Upper Willamette Tribal Liaison (Open)

  • Job Summary: This position will advance the goals and priorities of federally recognized Tribes with demonstrable indigenous connections to areas of the Upper Willamette through identifying priority opportunities for collaboration in those places a Tribe has a demonstrable indigenous connection. This position will work to build relationships and coordinate partnership opportunities with appropriate tribal government staff, the Eugene Water and Electric Board (EWEB) and the Upper Willamette Stewardship Network. They will work with Tribal government representatives to better understand a Tribe’s goals, values, and interests; helping Upper Willamette partners to center tribal government priorities in strategic and project planning activities in the areas of conservation, restoration, education, acquisition, and access. This position will provide assistance in identifying, protecting, preserving, and facilitating tribal government access to cultural plants and lifeways opportunities in the Upper Willamette basin, with an initial focus on the McKenzie watershed. They will be responsible for working with Partners engaged in ecological restoration activities to enhance their work within the interests and priorities of the Tribe(s). This person will help to coordinate communications and relationship building opportunities that bring together staff and leadership from Tribes and Upper Willamette partners.

Essential Functions:

  • Develops and maintains relationships with identified tribal government representatives, as well as with the Pure Water Partners (PWP) and other conservation partners in the Upper Willamette
  • Works with designated tribal government representatives and other partner’s leadership staff to understand tribal goals, values, and priorities.
  • Collaborates with agencies, nonprofits, and tribal government staff on planning activities, including strategic planning as well as occasional site evaluation and assessment as needed.
  • Assists with planning efforts by ensuring that tribal government goals and priorities are incorporated and centered.
  • Facilitates communications and coordinates opportunities for relationships development between tribal, EWEB, PWP, and Network staff and leadership, including a yearly planning and relationship building event.
  • Works with conservation organizations, agencies, and other partners associated with current projects in the Tribe’s homelands to prioritize and source the use of tribally desired cultural plant material.
  • Supports and facilitates tribal community access to gathering and cultural practice areas within the Tribe’s homelands.
  • Works to identify and document significant cultural plant resources in partnership with tribal government representatives.
  • Performs spatial analysis of impact areas, project areas, and watersheds with regard to identifying desirable areas for tribally desired cultural plants and practices.
  • Maintains regular communication and correspondence with professionals including resource management specialists, cultural practitioners and Tribal Cultural as well as Natural Resource staff.
  • Identifies potential opportunities and priorities for access, co-management, or acquisition.
  • Visits sites to determine protection needs and identify opportunities for partners and senior tribal government staff.
  • Maintains strict confidentiality regarding sites, site locations and projects.
  • Provides technical assistance on ethnobotany and the cultural use of plants and other natural resources to partners and tribal government staff.

Supervisory and Support Structures:

  • This position will work jointly with Federally recognized Tribes, EWEB, and Upper Willamette Stewardship Network partners
  • The Liaison will have 1-2 key contacts at each Tribe with whom they will meet regularly to communicate activities and opportunities and ensure that work is developing in accordance with goals and expectations.
  • The Liaison will attend regular meetings of tribal government natural and cultural resources departments, as identified by each Tribe, to develop relationships and an understanding of tribal government staff’s existing projects, interests, and capacity.
  • The Liaison will have a support team comprised of EWEB, UWSN, and tribal government staff (as possible) that meets regularly with them to provide support and guidance as needed.
  • Regular (~quarterly) check-ins will occur between tribal government staff and the Network Coordinator to ensure that activities of the Tribal Liaison are advancing in line with goals and expectations.
  • The Liaison will participate in the Pure Water Partners, the Upper Willamette Tribal Partnership & Decolonizing project team, and other collaborative efforts in the Upper Willamette region that are in accordance with tribal government interests, goals, and priorities.
  • The position will be a shared position that is held by McKenzie Watershed Council. It will be focused in the Upper Willamette region and include regular travel to tribal government offices, however many aspects can be done remotely.

Education, Experience, Licenses, Registrations, and Certifications:

  • Requires a High School Diploma or GED and (2) two years of directly related experience working with a Native American Organization or Tribal Government OR equivalent combination of education, training and experience.
  • Experience working collaboratively and in teams, as well as independently.
  • Must maintain a valid Oregon driver’s license or obtain one upon hire and provide proof of personal vehicle insurance. Access to a reliable vehicle is required and mileage will be reimbursed at the state travel reimbursement rate.


  • Well-organized self-starter with excellent communication skills and the ability to work with a wide range of partners.
  • Must have good oral and written communication skills.
  • Ability to perform duties without direct supervision.
  • Knowledge of MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint, flatbed scanners, Global Positioning Systems (GPS), digital phone systems, and digital cameras required. ARC GIS and Adobe Illustrator preferred.
  • Requires a flexible work schedule as some evening and weekend work may be necessary.
  • Requires the ability to travel, including overnight/multi-day travel.
  • Must have ability to respond courteously and tactfully to complaints and requests, and to maintain confidentiality.
  • Knowledge of and sensitivity to Native American culture required.
  • Understanding of issues pertaining to tribal sovereignty and history required.

Environmental Factors and Conditions/Physical Requirements:

  • Continually requires the ability to express or receive detailed information or important instructions through oral communication.
  • Continually requires working with fingers rather than the whole hand or arm. Requires repetitive movement of wrists, hands and/or fingers. Often requires walking or moving about to accomplish tasks. Including work in off road/ off trail, steep, heavily vegetated terrain, at times miles from a vehicle.
  • Requires standing and/or sitting for sustained periods of time, raising objects from a lower to a higher position and/or moving objects horizontally.
  • Occasionally requires lifting of up to 50 pounds.
  • Due to the nature of the interactions with other employees and the public we serve, employees may be required to provide documentation of, or receive, certain health vaccinations.
  • This position is frequently subject to inside environmental conditions which provide protection from weather conditions, but not necessarily from temperature changes, and is occasionally subject to outside environmental conditions.
  • Local travel is required. Travel outside of the state may occasionally be required.

Background Check: Candidates for this position will be subject to criminal and character background checks and may be subject to fingerprinting.

The individual must perform the essential duties and responsibilities with or without reasonable accommodation efficiently and accurately without causing a significant safety threat to self or others. The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed by employees assigned to this classification. They are not intended to be construed as an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties and/or skills required of all personnel so classified. This position will be funded by the Eugene Water and Electric Board for the first two years.

Compensation: This position is envisioned as a full time, exempt position. Compensation will depend on skills & experience and is anticipated to fall within the $60,000-$70,000 range.

The Upper Willamette Stewardship Network: The Upper Willamette Stewardship Network is committed to working with communities to care for land and water in the Upper Willamette. The Upper Willamette geography is defined by the Middle Fork and Coast Fork Willamette, the McKenzie and the Long Tom Watersheds and encompasses the west slope of the Cascades Range and the east slope of the Coast Range. The Willamette River basin supports rich native fish, wildlife, and plant communities and culturally important and stunning natural areas.

To Apply: Email a resume, cover letter, and three references with contact information and relationships to: sydney@upperwillamette.org Position will remain open until filled.