Our Mission

Dreamt into existence for decades, the Center for Tribal Nations celebrates and catalyzes the power of Indigenous peoples’ cultures and presence on the river.

Returning to the River

Despite historical ties and current influence in the region, Native Americans lack opportunities and resources for a common location to work, develop business, recreate, conduct cultural activities, and showcase their remarkable history, resilience, and future. Despite consistent tribal efforts over the past sixty plus years, the City of Portland has failed to construct a Native center, despite passing resolutions and completing one study in 1987.

The Center for Tribal Nations (CTN) project aims to leverage the redevelopment of the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) property to establish a collaborative partnership between Native and non-Native organizations, Tribal, and non-Tribal governments. This integrated project will restore Native peoples’ connection to the Willamette River and address challenges of sustainability, resilience, and inclusion.

Community Engagement

Our commitment to the Center for Tribal Nations project is deeply rooted in recognizing the strength derived from the rich diversity of voices within our community. We prioritize and value the contributions from individuals across different backgrounds, ensuring the project becomes a living reflection of our shared vision.

Community engagement is at the heart of our approach, where involving Native, Tribal, and Inter-Tribal communities in every decision creates a nuanced tapestry of perspectives. This collaborative process mirrors the intricate connections and unity within our community, reminiscent of the artful interweaving found in basketry.

Expressing deep gratitude to the Center for Tribal Nations Advisory Committee (CTNAC), their insightful contributions serve as guiding hands, infusing the project with cultural sensitivity and wisdom. Like the subtle details woven into a basket, their expertise enriches our initiative.

In celebrating diverse perspectives, the Center for Tribal Nations emerges as a space where stories are shared, cultural education thrives, and community strength subtly becomes an integral part of our project. Together, we embrace the power of collective voices, fostering a project that stands as a symbol of inclusivity and collaboration, much like the delicate beauty found in the art of basketry.

Community-Lead Economic Impact

Pre-colonization these lands were known by its stewards as a gathering place, and a place to trade with Native and non-Native people.

The CTN will serve as an economic catalyst to return this place to a place of trade and commerce for Native People. Stewarded by one of the most successful community economic nonprofits organizations in the country, The Northwest Native Chamber, the CTN will bring together a variety of economic opportunities for Native entrepreneurs, nonprofits, governments, and individuals.

We have envisioned a business development center, storefronts, and community investment strategies that will enable the CTN to be a model for community impact for disadvantaged communities of all types.

Project Values

Our commitment to the Center for Tribal Nations project is grounded in the belief that diverse voices strengthen our community. We value and prioritize input from individuals across different backgrounds, ensuring the project truly reflects the richness of our collective vision.

A special thanks goes out to the Center for Tribal Nations Advisory Committee (CTNAC). Their invaluable contributions provide insights that enrich our project with cultural sensitivity and informed guidance. The CTNAC’s dedication elevates our initiative, transforming it into more than just a building but a testament to unity and cooperation.

With the guidance of some of our most well-respected Community Leaders, this project is rooted in the responsibility we have to practice good stewardship of our environment, communities, and the development of the return of Vibrant Tribal Economies to the place now known as Portland, Oregon.