NAYA Remains Resilient in Serving Native Students and Community

NAYA Remains Resilient in Serving Native Students and Community

Dear Community partners, friends, and families that we serve.

I am writing to let you know that the Willamette Week has chosen to publish an article about a disgruntled former employee of NAYA Family Center who voluntarily resigned her employment and, unfortunately, elected to bring a lawsuit against NAYA. First let me say that we have reviewed the allegations closely and are confident that they are unfounded and without merit. Consequently, NAYA intends to defend both its employment and business practices. Given that this is an ongoing legal matter we will allow our attorneys to handle the matter and not otherwise be discussing the matter in detail.

We are unclear as to why the Willamette Week has found this information newsworthy at this point in time, but we firmly believe these allegations are false and potentially defamatory. Nevertheless, we understand and appreciate that even false allegations of this nature could negatively impact our relationships with you as community partners and community members. We want to assure you that NAYA Family Center works hard to maintain state and federal compliance with all of our programs and resources. Additionally, NAYA maintains excellent human resource standards assuring that all staff are treated fairly and respectfully.

Some of you may be concerned that this is a difficult time for something of this nature to occur. We want to assure you that while NAYA Family Center is in leadership transition, it is also in safe hands with Interim Executive Director Tawna Sanchez, MSW. Tawna has served NAYA Family Center for 19 years and has the confidence of the Board of Directors, NAYA staff, and Portland Native community.

Ahéhee’ (Thank you),
Eddie Sherman, Diné /Umóⁿ’hoⁿ
NAYA Board of Directors, Chair