“This piece was inspired by movement, particularly Native American movement in trade and in expression. Dubbed by Lewis and Clark as the ‘Great Mart of all this Country,’ one of the most extensive and long-standing areas of Native trade occurred in what is now known as the Dalles-Celilo area. For millennia people gathered here from all over to trade, fish, and socialize. The dancer, whose spirit is protected by arrowheads, is a beacon for Native creation, contribution, adaptation, and fervency for life.” – Aaron Thomas, Artist
About the Artist: This year’s Buy Native artwork was created by Diné artist Aaron Thomas: entrepreneur, scientist, photographer, and co-owner of the brand Z Amaze. Many of his artistic projects are focused on empowering, elevating, and amplifying Native American voices and stories. Aaron obtained his B.S. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Arizona and currently resides in Klamath Falls, OR.
www.aaronthomasfoto.com / www.zamazeco.com
Buy Native Guide
These companies are from business owners that identify as Native American and/or Indigenous. Below is more information about our vibrant Native and Indigenous communities in Portland. We all owe our success to the tribes that have stewarded our natural resources for hundreds and hundreds of years. We would like to acknowledge Indigenous communities past, future, and present to honor and respect the original Portlanders.
In an expression to honor local tribes, we have built this directory so that you may too navigate to support Indigenous and Native American business owners.
Here is an excerpt from Leading with Tradition in the Portland Metropolitan Area, published by Native American Youth and Family Services (NAYA). “The Portland urban Native community is descended from over 380 tribes and many are multi-tribal and multi-ethnic. We represent varying degrees of tribal affiliation; some of us are tribally enrolled and some of us are not, but we all have ancestorial ties to our tribes. Some of us are enrolled citizens of local tribes with reserved treaty rights to fish and gather in the Columbia and Willamette Rivers, but many of us are citizens or descendants of more geographically distant tribes. We come to this city for as many reasons as there are clans and people, and our stories are powerful.
The Portland Metro area rests on traditional village sites of the Multnomah Wasco, Cowlitz, Kathlamet, Clackamas, Bands of Chinook, Tualatin Kalapuya, Molalla,and many other tribes who made their homes along the Columbia River, creating communities and summer encampments to harvest and use the plentiful natural resources of the area.” Read more here.
Other great places to check out.
“We are dedicated to working with all members of the community to advance the educational and economic opportunities for Native Americans in Oregon and Southwest Washington.”