Native American events

Powwows, conferences and festivals fill out the calendar in and around Portland.

TATR13EdEagleStoryteller Ed Edmo at the Trading at the River conference.
Image courtesy of ONABEN
This section was produced in collaboration with the Oregon Native American Chamber.

New Native-owned businesses

TGIFrybread: Authentic Native American Cuisine

4810 S.W. Western Ave., Beaverton

This food cart specializes in Native American frybread, NdN tacos made by owners who hail from the Yakama Nation in Washington State and the Blackfeet Nation in Montana.


Dancing in the Square American Indian Day Celebration

Sept. 7, 2018 from 12–7 p.m. at Pioneer Courthouse Square

This annual event returns for its 13th iteration. The Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board (NPAIHB) and other local Indian organizations host this American Indian Day celebration. Rain or shine, grand entry begins at 3:30 p.m.

NARA New Year’s Eve Sobriety Powwow

Dec. 31, 2018 from 12–7 p.m. at Pioneer Courthouse Square

The Native American Rehabilitation Association of the Northwest, Inc. presents the 32nd annual New Year’s Eve Sobriety Powwow. Grand entries are at 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. and the event is free and open to the public.

Community organizations and events

Jim PepperFest

Sept. 29–30, 2018 at Parkrose High School (12003 N.E. Shaver St.)

Returning for its sixth year in 2018, the Jim Pepperfest honors the saxaphone stylings of musician Jim Pepper, who was of Kaw/Creek heritage and who grew up in Portland. His Kaw Indian name was Hunga-che-ada, which translates to “Flying Eagle.”

“Building Foundations, Building Community”

Oct. 4, 2018 at Exchange Ballroom (123 N.E. Third Ave.)

The Annual Gathering is the signature event of the Oregon Native American Chamber. A unique opportunity for members, partners and the Native business community is an opportunity to network, celebrate and support the work of ONAC and its scholarship program.

Indigenous Peoples’ Day Celebration

August 8, 2018 from 1–7 p.m. at Wilshire United Methodist Native American Fellowship (3917 N.E. Shaver St.)

Join in this celebration of Indigenous Peoples’ Day. Featured speakers include Christine Dupres (Cowlitz/Cree), author of “Being Cowlitz: How One Tribe Renewed and Sustained Its Identity,” and Mark Charles (Navajo), founding partner of a national conference for Native students titled “Would Jesus Eat Frybread?”

15th Annual NAYA Gala

Nov. 16, 2018 at 5:30 p.m. at the Portland Art Museum (1219 S.W. Park Ave.)

The Native American Youth and Family Center (NAYA) Gala is Oregon’s largest celebrations of Native American Heritage Month. An intimate gathering of nearly 600 of our community’s closest friends, the gala is an opportunity to enjoy Native American cuisine, traditional dance performances, Native songs and drumming, and beautiful Indigenous art up for bid in both a live and silent auction.

Other resources

PSU Native American Student & Community Center
Wisdom of the Elders
Find more Portland events in the events calendar.

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