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For Immediate Release

Statement From CEO, Carol Salter: Indigenous Peoples Day 2021

Letter from the desk of CEO, Carol Salter

October 11, 2021

Media Contact:
Ellen Catania

From the desk of Carol Salter

Indigenous Peoples Day
October 11, 2021
Easterseals Oregon wants to take this moment to recognize and honor American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians as Indigenous peoples who built and defended their land, spirit, language, traditions and knowledge through multiple generations. Their invaluable contributions to our society through art, entrepreneurship, and culture, their resilience, and their spirit of tolerance and forgiveness compels us to celebrate their culture and inherent sovereignty. As we serve homeless veterans in Oregon, we also recognize that Native peoples have a proud history of serving in the United States Armed Forces with dignity and honor, protecting the freedom of all our citizens. However, when we explore our country’s promise of opportunity and equality for all Americans, we fall short of serving the Indigenous population.

Easterseals Oregon provides employment and housing services to Oregonians who are houseless and those who have barriers to employment. Yet we are conscious of the fact that more collaboration with tribes and Native communities is needed. According to the 2019 Point in Time Count, Native Americans in Oregon represented 2% of the population, yet 5% of the homeless population. They are more likely to be unsheltered than members of any other race. In a recent letter to the Oregon House Committee on Housing, Marisa A. Zapata, PhD of Portland State University’s Homelessness Research & Action Collaborative states, “Native Americans are five times more likely than Whites to experience homelessness in Oregon.” Quote source here

Today, Easterseals Oregon is at the forefront of recognizing the strength and resilience of Oregon’s Indigenous peoples. We are also committing to working with Tribal Nations to walk beside them; not in front of them, for a brighter future and access to services.

Carol A. Salter
Easterseals Oregon

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