Elevating Indigenous Voices

 

Show up.  Listen. Learn.

Siletz Tribal Arts & Heritage Society Board Members with Erin Borla, Executive Director of the Roundhouse Foundation, on Government Hill in Siletz.

Dr. Virginia Beavert, Yakima elder and Native linguist with the Northwest Indian Language Institute. Photo courtesy of Torsten Kjellstrand

Storyteller Linda Meanus (Warm Springs) shares stories about growing up near Celilo Falls with students from White Salmon, WA. Photo courtesy of Confluence Project

A project of the Warm Springs Community Action Team, the 126-year-old commissary on the Warm Springs reservation in its new location off Highway 26 – to be transformed into a place for launching and growing businesses.

Culture, language and storytelling are powerful medicine. They create healing spaces to connect deeply with who we are, to process trauma and harness the power of clarity and resilience. Honest relationships, that support creative thinking and problem-solving help us build communities where people feel seen, heard and valued.

At The Roundhouse Foundation, we strive to elevate the Indigenous voices of the region we have the privilege of working to support. We engage deeply, with humility, as a partner – not just a funder. Recently our organization has undergone a transformative period of growth. With this increased opportunity we have prioritized building relationships with Tribal Nations and communities including support for Indigenous-led and Tribally-serving organizations. In 2021, 24 percent of our grant dollars had an explicit benefit to Indigenous communities and Tribal Nations.**2023 Grants with Explicit Benefit to Indigenous Led or Indigenous Serving Projects

In addition to the federally recognized Tribes in the state of Oregon, we work to honor and recognize the 54 historic bands of Indigenous people who once called this region home. We also bridge across colonized state lines and broaden our work to build relationships across state borders.

As a family-run foundation grounded in the roots of our matriarch, we believe in sharing generational wisdom. We believe in learning from those who came before us and inspiring future generations by supporting opportunities to share and encourage others to understand those teachings and teachers. We believe in the importance of understanding the history and many challenges faced by all the Indigenous communities of our region while also honoring the culture and celebrating the successes of Native peoples today.

The Roundhouse Foundation staff and trustees continue to learn and approach each new relationship with humility. Ultimately, together, we rise alongside our Indigenous partners to ensure an authentic, accurate and current Native American narrative is highlighted and supported both culturally and economically.

**The Roundhouse Foundation used similar methodology to identify Explicit Benefit as defined by the Native Americans in Philanthropy 2019 report ‘Investing in Native Communities.’

How We Ground Our Work:

1. We show up—in community, on the Reservation, at events. We recognize that presence and sharing together are critical to relationship building and a deep understanding of each other.

2. We listen. But more than just listening, we seek to make connections between partners. We share with an open heart and work to tell our story authentically. We value language and understanding. We speak clearly and with intention, knowing that words live long after they are spoken.

3. We look at the measurement of time beyond the grant cycle. It takes time to build relationships and trust; our work and support goes beyond just one annual grant cycle – as we look to support intergenerational change.

4. We come up with a plan—together. We work through challenges together and explore potential opportunities for support beyond financial support and often beyond our organization. We use the “other tools in the philanthropic toolkit.”

5. We follow through. Our visits and meetings are more than just that. We strive for action-oriented solutions. Organizations and communities hear from us again and again as we face challenges collectively and share successes far and wide.

6. We leave space for mistakes. We know we won’t get everything right the first time (or the 10th time). There is opportunity to learn and grow through mistakes, challenges and trust.

Other steps along our journey have included working with and developing an Indigenous Advisor program, joining Native Americans in Philanthropy as an ally, as well as expanding our network of Tribal partners and hearing directly from them.

Learn about some of our partners

Storytelling is Powerful Medicine

The Roundhouse Foundation has supported several Indigenous-led and Indigenous-serving causes over the course of the last several years. These projects are impactful and support intergenerational learning, cultural place-keeping and empowerment. The stories in these videos offer windows into different perspectives: We Are Healers (through RHF’s support of Tribal Health Scholars at Oregon Health Sciences University); Changing Currents Water Summit (through the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians); and Tribal Hands on the Land (through Lomakatsi Restoration Project).

“Jared Delaney (Klamath Tribes) – Native Medical Student” by We Are Healers. Produced in collaboration with Tribal Health Scholars, a program of the Northwest Native American Center of Excellence at OHSU.

“Tribal Hands on the Land” by Lomakatsi Restoration Project

“Changing Currents: Water is Love” by Changing Currents, a program of the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians

Indigenous Advisors

The Roundhouse Foundation and Pine Meadow Ranch Center for Arts & Agriculture are honored to collaborate with advisors. These members work with staff and trustees to help elevate Indigenous causes, communities and movements and guide our work in alignment with our mission, vision and values.

Lulani Arquette
Lulani ArquetteNative Hawaiian (Kanaka O’iwi)
Lulani Arquette is Native Hawaiian and currently the President/CEO of the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation, a national organization dedicated to advancing and supporting American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian arts and cultures. Lulani brings over 30 years of professional experience steering organizations to their highest creativity and potential, and is an artist herself with degrees in Drama & Theatre, and Political Science. After accepting the gift of a historic building in Portland, OR, she and her team are working on transforming their new headquarters into the Center for Native Arts and Cultures; a vibrant artist maker, presenting, and exhibiting space that works with tribes, Portland urban communities, and national artists and allies.
Belinda Brown
Belinda BrownPit River Tribe
Belinda Brown is a Kosealekte Band Member of the Ajumawi-Atsuge Nation (Pit River Tribe). She has spent over 30 years providing leadership, developing programs and facilitating community development in Indian Country. She currently is the Tribal Partnerships Director at Lomakatsi Restoration Project based in Ashland, Oregon. She is an elected cultural representative of the Kosealekte Band.

Direlle Calica
Direlle CalicaCitizen of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs (Tygh and Wascopum Bands) and Descendant of the Snoqualamie, Yakama, and Mollala people
Mrs. Direlle R. Calica. J.D. has over 30-years of experience as a policy, planning, and regulatory advisor. Mrs. Calica worked for the U.S. Attorney’s Office–District of Oregon, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers–Northwestern Division, Intertribal Organizations, Colleges and Universities, and various Indian Tribes. Mrs. Calica has extensive professional experience in education, intergovernmental affairs, water resources, natural resource policy, municipal infrastructure, Tribal
economic development, and energy and utility policy.

She is currently the Director of the Institute for Tribal Government in the Center for Public Service at the Hatfield School of Government at Portland State University. Mrs. Calica is the Managing Partner of Kanim Associates, LLC a Native American owned company based in Portland, Oregon and a member of the Washington State Bar
Association (WSBA).

Amanda Craig
Amanda CraigConfederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua & Siuslaw
Amanda Craig is the Project Manager for the Oregon Rural Community Schoolyards Program at the Trust for Public Land, managing three pilot schoolyard projects across the State of Oregon. Amanda is an enrolled Tribal member of the Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua & Siuslaw Indians, and has worked for her Tribal community for the last 20 years. She has a background in environmental monitoring & stewardship, environmental education and project planning, and management with Tribal communities in Oregon. She holds a B.A. in Environmental Studies and a Master of Landscape Architecture from the University of Oregon. In her free time, Amanda loves to spend time with her pets (Pita and Buffy), listen to music, cook, and go to the movies.
Charles 'Chuck' Hudson
Charles 'Chuck' HudsonMandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation
Charles “Chuck” Hudson, citizen of the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara (MHA) Nation, is retired after 4 decades of inter-tribal government service focused on treaty rights and natural resources management. Chuck is active at the intersection of philanthropy and Indian Country. His primary interests are civic engagement, voting rights and independent journalism. Chuck is an avid hiker, hunter and fisherman. He currently splits his time between Oregon, Arizona and North Dakota.
Tracy Kennedy
Tracy KennedyBurns Paiute Tribe
Born and raised in Harney County Tracy is the first in her family to go to and graduate from college. She attended Haskell Indian Nation University in Kansas with the goal to finish her education at University of Oregon, which she did. While studying business she fell in love with economics and immediately began to think about how she could apply what she was learning to benefit her Burns Paiute Tribe community. In 2012, she brought her education and skills home to Harney County and began working with the Tribe. She served as the Community and Economic Development Coordinator for 6 years before recently taking a position at The Ford Family Foundation as a Field Coordinator.

Outside of work, for Tracy, fun is her community, her family and she’s an avid University of Oregon Duck fan. Free time is about community events, pow wows, and spending time with her grandchildren.

Mandy Yeahpau
Mandy YeahpauComanche, Cherokee & Tarahumara
Mandy Yeahpau is a descendant of Comanche / Cherokee / Tarahumara and specializes in digital strategic communications. She currently leads the Communications Departments of two Native-led National Nonprofits headquartered in Portland, Oregon. Mandy was born and raised in Southern Oregon and earned a degree in Convergent Media with an emphasis in Video Production from Southern Oregon University. Uplifting Native peoples and highlighting their strengths and knowledge is the motivation behind much of Mandy’s career path, including her time as an award-winning journalist and Independent filmmaker.