Native American culture celebrated at Community Center

Find out why this annual East Portland event is flourishing …

Visitors browse vendors of original art and craftwork at the 2015 “Native American Family Day and Marketplace”.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

For the fifth consecutive year, Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R), along with ten partnering organizations, celebrated Native American Heritage Month with games, crafts, cultural celebrations, and food throughout the day on November 28.

The “Native American Family Day and Marketplace” celebration was again held at the Mt. Scott Community Center, in the Mt. Scott-Arleta neighborhood.

Organizer Sheryl Juber admires the beadwork of Shoshone-Bannock tribe member Anna Allen.

“This year, we have a lot more vendors, and the turnout is stronger then before,” said one of the event’s organizers, Sheryl Juber, a PP&R Recreation Administrator, and a member of the Native American Community Advisory Council.

The festivities are important to the Native American community, Juber said, because they provide an introduction for many people who might otherwise not visit A PP&R facility, or know about the services offered by the Bureau.

Lolita Huddleston, of the Oglala Lakota (also called Oglala Sioux), creates and sells drawings at the festival.

“We are grateful for our long and growing relationship with Portland Parks & Recreation,” remarked Oglala Tribal member Sande Bea Allman, president of the Bow & Arrow Culture Club, one the event’s partners.

“Providing culturally relevant activities for the many Native American families who live here this day brings many of our people together to share in PP&R’s community center activities,” added Allman.

Families dine on “Indian Tacos” and fry bread during the Native American Family Day.

In addition to providing family activities such as arts and crafts, visitors enjoyed inexpensive meals featuring “Indian Tacos” and fry bread. Guests perused the 20 vendors’ crafts for sale, ranging from original paintings to beadwork.

“Anytime we have a Native American community event, it’s great, because people come together to see old friends, reconnect with one another, and with our culture,” observed Juber.

© 2015 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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