After a year and a half of virtual events, we were finally able to hold our first in-person gathering at the Center for Native Arts and Cultures (CNAC) since taking ownership of the historic Yale Union Laundry building in Portland, Oregon, in February. The honoring event was a time for us to reflect and celebrate this new chapter in NACF history. As part of the Native community in the Portland metro area, we look forward to the endless opportunities that CNAC holds.
The Portland area is home to one of the largest urban Native populations in the nation. As we look to the future, we know that Native knowledge can help us chart a path forward—healing the past and inspiring positive change for the future. We look forward to transforming CNAC into a vibrant gathering space for Indigenous artists to present, exhibit, and practice cultural ceremonies and celebrations. Home to nearly 70,000 Native peoples from over 380 diverse tribes, Portland is an urban hub of American Indian, Native Hawaiian and Alaska Native cultures in the Pacific Northwest. Our diverse Native cultures, lifeways and traditions will make a home at CNAC.
It was the Native cultural way and only fitting that we use this opportunity to personally thank the Yale Union (YU) board and staff who made the rematriation of the building to NACF possible. NACF board members and staff gathered with the YU board and staff for an evening of celebration, sharing and gratitude.
We honor the memory of YU’s late Executive Director, Yoko Ott, who’s original vision has made the Center for Native Arts and Cultures a reality, and we are grateful to the following YU members for their courageous support, generosity and relentless mission-driven work:
Flint Jamison, President
Diana Kim, Vice President
Andrea Lounibos, Secretary
Andrea Glaser, Community Engagement Manager
Mark Lewis, Music Curator
Marian Rose Lucas, Bookkeeper
Alex Mahan, Web Developer
Jennifer Martin, Director of Operations
Scott Ponik, Archivist
Gary Robbins, Print Production Manager
Hope Svenson, Director of Exhibitions
Jeff Witscher, Facilities Manager
Thank you to Kaloku Holt and the Ke Kukui Foundation hula dancers for their performance at the honoring event. And thank you to drummers Evaristo Antunez, Cecil Bettles and Josh Slickapoo!