Jennifer Seamans, Watershed Center Manager, 503-823-2862 or firstname.lastname@example.org
with Mary Renville, Portland Youth & Elders Council, NAYA
Since April 2016, the South Portland and SWNI boards, the SWNI Equity Team and the SW Watershed Resource Center have endorsed and supported the NAYA Family Canoe Journey project. This project was started less than three years ago by a small group of elders and dedicated volunteers at the Native American Youth and Family Center (NAYA) and has grown into a dynamic community effort made up of people from many walks of life.
Healthy People, Healthy Rivers
The project actively works to promote a healthy balanced lifestyle within the urban Native American community and considers this venture a revitalization of an ancient cultural practice based on sharing, celebrating and guiding our community. Reviving these traditional lifeways honors the original caretakers of this land and the Willamette River tributaries and watershed. The project also highlights the awareness that we are all connected through the health of our water and rivers.
When residents at the Slavin Court apartment community in the South Portland neighborhood met with SW Watershed Resource Center (WRC) staff Jen Seamans and Sanjane Ceesay in March 2016, several project ideas for common areas of the property were immediately suggested. Families wanted areas where they could grow vegetables. A few people voiced concerns about the pavement next to the playground creating a small pond when it rained. Older youth wanted areas where they could put their creativity and ideas into action.