Oregon LEAD Builds Power in Native Community

For almost 10 years, NAYA’s Oregon LEAD Program has evolved as a staple for building Native leadership in the Portland Metro Area and across Oregon’s tribal communities. Originally, as a part of the First Nations Development Institute, LEAD stood for Leadership and Entrepreneurial Apprenticeship Development. At that time, LEAD focused primarily on Native non-profit management skills and networking. The name has stuck over the years, but in 2011, we shifted our focus as we were folded into the Coalition of Communities of Color’s Bridges Initiative.

As one of six culturally specific leadership development programs, we understand the importance of building a strong network of leaders, both within the Native community and in solidarity with other communities of color. We build power through exploring Native identity as it relates to community leadership in the broader context. We also build skills related to power analysis, advocacy, and cross-cultural movement building.

Testimonials from a few alumni out of our network of 100+ graduates:

“Oregon LEAD was a wonderful way to connect with community members with common values. It was great to see growth in those committed to nurturing cultural values and expectations and redefining what indigenous leadership can be.”

“As a LEAD alum, I have increased confidence to speak about colonization and address the impacts that continue to effect Native communities.”

“Meeting other community leaders and organizers helped build my self-esteem and find others like me that are doing community engagement work…I had very specific goals for building leadership skills when I first started LEAD, but soon I slowed down and enjoyed the culturally-specific tasks and skills building offered that I didn’t even think I needed. It was an empowering and humbling experience.

We are excited to recruit for our new cohort for 2017-18. Please review the info packet and application at this link HERE. Reach out to Cary Watters (Tlingit), Community Engagement Manager at caryw@nayapdx.org or 503.288.8177, ext. 331.