Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians

Melorie Begay/KLCC News

Since 2017, the City of Springfield has proclaimed October 14 as Indigenous Peoples Day. This year, the city raised the flags of two of Oregon's nine federally recognized tribes. The flags, from the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde and the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians, were gifted to the city.

Brian Bull / KLCC

The modern American diet – with its on-the-shelf processed foods in grocery stores, Big Macs and Doritos Locos Tacos at drive-through eateries – has sparked super-sized health problems. That’s bad in itself, but data shows Native Americans suffer higher rates of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease than the general population, and diet is a factor.

There’s been a push among tribes to promote traditional, indigenous foods to offset these issues, as well as instill cultural identity among members.  As KLCC’s Brian Bull reports, this effort isn’t without its challenges.

Eight of Oregon’s federally recognized tribes received over $15 million in annual funds for affordable housing from the federal government.  The Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians will use their $4 million grant to reduce homelessness in urban spaces.

Senate Bill 293 is making its way through the Oregon legislature. It's designed to get more Native Americans into medical careers in tribal communities across the state.