Core values

The NAYA Family Center’s core values, as determined by staff, students, elders, and community members, are Respect, Balance, Pride, Giving,  Community, Tradition, Kindness,  Accountability, Diversity and Leadership.

In 2003, at a staff retreat held at Silver Falls, Oregon, the NAYA staff worked to identify 10 core values that relate to our mission. We wrote out the behaviors and expectations that demonstrated what we believe and how we want to conduct ourselves as a community and as individuals.

In 2006, the NAYA Early College Academy (now Many Nations Academy) and our Portland Elders, board, executive leadership, staff, community, youth and, parents met to decide what values we would adhere to when in the NAYA building and in the larger NAYA community.

We used a consensus-building process to name the top 10 values, define them, and share them with the larger community. Elders and youth worked to consolidate the definitions. The final editing took place at a NAYA staff retreat.

Below are the definitions that emerged from the combined work of the community and staff. This is a journey that we have only begun, but it will never end because we are an ever-changing, dynamic community.

Values and definitions

  • Respect: We believe in individual responsibility to show love, acceptance, and kindness to everyone.
  • Balance: We value the importance of maintaining the many interrelating parts of our lives and adapting to bring together old and new ways.
  • Pride: We show our pride by honoring our ancestors and our heritage, feeling good about ourselves and our people, and taking care of each other.
  • Giving: We practice the value of generosity by putting the community before the individual and honoring each other through service and respect.
  • Community: We value the interconnection that we have with each other, our environment, and our shared traditions. We work collectively to honor the needs of the community rather than the individual in order to create a safer environment of caring, communication, and respect.
  • Tradition: We follow the practice of honoring and passing on our ancestors’ teachings. We believe that all tribes and cultures bring valuable and important contributions to our community.
  • Kindness: We are mindful of how we relate and how our behaviors affect others. We strive to live in a compassionate, gentle, caring, and trustworthy way toward one another and our community.
  • Accountability: We own our responsibility for our actions and the results of those actions. We are responsible for how we speak to and relate with each other, and we admit it when we make mistakes.
  • Diversity: We embrace the diversity of our community and practice openness, pride, and sharing to honor our differences.
  • Leadership: We value and encourage the many kinds of leadership that we can exhibit. We promote the growth of all of the many positive forms of leadership that our community exhibits.