The Sauvie Island Bridge will get a new name to honor Native American communities whose traditional home includes the island.
The Multnomah County Board of Commissioners passed a resolution Thursday evening that starts the process of renaming the bridge.
Lukas Angus, a member of the Nez Perce Tribe and a member of the Advisory Committee on Sustainability and Innovation which recommended the resolution, noted during the board’s Thursday meeting that the island and the bridge “are both named after a colonizer that did not respect the land or the people.” He said, “The changing of the name on this bridge is one small thing, but it’s a big perspective change.”
“Sauvie Island has been home to the Chinook people, providing safety and sustainability for more than 2,000 Indigenous people and 15 villages until colonization,” the resolution says. “With a new name, we can provoke a critical awareness of Indigenous history and culture by recognizing the connection between language and land while honoring the Indigenous communities who have always been here.”
The next step will be to create a community engagement process to identify culturally significant name options for the bridge.
— The Oregonian/OregonLive