: Courtesy of Indigenize

Celebrate Oregon’s Indigenous-Owned Farms and Restaurants

Sample herbal teas, homegrown vegetables and comfort food across the state.
June 1, 2022

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.

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person holds green woven item against colorful shirt
Courtesy of Sakari Farms

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.

exterior of shop with Bison Coffeehouse on windows
Courtesy of Bison Coffeehouse

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.

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.

closeup of honey and other food products
Courtesy of Indigenize

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.

About The
Author

Robin Maxkii
Robin Maxkii, Mohican Nation Stockbridge-Munsee Band, is a longtime advocate for Indigenous rights and an award-winning storyteller. Her work was the subject of the recent Google documentary "Between Worlds," and has also appeared in various publications including Tribal College Journal, the Chronicle of Higher Education and Michelle Obama's "Better Make Room" Campaign. She has penned numerous speeches, including an introduction for Dr. Jill Biden. Robin's passion and work focuses on reframing Indigenous narratives and underserved communities. In her free time, she enjoys exploring the varied Oregon food scene.

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