Swinomish Elder and cultural leader Larry Campbell (wanaseah) walked on in February 2023. As a Tribal Historic Preservation Officer and Community Environmental Health Specialist for the Swinomish Tribal Community, he centered traditional teachings and cultural knowledge in all his work. Larry was a tireless advocate for Native people who pushed for advances in policies and regulations in front of Congress, federal agencies, and other key decision-makers. Larry never balked at speaking truth to power, especially about the impacts of climate change on Indigenous peoples. At the Inaugural First Stewards climate conference he declared, “We don’t need another white paper about how to make change. We need a red paper.” He was involved with multiple boards and organizations and led countless cultural orientations. For this project, Larry worked with longtime friend and colleague Dr. Jamie Donatuto in developing Indigenous Health Indicators.
Dr. Jamie Donatuto, Community Environmental Health Analyst. Dr. Donatuto, Community Environmental Health Analyst for the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community, has worked for Swinomish for 22 years. Her work spans community health research and interventions, including developing climate health adaptive strategies and facilitating educational opportunities based on traditional plants and medicines. She and long-time colleague Swinomish Elder Larry Campbell developed the Indigenous Health Indicators to include definitions of Indigenous health that are not acknowledged in conventional health assessments.
National Association of Tribal Historic Preservation Officers (NATHPO):
NATHPO is the only national organization devoted to supporting Tribal historic preservation programs. Founded in 1998, NATHPO is a 501(c)(3) non-profit membership association of Tribal government officials who implement federal and Tribal preservation laws. NATHPO empowers Tribal preservation leaders protecting culturally important places that perpetuate Native identity, resilience, and cultural endurance. Connections to cultural heritage sustain the health and vitality of Native peoples.
Dr. Valerie J. Grussing, Executive Director. As Executive Director of NATHPO, Dr. Grussing is committed to protecting Native places through support, guidance, advocacy and strengthening partnerships among Tribal Historic Preservation Officers. She enjoys group projects and creating collaborative solutions-focused programming. She is passionate about advocating for and elevating Native interests and voices in revitalizing Native cultures and reclaiming places. Dr. Grussing is honored to be part of an ongoing paradigm shift of decolonization grounded in sovereignty, self-determination, reconciliation and healing. Dr. Grussing holds a BA in History from North Carolina State University, an MA in Anthropology from the University of Iowa and a PhD in Coastal Resources Management from East Carolina University.
Julie Nelson, Programming and Communications Director. Ms. Nelson is a strategic marketing & communications consultant and coach dedicated to organizational growth. Her holistic approach identifies organizational goals, then develops the step-by-step strategy to achieve them - all supported by coaching techniques that equal powerful results. Through her work, Ms. Nelson empowers the organization to create maximum positive impact. While working as part of the NATHPO team, notable projects to date include, rebranding the organization's look and communication style to create a sense of community, creating the framework for and helping to organize NATHPO's annual conference and Sacred Sites Summit, as well as working with agency and private funding sources to secure major project and operational funding.
Melissa Madrigal, Operations Director. Ms. Madrigal is committed to bridging the gap between protecting cultural & Native resources and emergency/hazardous response. She has experience in archaeology focused on the southeastern US, underwater archaeology with NOAA’s National Marine Sanctuaries, oil spill response & environmental planning and process hazard analysis. She also has experience with non-profit organizations and has been working with NATHPO on grant reporting and accountability. Ms. Madrigal is highly invested in helping foster communication between groups and has focused on developing the NATHPO contact database and member management platform. She also helped develop, launch, and maintain the new NATHPO website. Ms. Madrigal holds a BS in Anthropology, a BS in Psychology from University of Houston and ABD Coastal Resources Management PhD from East Carolina University.
Support for this project was provided by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Policies for Action program and the Henry Luce Foundation. The views expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views of either Foundation.