Office of Indian Education

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Oregon Department of Education - Oregon achieves - together

Office of Indian Education

December 2023

The Office of Indian Education would like to wish you and your families a safe and happy Holidays!


Top Books of the Month

Night before christmas

Native American Night Before Christmas 

An innovative retelling of the classic Christmas tale, this full-color book takes a whimsical look at what Christmas Eve might be like for an American Indian family when Old Red Shirt (the Indian Santa Claus) comes a-calling with his team of flying white buffalo to deliver fry bread, commodities, and other goodies. Renowned Cherokee artist Jesse Hummingbird’s inspired illustrations transform the author’s playful adaptation into a fresh and modern work of art. A delight for people of all ages and cultures, especially those interested in Native customs and art. Winner of the Moonbeam Award for Holiday Books Gary Robinson.

For more information please visit: Native American Night Before Christmas 

Grandmas Gift

Grandma's Gift - by Eric Velasquez

The author describes Christmas at his grandmother's apartment in Spanish Harlem the year she introduced him to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Diego Velazquez's portrait of Juan de Pareja, which has had a profound and lasting effect on him

12 days of christmas

Native American Twelve Days of Christmas

The beloved traditional English Christmas carol, The Twelve Days of Christmas, has been adapted here to reflect aspects of the richly varied cultures and traditions of twelve Native American cultural groups from different parts of the U.S. A cultural background is included for each day's gift in an easy-to-understand manner, placing the adapted song lyrics in the context of these tribal cultures. For More information please visit: Native American 12 Days of Christmas 

NAYA Native Made Winter Marketplace

NAYA Native Marketplace

The season of gifting is upon us. Get your holiday shopping done and support local Native artists at the Native American Youth and Family Center’s (NAYA) Native Made Winter Marketplace. You’ll find beautiful jewelry, clothing, crafts, prints and much more. There will be upwards of 50 makers joining for this special event. NAYA Marketplace is a team within the Native American Youth and Family Center that provides Native entrepreneurs with the knowledge, tools, and skills to build a business from an idea or scale their existing business to their personal bar of success. 

Where: Llyod Center (2201 Lloyd Center Portland, OR) on December 9th -10th from 11am - 6 pm 

For More information please visit: NAYA Winter Marketplace

Events & Activities

  • Eugene, OR: December 3rd from 10 am - 4 pm at the Farmers Market Pavilion and Plaza the Native American Arts & Crafts Market will be hosted in Eugene. Held on the first Sunday of every month, the Native American Arts & Crafts Market (NAACM) is a gathering of Native American and Indigenous artists and crafters. The Eugene NAACM’s mission is to provide a safe and supportive venue for the creativity of these skilled artisans. Come shop for authentic beadwork, jewelry, graphic arts and clothing. For more information please visit: Native American Arts & Crafts Market
  • Portland, OR: December 6th, 7th, and 8th from 11 am - 7pm the Indigenous Pop up shop will be selling various goods. For more information please visit: Indigenous pop up shop PDX
  • Yachats, OR: December 2nd Come gather in the heart of Yachats for our annual village Christmas tree lighting. At 5:30, we will mingle and sip hot cocoa while enjoying the glow of the lights on the tree. A time for gathering and celebrating the beginning of the holiday season in our community. For more information please visit: Yachats Christmas Tree Lighting
  • Central Point, OR: December 9th from 12:30 - 2:30 bring your kids to the Crater Rock Museum to explore  the world of earth sciences, fossils, dinosaurs, and other really cool things they might like. There are free 20 minute classes that start on the half hour beginning at 10:30 am and continue with the last class at 2:30 pm. Afterwards, the whole family can explore the museum and all its wonderful displays. Take a stroll through the rock yard outside the workshop. If you find a rock on the ground, it’s only 25 cents a pound for everyone on Kids Day. For more information please visit: Kids Day at Crater Rock Museum
  • Salem, OR: December 10th the Silver Falls winter Festival will be held from 10 am - 4 pm. Join park staff and volunteers in a celebration of the winter season at Silver Falls. The festival will highlight the seasonal changes that can be seen in the winter. Activities include wreath making, bird box or bird feeder creation, short educational walks through the South Falls Shelter, ginger bread decoration and much more. For more information please visit: Silver Falls Winter festival 
  • Bend, OR: The old mill district is hosting a variety of holiday and winter events including, ice skating & Sledding, Tree lighting, Letter to Santa, and photos with Santa. The festivities begin December 1st so plan accordingly! Please visit: Bend Holiday Fun 2023
  • Sumpter, OR: December 9th from 10:00 am - 3:00 pm Browse local crafts and baked goods amongst the exhibits in Sumpter Municipal Museum. While in Sumpter, ride the historic steam railroad's Christmas Trains. A special Saturday night train arrives in Sumpter just in time for the 5 pm Christmas Parade. Follow the parade to the community Christmas Tree Lighting. Trains and bazaar continue on Sunday. For more information please visit: Christmas Bazaar
  • Southern, OR: December 9th Come create, explore, and enjoy discovering art at the Rogue Gallery & Art Center the second Saturday of each month. Create interesting art projects in the Rogue Studio and explore our Main, Community, and Members’ Gallery spaces with an art scavenger hunt the whole family will enjoy!  All children must be accompanied by an adult. For more information on this free event please visit: Family & Friends art day
  • Medford & Southern Oregon : Please visit, Travel Medford to find all events and festivals in your area! Happy Holidays!

Shop Indigenous & Native-Owned Businesses

Native Design

Clothing & Fashion


Decolonial Clothing Co. 

Native Wellness Institute

Urban Native Era 



Dynamite Hill Farms 


Spirit Mountain Roasting Co.

Native American Tea Company 

Healthy & Beauty 

3P's in a Pod

Cheekbone Beauty 

Indigenous Cosmetics 

Sequoia Proudly Indigenous 

Haipazaza Phezuta 

Jewelry & Art

Copper Canoe Woman


SheNative Goods

Victor P Beck

Warren Steven Scott

Mixed Goods


Beyond Buckskin Boutique

Northwest Native Expressions

Sacred Circle Gift & Art

Native Design

Three Rivers Casino Resort Holiday Toy Drive

Toy drive

As the holiday season approaches, Three Rivers Casino is reaching out to its community to make a difference in the lives of children in need. The Casino’s 19th annual Toy & Food Drive will run from Nov. 1 to Dec. 6, inviting residents to join in the spirit of giving as the needs continue to grow. Members of the community are encouraged to contribute by bringing in a new, unwrapped toy valued at $5 or more or donating three cans of non-perishable food items. Donors will receive $5 in free play at Three Rivers Casino. For more information please visit: Three Rivers Toy Drive

Siletz Winter Tribal Youth Activities

Siletz winter schedule
FAll Stream Kits

TAPP Dinner at Washington Elementary


Washington Elementary held its first TAPP (Tribal Attendance Promising Practices) Dinner on Thursday, October 26, 2023.  TAPP is a program focused on supporting the attendance of Native students in nine Oregon school districts. Pendleton School District is one of those districts.

At the October dinner, student and their families gathered in the school cafeteria to share pizza from Big John’s. Halloween costumes were welcome, and students played games like pumpkin bean bag toss and decorated bags they could use for trick or treating.

Stacey Jacobs is the TAPP Family Advocate for the Pendleton School District. She organizes three dinners each school year with the intention of fostering connection between Native students/families and the school and helping adults feel comfortable in the school. At the October dinner, she presented certificates to students who had perfect attendance.

Every month, Jacobs has a drawing for students who have 95% attendance or higher for the month; there is a winner from each grade. For October, students won a huge art kit. Jacobs also has a drawing for kids who have 100% attendance. They receive a Wildcat hoodie with the TAPP logo on the back and the Umatilla word for Wildcats.

New this year, Jacobs gives students full-size candy bars on their birthday. Jacobs said she noticed how many students did not come to school on their birthdays, so this is an incentive because they have to be at school on that day to receive the candy. If their birthday is on the weekend, they get it on the Friday before. Jacobs said one student told her the day before his birthday he was going to stay home but would have a friend stop by for his candy. “I explained he had to be here on his birthday to receive it. He wasn’t very happy, but guess what? He came to school the next day, so it’s working!” Jacobs said.

Jacobs said she was happy with the participation at the first TAPP Dinner for the 23-24 school year. “It’s always great to have our families together in our school,” Jacobs said.

The next TAPP Dinner is the holiday one on December 14, 2023.

Oregon State University names inaugural Director of Tribal Relations

Chance White Eyes, an assistant professor of Native American studies at Southern Oregon University and an alumnus of Oregon State University, has been named the inaugural director of Tribal relations at Oregon State, the University said. He starts Dec. 15.

“I am excited to return to Oregon State University,” White Eyes said. “This institution is in a privileged position to serve the Tribes of Oregon and beyond. As such, I wish to advance initiatives that will promote economic, social, cultural and environmental health for the Indigenous communities of the region.”

At Southern Oregon, his research focused on Indigenous research methodologies, post-secondary Indigenous student success and the history of educational policy. He previously served as assistant to the tribal liaison at University of Oregon, where he worked to strengthen ties between the university and the nine sovereign Tribal nations in Oregon.

“We could not be more excited to welcome Dr. White Eyes to Oregon State University,” said Scott Vignos, OSU vice president and chief diversity officer. “Dr. White Eyes has spent his entire career building relationships with Tribal and Indigenous communities and working tirelessly to advance Indigenous student success. He is exceptionally prepared to lead and guide OSU’s efforts to deepen and expand the university’s relationships with Tribal nations in Oregon and throughout the country.”

White Eyes will be a member of the government relations team in Oregon State’s Office of the President. He will build and maintain collaborative, mutual and trusting relationships with Tribal nations within Oregon and beyond and consult with Oregon State leadership, colleges and programs to advance the university’s teaching, research and engagement missions.

White Eyes holds a doctorate in critical and socio-cultural studies in education from the University of Oregon and a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Oregon State. He is an enrolled member of the Oneida Tribe of Wisconsin.

To Read more on this article please visit: NBC16 news

The Pacific Northwest Trees Shaped by Generations of People

CM trees

On a promontory above Puget Sound, a Douglas fir with arms bent at right angles stands above a quiet cove, where shellfish would have been gathered, long before this place was settled by newcomers. This tree was deliberately shaped by generations of hands into its current form, to mark what was here for countless years: rich clam beds, and a gathering site valued by a community. The tree speaks without words of what and who was here before. Modified trees like this one are found all over the Northwest, in towns, along highways, in forests, even housing developments. Each is so much more than a tree. Modified trees are a connection interweaving generations of the region’s first people tightly as a cedar basket. “It is the sacred fingerprint of the ancestors that shaped this place,” said Sam Barr, a Samish tribal citizen and tribal historic preservation office supervisor for the Stillaguamish Tribe... 

To Read more on this article please visit: Seattletimes

Sapsik'ʷałá (Teacher) Education Program

Seeking Future Indigenous Educators! The Sapsik'ʷałá (Teacher) Education Program is currently recruiting applicants for our next cohort, which will begin classes in June 2024 at our beautiful campus at the University of Oregon. The Sapsik'ʷałá Program is a rigorous, 12-month program that prepares future Indigenous educators. Sapsik'ʷałá students receive a Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Teaching in partnership with the UOTeach master’s / licensure program while gaining Indigenous methodologies for teaching. Please see our admissions checklist for details on how to apply. Applications are open and close on January 15th. Contact us at to learn more about program provisions and hear about the student experience from our alumni!

Teacher program

Oregon Administrators Scholars Program


Tribal History

Tribal History/Shared History

Grade 5 of Food, Energy, and Seasonal Rounds n introduces the Native American tradition of seasonal rounds and also discusses the important connection between land, food, nutrition, and energy for Native American people in Oregon.

We have NEW Additions to our website including our Title VI webpage and our New Tribal Consultation webpage! Go check them out!

Want to know more?

Check out our Tribal History / Shared history Webpage to visit a variety of lesson plans for all ages, along with presentations, activities, and professional development trainings. 

Questions about Tribal History/Shared History can be directed to Brent Spencer at

Job Opportunities

Oregon Department of Education Job Openings

If you're looking for a rewarding career that positively affects the lives of children, you're in the right place! The Oregon Department of Education is the primary agency charged with overseeing K-12 public education in the state of Oregon.

Employment with Oregon state government represents more than just a job. A career in public service is an opportunity to serve fellow citizens across our beautiful state. Professions in state government help to support strong communities, healthy kids, education, economic vitality and a sustainable future.

Office Specialist 2

Assessment Survey Specialist

Executive Support Specialist (Government Relations)

Executive Support Specialist

State School Fund Coordinator

Executive Support Specialist to Deputy Director

For More Information about these listings and further Job Openings, Please visit our Career Opportunities webpage. 

NAYA Job Openings 

Youth Advocate

Healing Circle Manager

Alcohol & Drug Specialist

KEEP Group Leader Recruiter

Foster Care Support Specialist

Family housing Navigator

Infant - Toddler Teacher 1 & 2

**Please follow this link to see more positions available at NAYA.

Portland Public School Job Posting 

Link to Application 

PPS Indian Education

Native Connections

  • Indigenous Events of Portland, OR give updated events and activities that are happening in Portland through October 2023. 
  • Native American Travel lets you explore and learn about Tribes across America. Plan your next trip with suggested destination sites, planned itineraries, travel tips, and experiences. 
  • Visit the Native American Connections website to stay updated with the North Bend Community resources, available scholarships, community craft culture activities, TAPP, Tribal history/ Shared history and a variety of local services. 
  • Native American Culture: Celebrate Indigenous Oregon by visiting their website that was created to explore Native American culture around the state of Oregon. This site has trip ideas, historical content for all nine federally recognized Oregon Tribes, cultural activities, and updated Oregon Tribal news. To check out more about this site please visit, Travel Oregon Native American Culture

Save the Date

2024 New Year’s Day Peace Hike

Yachats, OR- On New Year’s Day, the Yachats Trails Committee will host the 13th Annual Peace Hike in Yachats, Oregon. The Peace Hike traditionally honors the memory of a blind Native American (Coos) woman named Amanda who was forcibly taken away from her daughter and marched 80 miles with other captives all barefoot through the rocky terrain to the Alsea Sub-agency prison camp in what is now Yachats in 1864. For more information please visit: 2024 Peace Hike

Peace Hike

Oregon Tribal Websites

Burns Paiute Tribe 

Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians 

Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians 

Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw Indians

Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde

Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation

Coquille Indian Tribe

Klamath Tribes 

Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs

9 Tribes of Oregon images

Newsletter Submissions

Do you have events or highlights in your community that you would like showcased in  upcoming newsletters? If so, please send submissions to Raina Reece at

Contact the Office of Indian Education

Please feel free to e-mail our staff members with any questions or comments you may have

April Campbell, Assistant Superintendent

Renee Roman Nose, Native American Student Success Coordinator:

Brent Spencer, Indian Education Coordinator

Brandon Culbertson, Indian Education Engagement Coordinator:

Stacy Parrish, Indian Education Specialist

Natalie Altermatt, Executive Support Specialist

Raina Reece, Executive Support Specialist 

Jennifer Belle, Office Specialist

Stephanie Gluck, Research & Data Analyst