Sustainable local foods have always been valued by Indigenous peoples, and with growing awareness of herbal medicine and the strength of small farms in building communities, it’s no surprise that more Native-owned food-related businesses are cropping up all over Oregon. Here are a few Indigenous-owned farms, restaurants and food businesses in Oregon that prioritize local Native foods and seek to elevate the communities around them.
Indigenous Farms Near Bend and Portland
Sakari Farms is rooted in the heart of Central Oregon, slightly north of Bend on intertribal Paiute-Grand Ronde lands. Working alongside the Central Oregon Seed Exchange, Sakari Farms provides agricultural education and support to local farmers and community members. The farm — one of the few in Oregon to have received the Intertribal Agriculture Council’s Made by Native American certification — also focuses on cultivating Indigenous produce and flowers.
Though the farm isn’t open to the general public, it offers its products online; visitors can also check out the culinary workshops and traditional meal events open to all tribal and county residents. Sakari Farms also sells a range of freshly packaged items through its website that includes sweetgrass and Navajo teas, pinon pine smoke salts and medicinal herbs of sweetgrass and cedar.
Indigenous-led x̌ast sq̓it/Good Rain Farm is located in the northern Willamette Valley, on land that has served numerous tribes, including the Clackamas, Wasco, Cowlitz, Wishram and Kalapuya. The farm’s name features a translation of “good rain” into the Sinixt dialect — used by the Arrow Lakes peoples from modern-day British Columbia — reflective of farm founder Michelle Week’s heritage.
Good Rain focuses on community-supported agriculture, a farming model where customers support farms by purchasing a subscription before the season starts for weekly food boxes. Boxes include summer standards like kale, corn and squash — but also foraged first foods like salmonberries, wood sorrel, currants, camas root and wapato. They also operate a rabbitry, offering rabbit meat as an add-on to the CSA share.
Casino Fine Dining in Grand Ronde
If you prefer your meals already cooked and plated, Amore offers fine dining with a rustic Italian spin at Spirit Mountain Casino in Grand Ronde. Owned and operated by the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, Amore’s menu offers Pacific Northwest classics like sauteed salmon and pan-seared halibut, alongside an impressive roster of Oregon wines. It’s one of five restaurants Spirit Mountain maintains inside the casino, placing the odds in your favor to find a satisfying meal.
New in 2022: Visitors can also stop in for a craft brew and full menu of burgers, gourmet pizzas, greens, weekend breakfast and late-night bites at Spirit Mountain’s new 10 Barrel Hop Yard. Thirsty patrons can find eight taps of 10 Barrel beer (seasonal rotators and other specialties) as well as 10 Barrel cocktails. The Hop Yard pays homage to the people of the confederated tribes of Grand Ronde who worked and played in Oregon hop yards. Harvesting hops play a large role in the history of the Native American tribes of Oregon. During the early 1900s the Willamette Valley was known as the hop capital of the world, due largely to the contribution of Indigenous peoples.
Comfort Food in Pendleton and Warm Springs
Owned and operated by the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation since 2019, Pendleton’s iconic Hamley Steakhouse serves up USDA prime rib eyes, roast beef and loaded cheeseburgers with a side of history. Located next to the saddle shop on Main Street that still sells leather goods to the community, Hamley’s Western-themed dining room makes ranch dining gorgeous with carved-oak furnishings and stained glass.
Another Native-owned and operated restaurant to check out is old-school diner Eagle Crossing Restaurant, located right off Highway 26 in Warm Springs on a stretch of the Deschutes River near Indian Head Casino. Situated on the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs reservation, this humble cafe decorated with newspaper clippings serves up diner classics — think impossibly large pancakes with a side of bacon or more local fare like fresh fry bread and generously sized buffalo and elk burgers. The homemade-pie selection alone is worth a visit, with multiple flavors ranging from huckleberry to pumpkin. If you’re looking for a quick bite, Native-owned Twisted Teepee serves up excellent fry-bread burgers with lovely outdoor seating just a mile from The Museum at Warm Springs.
Coffee and Gift Boxes in Portland
For those in Portland looking to support a local business while caffeinating, Native-owned and operated Bison Coffeehouse should be your next stop. Conceived of as a community space to showcase Indigenous products and culture, owner Loretta Guzman raised seed money for the family-run spot by selling her handmade beadwork.
Offering fresh brews from Indigenous-owned coffee companies like Star Village Coffee and Spirit Mountain Roasting, Bison Coffeehouse continues to thrive in its cozy Northeast location. Pro tip: Order their signature house biscuits, studded with green chiles, pepper jack cheese and bacon.
For gift baskets of pantry supplies, how about some treats from Native-owned culinary businesses? Indigenize delivers direct and can also curate selections for a special occasion. This Indigenous-led, Portland-based collective seeks to connect shoppers with everything from gourmet chocolate bars to tepiary beans (a type of Indigenous bean) and locally crafted hot sauces, which make their way into bountiful boxes with themes like “Rise and Resist” and “Gratitude.” Inside you’ll find products by Sakari Farms and Roseburg-based coffee company Takelma Roasting Co.