How We Work

Five Oaks Museum is a 501(c)3 nonprofit located in Portland, Oregon with an annual budget of just over $500,000. We are constantly working to improve institutional transparency, from finances to the Codirector model. This page can help you follow along our journey of becoming an ethical, anti-racist institution.

We believe museums have an active role in activism and social justice, and that they are instrumental in shaping how history is remembered and told. As a whole, museums stem from projects of colonialism and extractive collection which is a legacy and organizational framework this field must reckon with. Furthermore, the way that organizations allocate their resources communicates their priorities. We put our money behind our ethics by categorizing our expenses by our museum’s five values: Body, Land, Truth, Justice, and Community.




Protocols for Native American Archival Materials

These protocols identify best professional practices for culturally responsive care and use of American Indian archival material held by non-tribal organizations. They were written by First Archivist Circle. The museum is not involved in writing the protocols in any way, but they inform our work and are Appendix C of the Collections Policy.

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County Agreement to Operate

In 1987, Washington County Historical Society (the legal name of Five Oaks Museum) entered into a contract with Washington County and Portland Community College which determined ongoing agreements around the museum’s land lease, building, collections, and funding. This contract is Appendix B of the Collections Policy.

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Museum Collections Management Policy

This policy addresses all issues related to the Museum’s object collections and archives, research library, its education collection, and items held temporarily. It was ratified in March 2022.

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Museum Bylaws

The museum bylaws define how the Museum Board of Directors operates. They were ratified in April 2022.

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Looking Back at 2021

Happy second birthday to Five Oaks Museum! Although the past two years may have felt endless to many, 2021 was just our second year as Five Oaks Museum. While the doors remained closed, the Museum expanded community access and a sense of openness to those near and far. Here are some highlights!

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2021-22 FY Values-Driven Budget

When creating our 2021-22 fiscal year budget, Five Oaks Museum put our money behind our ethics by categorizing our expenses by our museum’s five values: Body, Land, Truth, Justice, and Community.

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Earth Day Reflections

April 22, 2021

Lately, we’ve been thinking about the Tualatin River. Slowly, with persistence, the river winds its way to shape the landscape.

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