Select Page

Tribes Unite and Achieve Milestones at 2024 ATNI Winter Convention in Portland

Feb 2, 2024

Oregon Governor Tina Kotek, center, signs an executive order reviving the task force dedicated to inventorying Native American items in state and public collections across Oregon at the ATNI Winter Convention in Portland Jan. 30.

Photos and Story by Jill-Marie Gavin, CRITFC Communications
Portland, OR – February 1, 2024

Tribal leaders, activists, and community members from across the Northwest gathered in Portland for the 2024 Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians (ATNI) Winter Convention, held from January 29 to February 1. The convention served as a platform for significant announcements, collaborations, and recognitions.

Oregon Governor Tina Kotek Signs Reenactment of Cultural Task Force

Governor Tina Kotek, left, takes a moment to embrace and share a moment with Siletz Tribal Chair Delores Pigsley, right, immediately following her executive order signage Jan. 30.

A historic moment unfolded during the Wednesday morning session of the convention as Oregon Governor Tina Kotek, alongside Oregon’s nine tribal Chairs, signed the reenactment of the cultural task force for Native American items. This legislation marks a crucial step towards preserving and promoting Native American cultural heritage.

Honorary Doctorate Awarded to Patsy Whitefoot

Yakama Nation citizen and prominent advocate for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and People, Patsy Whitefoot, was announced as the newest recipient of an honorary doctorate from Washington State University. Dr. Whitefoot’s achievement makes her the first Indigenous recipient in the college’s history, joining an esteemed group of only 27 individuals to receive this honorary degree. A ceremony honoring Dr. Whitefoot’s accomplishments is scheduled in the coming weeks, with the date and time to be announced by the university.

Patsy Whitefoot (Yakama), left, embraces Dr. Zoe Higheagle Strong, right, following Whitefoot’s receipt of an honorary doctorate announcement. Higheagle Strong, PhD (Nez Perce) is the Executive Director for Tribal Relations/Special Assistant to the Provost, Director of the Center for Native American Research and Collaboration, and Assistant Professor in Educational Psychology at Washington State University.

Alyssa Macy Empowers with Native Vote Banner and Leadership Panel

Confederated Tribes of Warms Springs member, Alyssa Macy, a recent recipient of the Ecotrust Indigenous Leadership Award, took center stage by raising the Native vote banner and hosting a panel. Macy shared insights on how tribes and community members can actively participate as the election year progresses into its second month, emphasizing the importance of Indigenous voices in shaping the future. Macy is the Executive Director of Native Vote Washington.

Vibrant Marketplace Showcases Indigenous Talent and Collaboration

The convention’s vibrant marketplace featured vendors from as far as Arizona, offering an array of traditional beadwork, fresh salmon, and various wares. Tribal organizations and businesses closely aligned with tribal communities showcased their products and services. Notably, the Oregon Zoo set up an informational station with a Pacific lamprey photo booth, exemplifying ongoing collaborations with Pacific Northwest tribes, CRITFC, and Metro Regional Government to Indigenize local attractions.

The 2024 ATNI Winter Convention not only provided a platform for important discussions and collaborations but also celebrated the achievements of Indigenous leaders and activists, reinforcing the unity and resilience of Northwest tribes.