Tana Atchley: Leadership is Citizenship

tana-smTana Atchley is an enrolled member of the Klamath Tribes, and is Modoc, Paiute and Karuk. When she joined the first LEAD cohort in 2008-2009, she was the only cohort member to work for a state agency, serving as Advisor for Student Activities and Leadership Programs at Portland State University. “LEAD provided a great way to connect with other Native professionals in the Portland area. I was able to foster closer relationships with my colleagues through our interactions in trainings, the LEAD Conference, and the Native Professionals & Friends Networking events.” LEAD exposed her to many challenges faced by the non-profit sector. After her experience, Tana has evolved her vision of Leadership. “Leadership is so closely connected to Citizenship. I really cannot separate the two. To be a good leader, you need to first be a good citizen. That means that you continuously inform yourself on issues that are of importance to your community – which means listening to everyone from youth to elders and everyone in between. It means caring about those issues and coming up with creative solutions, even when you are not the lead. Everyone can help support in some way.” Now Tana works for the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission (CRITFC) as the Tribal Workforce Development & Outreach Coordinator. She was hired to assist CRITFC member tribes in increasing the number of tribal members who pursue careers in protecting their cultural and natural resources. She also manages internship programs and Tribal Salmon Camp, and is pursuing opportunities to expand CRITFC programs to include high school and professional development opportunities for current tribal staff. She recommends that professionals early in their career, as well as graduate students, should apply to the LEAD cohort in 2016. “It is a great way to network and get connected to community leaders, issues and opportunities.”

LEAD Graduation is on May 9th, 4pm to 6pm, at the NAYA Family Center. Come see the current year’s cohort as they exit a year of professional and personal development, networking and skill-building, grounded in traditional Native values.