Land Acknowledgement

Graphic Bowen final 1

We acknowledge and honor Indigenous communities—past, present, and future—whose land we currently reside on here at Portland State University. This includes the traditional and ancestral homelands of the Multnomah, Wasco, Cowlitz, Kathlamet, Clackamas, Bands of the Chinook, the Tualatin Kalapuya (Atfalati), Molalla, and many other Indigenous nations who made their homes along the Wimahl, Nch’i-Wàna, or swah’netk’qhu (all meaning “Big River or “Great River”), also known by its colonized name, the Columbia River. Descendants of these tribes are primarily members of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians, and the Chinook Nation. We acknowledge the current and long-standing oppression faced by Indigenous peoples and recognize that we are here because of the sacrifices forced upon them. We encourage everyone to find ways to support and connect with Indigenous communities and the land itself, and to remain committed to their justice and liberation. We also encourage folks to read the PSU Conflict Resolution department’s Land Conflict Acknowledgement for further learning about the history of land conflict in this geographical area.

We attribute the name of our press to native peoples in Oregon. The Ooligan (also spelled Ourigan, Eulachon, or the Saak by the Tlingit peoples) is a Chinook word for a small candlefish that is abundant in the Pacific Northwest. The nutrient-rich oil produced from boiling the fish was traded between coastal and inland First Nations all along the Pacific coast, from California to Alaska, bringing prosperity and health to native communities. These routes were known as grease trails. Gradually, the L in Ooligan was replaced with an R, giving us the sound “ooregon”. This usage became the name of a place and assumed its current spelling of Oregon in the course of history. We would like to honor David G. Lewis for his contributions to the press, along with his writings in the co-authored article Ourigan: Wealth of the Northwest Coast, which informed the name of our press in 2001.

We acknowledge the lack of Indigenous and people of color representation throughout the publishing industry, both in professional positions and as authors. Our press strives to publish culturally relevant titles from our local, diverse voices in order to make literature accessible and redefine who has a place within its pages. We commit to actively creating space for and uplifting Indigenous and other diverse authors through our work, including our How To: Publishing workshop and continued community partnerships.