NAYA launches political action fund

NAYA launches political action fund

501(c)(4) organization will broaden political advocacy for Native community 

 The Portland-based Native American Youth and Family Center (NAYA), is pleased to announce the creation of the NAYA Action Fund, a 501(c)(4) social welfare organization which will amplify NAYA’s already-strong political advocacy and engagement. As a social welfare-classified organization, the NAYA Action Fund can conduct lobbying, electoral organizing for political candidates, and offer political endorsements.

“The creation of NAYA Action Fund is a testament to the progression of the civic engagement work we’ve found such great success with over the years,” said Paul Lumley, Yakama, who serves as executive director of both organizations. “We are excited to bring forward this powerful new tool, which enables our community to champion the concerns and needs of Native people through policymaking and political races. We’re especially grateful to the Northwest Health Foundation and Group Health Foundation for the vision to support this work.”

The purpose of the new organization is to expand political advocacy and build electoral power in partnership with the Native community. Creating additional electoral capacity will further allow NAYA to become more visible, better represent our community, and have a greater presence and influence at all levels of government in order to impact positive change.

Lumley added, “The events of the last few months have made one thing certain. The political winds are changing, here in Portland and well beyond. Native people must have a seat at every table where policies are being created. NAYA Action Fund will allow us to take on more of this important work. It will also deepen our relationships with those candidates and decision makers who wish to have our support.”

NAYA Action Fund Board Chair Zeke Smith, Osage/Oneida, stated, “Political engagement is crucial in combatting the erasure of Native people from the conversations that involve policies impacting our communities. Passively waiting for our government to respond to our communities’ needs is not an option. Direct action is required.”

More information on the NAYA Action Fund can be found at