Upcoming Board Meeting: 

Come celebrate as the Bridge Renaming Council presents its recommended name to the Multnomah County Board of Commissioners. The Board will vote on a new name for the Sauvie Island Bridge on Thursday, Nov. 30, 2023, at its regularly scheduled Board meeting. That meeting starts at 9:30 a.m. in Boardroom 100 at 501 S.E. Hawthorne Blvd. For more information on how to view or participate in the meeting, visit www.multco.us/board/about-board-meetings 


In November 2022, in response to a community recommendation during Native American Heritage Month, the Multnomah County Board of Commissioners voted to rename the Sauvie Island Bridge to honor indigenous people. The resolution asked the Board to support the recommendation from the Advisory Committee on Sustainability and Innovation, to honor Native American communities whose traditional home includes the Island. The committee is made up of community members who have a range of expertise on sustainability-related issues that affect the community, environment and the economy. 

Recognizing the unique political status tribal governments hold as sovereign nations within the United States, a Bridge Renaming Council was established. After the County conducted outreach to multiple tribes, three tribes with historical ties to the island offered their expertise on the Council. The Council was made up of appointed culture-keepers, elders, tribal electeds and tribal staff. This marked the County’s first formal consultation process with tribal governments. 

Since April 2023, the Council has been conducting cultural research and working with tribal communities to identify a new name for the bridge. The Council established a framework to guide its decision-making, focusing on traditional resources and land use, original villages and languages, as well as tribal elder and community voices. 

In summer 2023, the Council reviewed proposed names that came from tribal government staff, island residents, online feedback and other outreach efforts. Members identified a name recommendation using their decision-making framework, while also considering input from various communities. Their recommended name is currently being reviewed and discussed by appropriate tribal linguists to ensure accurate spelling and pronunciation before it is released publicly.