Office for Inclusive Community

Division of Student Services

Vine Deloria Jr. Lecture Series


Vine Deloria Jr. was one of the preeminent intellectuals of the 20th century, whose work brought attention to the importance of place and traditions within Native American communities. He was the author of more than 20 works, and was an active leader for numerous Native American institutions. After Deloria died in 2005, Reed students and staff created the Vine Deloria Jr. lecture series to honor his memory. The series recognizes the work of Native American scholars whose intellectual pursuits reflect the spirit and commitment exhibited by Deloria. This series is a collaborative effort between the multicultural resource center and the office for institutional diversity. The inauguration of this series occurred in fall 2007.


Making the Invisible Visible: The Native American Community in Multnomah County


The Reed College campus, the city of Portland, and the surrounding metro area rest on the traditional lands of many Native American tribes. The urban Native American population in Portland is often overlooked, even as this multitribal community experiences rapid growth. The 2012 Vine Deloria Jr. panel discussion offers a dynamic exploration of the experiences of Native Americans in greater Portland. This event is open to the public and all are welcome to join us.

Performance: Traditional Native American dancing and drumming, performed by members of the Native American Youth & Family Center (NAYA), located in North Portland.

Panel: A discussion among four Native American leaders of the recent Coalition of Communities of Color and Portland State University 2011 report, "The Native American Community in Multnomah County: An Unsettling Profile."

Nichole Maher  
President, Northwest Health Foundation 
Tlingit Tribe

Nichole Maher served as the Executive Director of the Native American Youth and Family Center (NAYA) for over 10 years. Under her leadership, the organization grew tremendously to provide wrap-around, culturally specific community services for the Native community in Multnomah County. Maher currently serves on the boards of: Portland Schools Foundation, Northwest Health Foundation, Planned Parenthood, Portland Parks & Recreation, National Urban Indian Family Coalition, the National Comcast/NBC Joint Council Board and the Oregon Education Investment Board.

Laura L. Harris 
Executive Director and CEO, Americans for Indian Opportunity (AIO) 

Laura Harris has worked for Americans for Indian Opportunity for the past 20 years. Prior to joining AIO, Harris worked at the Smithsonian's Office for Institutional Initiatives and was one of the original staff of the National Museum of the American Indian Campaign Office. President Clinton appointed Harris to serve as a senior consultant to the President's Initiative on Race. Harris is the founding Chair of the New Mexico Native American Democratic Caucus and elected secretary of the Toyah Band of Comanche. 

Sherry Addis  
Portland Area Office Supervisor, Confederated Tribes of Siletz 
Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians

Sherry Addis has worked for her tribe since 2008 as the Portland Area Office Supervisor. Addis oversees a wide range of social service programs for Siletz tribal members as well as enrolled members of other federally recognized tribes, Alaskan Natives, and Hawaiian Natives. Previously Addis worked for the City of Portland, Transportation Bureau for 18 years and for the Port of Portland for five years.

Matt Morton (Panel Moderator) 
Executive Director, Native American Youth & Family Center (NAYA) 
Squaxin Island Tribe

Matt Morton is the Executive Director of the Native American Youth & Family Center (NAYA). Previously, he served as the Deputy Director for the National Indian Child Welfare Association (NICWA). Morton has been actively involved in the Portland community and he was elected to the Portland Public Schools Board in 2011.