NAYA’s LEAD Program Welcomes 10th Cohort

A decade ago, NAYA embarked on a journey to build a stronger network of Native leaders through an initiative called the Oregon LEAD Program. A nationwide effort developed by a coalition of nonprofits and the First Nations Development Institute, LEAD (Leadership and Entrepreneurial Apprenticeship Development) works to build cross-cultural empowerment and leadership.

In 2012, Oregon LEAD merged with the Coalition of Communities of Color Bridges Initiative, which includes six culturally specific leadership development programs. Through a culturally grounded strength-based curriculum, LEAD cultivates and nurtures emerging leaders to address the root causes of our community’s disparities.

We are delighted to have great diversity in this cohort’s tribal affiliation, geographic representation and experience.

2017-18 cohort members:

  • Evelyn Aguilar, Warm Springs
  • Rachel Black Elk, Lakota/Lumbee (Enrolled Rosebud Sioux)
  • Jennie Brixey, Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, Potawatomi, Tolowa
  • Allen Buck, Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma
  • Charlene Dimmick, Warm Springs/Bishop Paiute/Miwok, Modoc, Yakima
  • Bernice Gray, Salish/Gros Ventre
  • Heather Gurko, Tlingit
  • Mika Jira, Tulalip/Crow
  • Kali Joseph, Tulalip
  • Heather Long, Siletz
  • Andrew Joseph Martinez, Tohono O’odham/Yaqui/Digueño
  • Adrienne Moat, Quileute
  • Renea Perry, Tlingit
  • Chris Rempel, Kalapuya/Chinook/Klamath/Hawaiian
  • Amanda Squiemphen-Yazzie, Warm Springs Faron Scissons, Rosebud Sioux
  • Katie Staton, Tsimshian/Sitka Tribes of Alaska
  • Grace Stratton, Yakama
  • Selina Washington, Siletz/Yakama
  • Chandra Wilson, Klamath-Modoc

Below are exciting professional updates from recent LEAD Alumni:


If you are a LEAD alum and would like to share any exciting updates with us, or if you have questions about the LEAD Program, please contact Cary Watters (Tlingit), Community Engagement Manager, at or 503.288.8177, ext. 331.