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News Release

Portland Indian Leaders Roundtable

Members of the Portland Indian Leaders Roundtable met yesterday morning and issued the following statement:

“We, the members of the Portland Indian Leaders Roundtable, disapprove of the destruction and theft of property, and threat of violence by those participating in demonstrations last night. As with other resistance movements who have turned out in countless numbers this year, we understand that there is justifiable righteous indignation over the unconscionable mistreatment of our people and communities over centuries, and that Indigenous People’s Day is a time to reflect and speak out against these injustices. Yet, we cannot condone pointless acts of vandalism and the brandishing of weapons that serve only to detract from the real message that must be heard:

Indigenous people continue to suffer at the will of systems designed to eradicate our self-determination, culture, economies, and families. Until we dismantle those systems, there will be no justice. 

Many of us have spent our lives advocating for the needs of our people and working to prevent re-traumatization of our elders and families. Acting only in anger is not our way. Disavowing the teachings of our elders is not our way. Wielding weapons and stealing what is not ours is not our way. Mimicking the brutish ways of our colonizers is not our way.å

The destruction at the Oregon Historical Society was so very disappointing, especially given the great care they have given to their most recent exhibit that displays Native American history so honestly and respectfully. We thank them for their deep consultation with tribal nations to create this exhibit and wish them the best in the repairs to their building.

On this Indigenous People’s Day of October 12, 2020, we choose to continue our important work being of service to those who need us. Relying upon the Indigenous values of respect, humility, kindness, and accountability, we will continue to work toward healing, using our traditions and culture as a guide.” 

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About Portland Indian Leaders Roundtable

The Portland Indian Leaders Roundtable is a partnership among 30 organizations, tribes and tribal programs in the region who serve, advocate for, and work within the Native community. The primary mission of Portland Indian Leaders Roundtable is to support Portland’s Native American community.

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