Whole lot of drumming going on…

It’s a beautiful fall Friday. The sun is shining, a gentle breeze is blowing, and the sound of drums resonates through downtown. Drums? Yes, drums. And singing. The sounds echo off the walls of the concrete arroyos that lead to Pioneer Courthouse Square, like the soundtrack for one of the Westerns I watched as a child. It’s just another example of the surreal living mash-ups that Portland offers up on a daily basis.

What I’m hearing is an American Indian Day Celebration, put on at The Square by the Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board and other local American Indian organizations. The celebration will be held from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm, and will include “Northwest Tribal leaders, Indian advocates, drum groups, dancers, and arts and crafts vendors who will share their talents and experiences with the Portland community”. And the event is free and open to the public.

It sounds like a cool way to end the work week, but there is also a serious message behind the celebration: It’s intended to help raise the level of awareness concerning the challenges that American Indians continue to face in this country.

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