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Realizing Equity. Enhancing the City of Portland.

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City of Portland Tribal Liaison

The Position:

The Office of the Mayor is seeking candidates for Tribal Liaison. A primary objective is to assist the City Council and all city bureaus to establish and strengthen relationships with tribal nations, tribal officials and staff, and urban Indian leadership and communities. This position is responsible for overall American Indian/Alaska Native policy development and overall coordination of the city’s relationships with Native American tribal governments and affiliated entities, and also American Indians and Alaska Natives living in Portland. It involves providing expertise on tribal history, treaties, sovereignty, self-governance, protocols, customs and traditions, natural resources, relevant economic enterprises and cultural properties. The position provides a primary point of contact for City and the tribal public, and also involves facilitating the identification and discussion of urban Indian needs in Portland and facilitating discussions of Portland’s interests with Pacific Northwest tribes. The Tribal Liaison will report to the Mayor’s Deputy Chief of Staff and hold a full-time position within the Office of the Mayor.

Job Responsibilities:

  • Establish and maintain a City Tribal Program and tribal policy for consultation. These efforts will be in coordination with tribes and the tribal urban community in order to incorporate tribal governments and Native American Community into its decision-making processes. The goal is to create and nurture long-term, positive relationships with its Tribal Government Partners and the Native American community.
  • Develop internal city policies, procedures and protocols that support and affirm its commitment to government-to-government consultation with Native American tribal governments, and affirm its commitment to urban Indian leaders. These activities include coordination with appropriate city departments and staff, ensuring consistent city policy across departments and equity opportunities. Educate City Council and City staff on Native American values, and to the extent practical, incorporate Native American values throughout City government.
  • Advise city officials on tribal history, treaties, sovereignty, self-governance, protocols, customs and traditions, natural resources, cultural properties, and other issues concerning city relations with Native American tribal governments. Keeps current the many tribal events within the City’s calendar. This includes review and advice on technical documents such as traditional cultural property inventories, and archeology reports, and a legal understanding of the different jurisdictions involved.
  • Assist in development of strategies for city discussions and negotiations with Native American tribal governments, in hope of creating mutually beneficial agreements and partnerships between the city and tribal governments.
  • Coordinate interaction with regional or national tribal organizations whose functions or interests intersect and/or align with the city’s objectives. National organizations include, but are not limited to the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI), Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI), and Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians (ATNI). Coordinate across all agencies and regional jurisdictions as necessary, such as with Metro.
  • Coordinate staffing of city elected officials and departmental directors in discussions and negotiations with Native American tribal governments.
  • Manage special projects as needed, such as coordinating tribal engagement in major City projects and leading city officials and staff in reviewing urban Indian needs and services.
  • Strengthen relationships with Native American tribal governments while coordinating and providing expertise to other city departments involved in these relationships.


To Qualify:

Strong analytical, writing, and oral communication skills. A Bachelor’s degree in Public Administration, Public Policy, Native American Studies, Environmental Resources, Archeology, or a related field, or a combination of training and experience which provides equivalent background to perform the job responsibilities.

At least five years experience providing policy analysis and development, including staffing tribal and/or other governmental decision makers. Experience working with Native American tribal governments, the U.S. Federal government, and various State government agencies, on matters requiring knowledge of tribal government (self-determination, sovereignty, economic development) and tribal negotiations and relations with other governments. Experience within the community of Portland is strongly desired, as well as working knowledge of the City of Portland’s governmental structure.

Working knowledge of and demonstrated experience with Native American tribal protocol, custom, tradition, culture, and governmental relations. Experience working on a multi-disciplinary team addressing complex, high-level projects in an organization with multiple lines of business. Knowledge of legal work on tribal/treaty matters. Familiarity with the requirements of Presidential Executive Order 13175, Tribal Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments, the Federal Trust Responsibility, and principles of Federal Indian Law.

The compensation level for this position ranges from $24.75 per hour to $45.24 per hour and will be determined based on the selected applicant’s relevant experience, education, and skills.


To Apply:

Please email a résumé and a cover letter outlining your interest and qualifications for the position to Sidd Mandava at mayor.intern2@portlandoregon.gov by 5:00 p.m. on July 1, 2016.

If any questions arise, please also direct them to Sidd Mandava at mayor.intern2@portlandoregon.gov and we will respond to you shortly.