An Award-Winning Year for NAYA Staff

An Award-Winning Year for NAYA Staff

2014 is a big year for NAYA, as we celebrate 40 years of service, bringing together community to sustain tradition and revitalize culture. All year long, NAYA employees have been recognized by prestigious local organizations for their contributions to a vibrant Native community.

Early in 2014, Executive Director Matthew Morton, Squaxin Island, was voted one of the Portland Business Journal’s 40 Under 40. The theme for this year’s list of Portland’s most influential leaders under age 40 was “Top 40,” and music. You can hear Matt talk about how important powwow music is to him on the Portland Business Journal’s website.

Recently, three more NAYA staff have received recognition for their contributions to our community.

Portland Youth and Elders Council Coordinator Donita Sue Fry, Shoshone Bannock, was selected by the city of Portland as a 2014 Spirit of Portland Award winner. Donita’s long-standing commitment to our community is evidenced by her presence on behalf of NAYA at convenings all over our city, and she is central to the grassroots organizing and community advocacy that makes the Portland Youth and Elders Council, and NAYA’s Civic Engagement work, so effective.

Gang Intervention Outreach Specialist Glenn La Motte, Choctaw, was honored recently by the Cascade Pacific Boy Scouts with the Raven Caywood Emerging Leader Award for his contributions to making our community safer and healthier through cultural revitalization, as well as his well-respected public speaking. Learn more about La Motte’s award in The Skanner.

Development Coordinator Anna Allen, Shoshone Bannock, will be honored at the Light a Fire Awards celebrating great ideas emerging from Portland’s Best Non-profits. Allen designed the Young Native Ambassadors Program to connect at-risk youth to resources to advance them personally and professionally by developing youth leadership. The program is now being integrated into NAYA’s Community Engagement department thanks to an award from the Oregon Youth Development Council.

As we prepare for Native American Heritage Month, the Indigenous Leadership Friday Forum, and the 2014 NAYA Gala, we’re proud of these community members who are shining examples of tradition-inspired leadership and excellence.