We Honor the Many Stewards of This Land
Westwind sits on Tillamook and Siletz land, represented today by the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde and the Confederated Tribes of the Siletz Indians.
The ancestors of the Tribes were complex, with many ways of living and different cultural practices in use. The coastal people’s diet and economy were quite different from that of the inland valley people. Sea lions, whales, shellfish, ocean fishes, and salmon were staples for the coast. The peoples' houses for almost the entire region were primarily cedar or sugar pine plank structures, with the hearth area at least slightly below ground level. Although sometimes, the people lived parts of the year practically under the open sky as they traveled from one seasonal camp to the next.
The Siletz reservation was established by treaty in the 1850s. Soon a series of policies and laws by the Federal Government began to remove or strip the Siletz of their land along the Oregon Coast. By the early 1900s, the land on which Westwind sits had become the property of non-tribal landowners.
With gratitude, we pay our respects to the land and the Indigenous peoples who have stewarded it for generations and continue to hold a sacred relationship to this day. With honor, we recognize the opportunity for the collective of Camp Westwind to learn, study, and hold community on this land. We respectfully acknowledge the Tillamook and Siletz people's traditional, ancestral, and unceded territory and honor all past, present, and future Indigenous Westwind Community Members.
Westwind was first founded in 1936 by the YWCA of Greater Portland as a summer camp for girls.
Since its inception, Westwind has welcomed over 100,000 campers, students, families, and others to its incomparable site, and continues to welcome over 6,000 people a year for camp, Outdoor School, and other transformative overnight experiences, as well as 600+ others for day programs and visits.
The Westwind Stewardship Group (WSG) was formed in 2004 by YWCA Camp Westwind alumni, long-term Westwind rental clients, and friends of Westwind with the expressed goal of preserving the Westwind site in perpetuity.
WSG purchased the Westwind property in 2006 from the YWCA of Portland. In 2014 WSG began operating all programming on the site, combining the conservation work of the Stewardship Group with the Social Justice legacy of the YWCA.
Westwind is governed by a volunteer Board of Stewards who work in close collaboration with around a dozen year-round staff. Westwind also employs over 50 seasonal and on-call staff. A dedicated community of hundreds of donors, volunteers, and community organizations contribute time and resources to Westwind each year.