About Northwest Native Chamber

In 2023, we expanded from our origins in Oregon to return our communities to the traditional trade routes that have existed since time immemorial in the Pacific Northwest. Our People have always traded beyond the colonial borders of this region, and our services reflect that.

Our Mission: We are dedicated to working with all members of the community to advance the educational and economic opportunities for Native Americans in the Northwest.

Our Story

The Northwest Native Chamber (NWNC) has been known by many names over the years. We were first known as The Oregon Native American Chamber of Commerce (ONACC) upon our founding in 1994, later the Oregon Native American Chamber (ONAC) in 2008 when we became a 501(c)3, and now as The Northwest Native Chamber upon our expansion into Washington and Idaho.

We were founded in 1994 by Mitch Conley, a citizen of The Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde (CTGR). Mitch worked with tribal leader Clyde Stryker to explore the need and opportunities for a Native Chamber in Oregon. Mitch ended up leaving CTGR before his vision became a reality. Clyde Stryker, in partnership with fellow CTGR citizen Shelly Hansen, organized the first ONAC meeting, held at Willamette University in Salem. With the initial fiscal support of CTGR, ONACC was able to gain non profit status in 1995.

Our organization came into being to fulfill the needs of Native entrepreneurs in Oregon, providing a place to network and meet other Native business owners, and to provide resources for business growth. That ethos grew and adapted throughout the last 30 years into one of the most effective Native American Chambers in the United States.

Through a variety of programming we are able to provide no-cost wrap-around technical assistance services to businesses at nearly every stage of their business growth. Through the pillars of relationship building, education and growth, and economic justice and transformation the chamber has grown beyond the borders of Oregon into Washington and Idaho.

NWNC serves all members of the community with culturally specific services that are designed by and for Native entrepreneurs. Our purpose is to re-create an economy where all members of the community can flourish beyond the economic and social disadvantages that have impeded all communities of color in the United States.

NNC is committed to...

Did You Know

The Northwest Native Chamber is Native led and focuses on building relationships and seeking economic justice. Some of our key initiatives include:

Education and Growth

Relationship Building

Economic Justice and Transformation

NWNC Board of Directors

The Northwest Native Chamber (NWNC) Board of Directors support the work of the organization and provide mission-based leadership and strategic governance. The NWNC Board represents NWNC to stakeholders; acting as an ambassador for the organization while also ensuring NWNC’s commitment to a diverse board and staff that reflects the communities NWNC serves. NWNC Board Members consider NWNC a philanthropic priority and make annual gifts that reflect that priority.

Eddie Sherman

Board President

Navajo and Omaha Nations

Jon George

Board Director, Vice-President

Confederated Tribes of Grande Ronde

Kaliska Day

Board Director, Treasurer

Tlingit

Tiffani Penson

Board Director

Marissa Ahern-Crabb

Board Director

Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs

Direlle Calica

Board Director

Warm Springs

Preston Eagleheart

Board Director

Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla

Riko Tannenbaum

Board Director

NWNC Staff

Select a staff member’s image to learn more about them!

James Alan Parker

Executive Director

Enrolled Citizen of Chippewa Cree Tribal Nation

Amber Faist

Programs Director

Enrolled Citizen Coquille

Michelle Ramey

APEX Program Manager

Lummi Descendant

Sahalee McFarland

Clean Energy Program Coordinator

Duane Lane

Prosper PDX Resource Navigator

Yakama Descendant

Leslie Davidson

Executive Administrator

Alyssa Camp

Technical Assistance Program Manager

JR Wegehaupt

Clean Energy Project Specialist

Enrolled Citizen of The Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa

Michel Lenihan

Communications and Special Initiatives Manager

Two Spirit Citizen of the Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians

Aaron Thomas

Oregon Business Resource Navigator

Enrolled Citizen of the Diné Nation

Kale’a Calica-Younker

Technical Assistance Program Coordinator

Coquille Tribal Citizen and Warm Springs, Yakama and Tulalip Descendant

Chuck Jehle

APEX Procurement Counselor