Mayor Ted Wheeler’s office announced the hiring of new tribal liason Laura John, a descendent of the Blackfeet and Seneca Nations.
John, who has worked in American Indian communities for the past 20 years, was previously a researcher and program evaluator for the National Indian Child Welfare Association.
In keeping with her broad history of community engagement, she was also an early career scientist for the Native American Research Center of Health, and coordinated a child abuse prevention program for the Native American Rehabilitation Association in Portland.
“I am humbled to be selected for this position,” John said. “It is truly a privilege to serve the community that I grew up in.”
As the city's tribal liaison, she will assist the city council and all city bureaus in strengthening relationships and coordinating overall policy development with tribal governments and the American Indian/Alaska Native community in Portland. Additionally, she’ll be tasked with establishing a Portland Native American Advisory Commission.
"Laura has a history of being a strong advocate for American Indian and Alaska Native communities,” said Mayor Ted Wheeler. “Her experience and existing close ties with the Portland Native American community will help us form more meaningful relationships and work together to create solutions.”
The tribal liason reports to the Director of Government Relations and hold a full-time position within the Office of Government Relations.