Le Monde French Immersion Charter School is located on East Burnside in Portland, Oregon in Multnomah County. We want to begin our time together by honoring the Indigenous families and communities that lived here and stewarded this landscape through Time, including the Multnomah, Kathlamet, Clackamas, Tumwater, Watlala bands of sovereign nations and language families such as Chinook, Tualatin, Kalapuya and many others who passed through.
Le Monde sits on Burnside, a street that started as a line on a map. The map was created for the Donation Land Claim Act of 1850, and the line that would become Burnside stretched from the Pacific Ocean to Western Idaho. The Donation Land Claim Act was tragically used to remove and relocate Indigenous people from this valley we find ourselves in today. The people, forests, rivers, animals and airways of the Columbia – Willamette – Clackamas confluences are having trouble recovering from that violence.
We hope that by first acknowledging the harm embedded into this landscape, a harm against the lives and livelihoods it used to sustain, and then acknowledging our individual and collective place within this harm, we can work towards a future era where all people experience safety and belonging, equally.
By Emma Rose Colburn, January 2021