC provides a forum to discuss values such as sacredness of land, the importance of spiritual and cultural connection to heritage, and the recognition that Indigenous peoples have been here since time immemorial. Native people continue to contribute immeasurably to our nation’s, state’s, tribes’, and city’s heritage.
The NACAC is comprised of Native American community members, local federally recognized tribal members, and members of Native American community-based organizations throughout the region The work of this council is to foster collaboration between and among Native communities and the bureau by developing partnerships and strengthening community ties.
The goal of NACAC is to contribute Indigenous values, knowledge, and vision to the cultural fabric of Portland while fostering physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health by:
- Providing opportunities to educate and practice Native cultures and lifeways within the urban landscape.
- Developing best practices to engage with Indigenous peoples in the area.
- Collaborating, cooperating, and advising PP&R regarding issues, questions, and potential projects.
NACAC wishes to bring about a healing between Indigenous/Native American peoples and all others who live in this region, recognizing that the people are one with the land and consider themselves stewards of it and participating in the well-being of the land. Consistent with Parks 2020 Vision, the NACAC strives to work for a healing of this land, to protect it and to pass it on to future generations, and to leave a legacy for our children that build upon our inheritance.
NACAC Meeting Schedule
Monthly NACAC meetings are held on the third Wednesday of each month (unless otherwise agreed upon). Agendas are finalized by NACAC leadership and emailed to the group prior to each meeting.