The leaders and representatives of 24 Native agencies gathered to create a story in common about the Native people of Portland, Oregon. In July 2007, 18 representatives met to talk about the severe undercounting of the Native population and how this created 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 demographic data sets. Although this is often necessary, it only adds to an already complicated issue.
After a year of discussions and focused group work, the group formalized into the Portland Indian Leaders' Roundtable (PILR). PILR created a short document describing the Portland Native community, designed to educate key audiences to the concerns that the Native people of Portland share.
PILR hopes that we can continue to build on the progress we have made as strong Native organizations, intent on service to our people. Making the Invisible Visible is a crucial first step to educating the extended community about our presence.
No task is too big when done together.
|Lai-Lani Ovalles||ext. 213||Indigenous Community Engagement Coordinator|