PORTLAND, Ore. — An Oregon nonprofit is working to get more people of color involved in outdoor activities where they are typically underrepresented. It's called "Hunters of Color" and the organization holds events and provides financial support for people of color to get into hunting.
Program manager and founder Jimmy Flatt said the organization has been around since 2019 and has since grown to over 600 people.
"In 2016, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service did a study and found that 97 percent of all U.S. hunters identify as white," Flatt said.
Flatt said he started the group after not seeing a lot of diversity in hunting. The nonprofit has educational and mentorship opportunities as well as other resources for participants to learn about hunting.
"We'll be doing actual hunting events, where we will get people trained to use shotguns, to be out in the field, and eventually that will culminate into a hunt, where we can actually do what we've been teaching people how to do," Flatt said.
In order to hunt, you have to have a license. Hunters of Color pays for all upfront costs new hunters face, including the license. The organization gets funds from grants and donations.
"For the sake of upholding our traditions and culture, we need more people involved in conservation work and in hunting," Flatt said.
Sarah Nuamah said that she wanted to get involved in more outdoor activities. She said joining Hunters of Color allows her to get involved and feel more comfortable.
"It's actually a safe space finally for people to feel comfortable and confident to be in the outdoors and participate in spaces where we don't see ourselves and we might feel a little unwelcome," Nuamah said.
If people would like to donate to Hunters of Color, they can visit the group's website.