Culture & History

Oregon’s motto is famously “She flies with her own wings,” and Oregonians embody this spirit every day — a celebrated anthem for the history, heritage and people who made this place what it is today.

Our little haven in the Pacific Northwest is a place where Indigenous people have lived since time immemorial, displaced by white settlers who arrived via the Oregon Trail. It’s a place where bold women and men built pioneer communities — many of which are still thriving today.

Along came Oregon statehood in 1859 and a long line of elected leaders over the next century who took bold action to make Oregon one of the cleanest, most sustainably minded states in the nation, enacting protections on public spaces for all.

Despite many barriers, Oregon’s communities were becoming a place where Japanese, Chinese, Latino and European immigrants and Black Americans arrived as laborers and entrepreneurs, laying the literal foundation of the state today. In the early 20th century, Oregonians were part of the great swell of activism that took hold of the U.S. — one that’s become a refuge for applied idealism. Oregon is a place for dreamers, a place with a unique voice, a sense of humor, and a drive to do things differently. It’s a place of authenticity, of intimacy, of stories, where dreams are still a real possibility.