Our night at the 13th Annual NAYA Gala

Earlier this month, Adam Rose, Rachael Rider, and I all had the pleasure of attending the 13th Annual NAYA Gala in Portland, OR.

NAYA, the Native American Youth and Family Center, was hosting its annual fundraising event at the Portland Art Museum, and Travois was proud to sponsor a table and support NAYA’s critical mission.

As a nonprofit serving Portland, NAYA provides a number of important services to the American Indian community including; community health work, homeless youth services, early childhood education, elder services, and housing.


More than 40,000 American Indians live in Portland, which makes it the ninth largest urban Indian community. This poses a unique challenge to NAYA because its mission is to provide services to the entire urban Indian community consisting of multiple tribes in Portland.

Relevant to our work at Travois, NAYA is working on a large housing and economic development project. NAYA Generations will create an intergenerational community of stable housing for foster children, parents wishing to adopt, and community elders. The development is comprised of 40 elder and family units, a 12,000-square-foot community building, and a future 14,000-square-foot longhouse, to be used primarily as an early childhood education center. NAYA Generations is an exciting opportunity for everyone involved and one NAYA should be extremely proud of.


The first phase, the housing component of the project, used Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTCs) and will be completed by the end of 2016. The second phase will build the longhouse, the economic development portion, but construction has not yet started.

The Gala included a silent auction, dinner, live auction, traditional drumming and dancing, and a giving portion. The auctioned artwork was amazing and ranged from traditional woven baskets to modern art from Wendy Red Star (Apsáalooke/Crow).

Coming together with people from Portland and the Pacific Northwest to support such an incredible organization was a wonderful experience. More than 550 people attended the gala, and NAYA raised more than $370,000 to continue its work. I left the event extremely impressed by NAYA and its community of supporters, which Travois is proud to be a part of.