Portland Airport Native Peoples and Aviation Public History Display

Dudek’s work on the Native Peoples and Aviation Public History Display helped the Port of Portland meet its obligations under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, while also encouraging airport visitors to learn more about the Native peoples of the region and their vibrant cultural traditions. Located in Portland International Airport, the display brings together eye-catching imagery and engaging text that the Port and Dudek hope will lead airport visitors to stop for a closer look and find out more about the Portland area, past and present.

Project Facts
  • Portland International Airport
  • Interpretive signage on Native peoples and historic aviation uses
  • Consulted with Tribes on Native peoples panels

The Challenge

The Port of Portland had mitigation obligations under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act. To meet these obligations, the Port commissioned Dudek to complete a public history display that included information about the Native people in the region, a World War II airplane hangar, and a 1960s private aviation hangar. The project team consulted with Tribes from the area about the portions of the display that included information about Native peoples.

The Solution

The Dudek team helped the Port meet its Section 106 mitigation obligations by conducting research into the history of the two airplane hangars and presenting that history on the public history display, along with historic images of the two hangars, architectural drawings of the buildings, and a highlight of planes used during the historic period.

The three panels that focus on the Native people of the region’s traditional trade network were included in the display to show airport visitors that transport and trade have deep roots in the place where the airport is now located, going back millennia. The Dudek team sought at all project stages to create content that was both factually accurate and culturally respectful.

The Impact

The public history display presents two important aspects of Portland’s history and development. It describes the trade routes that Native peoples used to trade goods in the Pacific Northwest up into the 19th century and provides a look into Portland’s 20th-century aviation history through the story of two airplane hangars once located at the airport. The display will be visible for years to come and aims to teach travelers about the area’s rich history.

Illustrating the Area's Rich History

Based on research by Dudek’s cultural resources experts, our technical storytelling team created this 9-panel display in the South Tunnel at Portland International Airport, detailing the history of aviation and Native peoples in the area.

What We Did

Our multidisciplinary specialties allow us to provide efficiencies that maintain project momentum.
Panoramic image of The Shire, a verdant, grassy field, with trees and mountains in the background.

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