Portland's Native American Community
24 Native Agencies and their leaders gathered to create a story in common about the Native people of Portland. In July of 2007, 18 representatives met to talk about the severe undercounts of our population and how those create a level of "invisibility" in the Native community. For example, the lack of knowledge about the Native community and inaccurate demographic information can lead to inequitable funding. In addition to this challenge, the group knew that Native organizations in Portland often use different data sets which, while often necessary, add to the complexity of an already complicated issue.
Following a year of discussions and focused group work, the group formalized into the Portland Indian Leaders' Roundtable (PILR). Together, PILR created an amazing 2 page document describing the Portland Native community, and designed to educate key audiences to the concerns the Native people of Portland share.
It is the hope of the Portland Indian Leaders Roundtable that we can continue to build on the progress we have made as strong Native organizations, intent on service to our people. The story, Making the Invisible Visible is a crucial first step to educating the extended community about our presence.