Seattle CityClub is hosting a three-part series of virtual Civic Boot Camps, Native American Leadership in the Salish Sea Region, to explore the contributions of local Tribal leadership to our community and civic landscape. Through a series of webinars with panels of Native adult and youth leaders, we’ll discuss the role, responsibility, and contributions of Tribal leadership to our community as they work with multiple levels of government and non-tribal organizations to manage our natural resources and address social, environmental, and health issues.

Listen, ask questions, and get the knowledge and inspiration needed to engage in your community and work toward solutions. As part of this curriculum, all participants will also receive links to informational interviews with community leaders, key articles, videos, websites, and volunteer resources.

Tribal Action in Government Today

In this first webinar on Friday, June 4, Representative Lekanoff, Chairman Forsman and Director Echo-Hawk will discuss the roles and responsibilities of Native leadership and the coordination between sovereign Native nations with local, state, and federal governments to address key issues impacting our region such as homelessness, climate change, health equity and salmon recovery.

We’ll address key questions such as:

  • What is the relationship between recognized Tribes (sovereign nations) and local, state, and federal governments?
  • What are the obstacles, challenges, and opportunities for Tribal leaders as they interact between Tribal and non-Tribal governments?
  • What are the critical Tribal and community issues addressed by Tribal leaders?
  • How has Tribal leadership contributed to the civic health of our community/region?

Welcoming Song:

  • Patti Gobin (Tulalip), Natural Resources Department Special Projects Manager, Tulalip Tribes


  • Ernie Rasmussen (Oneida Nation), Tribal Liaison at Washington State Department of Commerce


  • Leonard Forsman (Suquamish), Chairman, Suquamish Tribe
  • Rep. Debra Lekanoff (Tlingit and Aleut), Representative, Washington State House of Representatives, 40th District
  • Abigail Echo-Hawk (Pawnee), Executive Vice President, Seattle Indian Health Board

Pre-recorded interviews (provided to registrants before the webinars):

  • Cecile Hansen (Duwamish), Chair, Duwamish Tribe
  • Takako T Wright (Snoqualmie), Tribal Development Manager, Snoqualmie Casino
  • Selected clips from Native leaders at previous Civic Boot Camps, including Abriel Johnny, Healthier Here; Casey Sixkiller, City of Seattle; Susan Balbas, Na’ah Illahee Fund; and Chris Roberts, City of Shoreline

Participants will be encouraged to submit questions during the webinar and there will be dedicated Q and A time with the panelists in the last 15 minutes.

The second webinar on June 11th, Native American Youth Advocacy, will feature a panel of youth advocates, including Washington State’s first Native Poet Laureate Rena Priest, who will reflect on environmental, educational, and social issues.

The final webinar on June 18th, Weaving Social Responsibility with Native Values, will feature leaders of organizations and institutions who will reflect on incorporating Native priorities, education, and awareness into their programs.

If you’d like to purchase a ticket for each event in this series, please call Seattle CityClub at (206) 682-7395, or email us at with “Civic Boot Camp Native American Leadership” in the subject line.


  • Pay what you can levels: $20, $40 and $75
  • Free for BIPOC community members, youth under 22
  • Donations welcome
  • Your registration fee, which is separate for each webinar, includes access to articles, videos, websites, background data, speaker bios, and pre-recorded interviews.

Civic Boot Camp Supporting Partner