Native Americans

Brian Bull / KLCC

The U.S. Census Bureau is stepping up efforts to get Native Americans and Alaskan Natives more fully counted next year, which includes those living in Oregon and Idaho.  

Brian Bull / KLCC

Tuesday, a large totem pole was installed at Sheldon High School in Eugene.  As KLCC’s Brian Bull reports, the pole is the culmination of a year-and-a-half’s work by nearly a hundred carvers…most of them Native American children.

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.

Brian Bull / KLCC

A traveling exhibit that’s at Lane Community College this week features single-sided earrings.  As KLCC’s Brian Bull reports, the unusual collection represents more than 1100 murdered or missing indigenous women.

Photo provided by Migizi Pensoneau

The Native American comedy troupe, The 1491s, is an intertribal group of comedians who have regularly satirized, lampooned, parodied, and teased many aspects of Indian life.  This includes digs at Westward Expansion as well as more contemporary topics, like New Age Shamanism and Hollywood depictions of the First Nations.  Well-established on YouTube, the five members have committed much of their energy recently on their first theatrical production, Between Two Knees, which premiered this past weekend at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival (OSF) in Ashland, Oregon.

KLCC's Brian Bull caught up with The 1491s after their final preview performance, and interviewed them about their thoughts on crossing from online comedy to the stage.

Jenny Graham / Oregon Shakespeare Festival

For years, the Native American comedy troupe, The 1491s, have shared their irreverent, raunchy, and provocative humor on YouTube. Now – as KLCC’s Brian Bull reports - they’ve officially shifted from video skits to their first theatrical production here in Oregon.

Brian Bull / KLCC

When Native Americans ceded their lands during the treaty era, much of it was forest. Today, many tribes – including those in Oregon – are not only working to regain some of those forests, they’re getting national recognition for their sustainable management practices.  KLCC’s Brian Bull reports.

Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs / Flickr.com

The federal government is failing to meet its obligations to Native American tribes, according to a new report from the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.  As KLCC’s Brian Bull reports, the shortcomings affect many major areas for tribes, including those in Oregon.

Karen Richards

Oregon's Native American tribes are well known for their casinos. What's less recognized is how tribes use their sense of place to start new businesses, and the diversity of those ventures.


Brian Bull / KLCC

Oregon’s Native American students largely struggle to keep pace with their non-Indian peers.  Graduation rates and attendance are low, while dropouts are high. In this months’ segment for the series, “Native Voices of Oregon” KLCC’s Brian Bull talks to Indian educators about the challenges their students face, and what’s being done to brighten their prospects.

Isa Anastasia Zito

This weekend marks the golden anniversary of a major cultural event at the University of Oregon.  As KLCC’s Brian Bull reports, the 50th Annual Mother’s Day Pow-Wow is also expected to receive special recognition.

Garrick Imatani

Friday morning, a Native American blessing ceremony will be held at the University of Oregon’s Straub Hall.  As KLCC’s Brian Bull reports, it’s for art commissioned to commemorate an out-of-this world object.

Jason Mrachina / Flickr.com

While Oregon’s high school graduation rate has improved, minority students – especially Native Americans – still lag behind their white classmates. KLCC’s Brian Bull reports.

Brian Bull / KLCC

For the first time in its 45-year history, the 4-J School District’s NATIVES program has started work on a totem pole.  KLCC’s Brian Bull reports.

Wikipedia/Neeta Lind

As NPR's The Two-Way has just reported, American Indian Movement activist and co-founder Dennis Banks has died at the age of 80. Banks is best remembered for his activism in the 1960s and 70s, especially the occupation of Alcatraz and the 71-day standoff at Wounded Knee, South Dakota.

Brian Bull / KLCC

Local Native Americans held resetting ceremonies for two renovated totem poles for the City of Eugene Saturday.  KLCC’s Brian Bull reports. 

George Braddock / Ritz Sauna and Showers

Earlier this year, the Oregon Country Fair axed plans to display the Story Pole…a 36-foot tall wooden carving done in a distinctive, Native American style.  As KLCC’s Brian Bull reports, its fate is still being decided.  

Roy W. Lowe / USFWS / Flickr.com

Three Oregon Indian tribes are closely watching legislation as it moves through Capitol Hill.  KLCC’s Brian Bull reports on the Western Oregon Tribal Fairness Act, which just passed the House of Representatives. 

Brian Bull / KLCC

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ denial of an easement for the Dakota Access pipeline project has opponents cheering…but some Native American activists say the fight’s not over.  KLCC’s Brian Bull reports from a rally in Eugene.  

Marcola School District.

Tonight, officials with the Marcola School District and Confederated Tribes of Grande Ronde will hold a community meeting.  As KLCC’s Brian Bull reports, the topic will be the district’s Native American-themed name and mascot.

Julie Fink

As winter approaches, people continue to arrive at a protest encampment at Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. They’re there to oppose construction of the Dakota Access Pipline or DAPL. More than 100 tribes have been represented. We share some of the sounds and voices from the Standing Rock.

From Daphne Singingtree's Facebook album.

Confrontations between local police and activists have left many injured, as the winter continues to turn frigid at a protest encampment on the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation.

Brian Bull / KLCC

A national day of solidarity was held today for Native Americans protesting an oil pipeline project in North Dakota.  As KLCC’s Brian Bull reports, hundreds gathered in downtown Eugene to show their support.

Flickr.com's Smithsonian Institution.

Today, while many other American communities are observing Columbus Day, Eugene is joining several other Pacific Northwest cities in recognizing the second Monday of October as “Indigenous Peoples Day”.  KLCC’s Brian Bull reports. 

Brian Bull

Activists against the Dakota Access oil pipeline development in the Midwest held an international “Day of Action” today.  Among the dozen protest sites in the Pacific Northwest, was Cottage Grove.  KLCC’s Brian Bull reports.

Jolleen Brown, Lakota Tribal Member

Saturday in Corvallis, there will be a rally to show support for Native Americans protesting an oil pipeline project in the upper Midwest.  KLCC’s Brian Bull reports.

Don Hann, USDA Forest Service

Earlier this year, the U.S. Board on Geographic Names determined that 13 sites in Oregon’s Grant County would drop the word “squaw”.   This aligns with a 2001 state law banning the word for public areas.  Now as KLCC’s Brian Bull in Eugene reports, a county official hopes the federal government will allow two place names to be used over those proposed by local Indian tribes. 

Marcola High School

Some Oregon public schools will be allowed to keep their Native American Mascots…at least for now. The State Board of Education last week said that’s only if they secure permission from a tribe. One of those schools is in the Mohawk Valley—KLCC’s Tiffany Eckert speaks with the superintendent of Marcola School District.

Meeting Date: Friday, January 9, 2015

Air Date: Monday, January 12, 2015

The American Anthropological Association recently condemned the use of Indian mascots in any form—a concrete denunciation of a practice under discussion for several years. A related discussion is about the historic agreements with Native American tribes and the value of recognizing the sovereignty of the 566 tribal nations in the United States. Jason Younker is at the forefront of these discussions.