MISSION, Ore. – Leaders of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation (CTUIR) recently welcomed State Rep. Annessa Hartman to the Nixyáawii Governance Center for a tour of the tribal facilities.
Hartman, a freshman lawmaker who represents District 40, is a member of the Six Nations of Iroquois (Cayuga Nation) and the third Indigenous person elected to the Oregon House of Representatives.
The Gladstone Democrat said she visited the CTUIR because she wants to develop relationships with all the Native American tribes in Oregon.
“I know that it hasn’t always been something that legislators think is a responsibility of theirs, to create those relationships, but as the vice chair of the Ag, Land Use, Natural Resources and Water (Committee) it’s all connected,” Hartman said. “There’s not really a line there for me, and so I’m making sure I form those relationships directly with those that are working with their community when we’re looking at policy. Not everyone has it in their minds to look and see how the policy we enact on a state level impacts our tribal partners, so it’s important that I begin that relationship-building piece.”
Deputy Executive Director JD Tovey showed Hartman the governance center, including stops in the Tribal Court and Board of Trustees offices, before visiting the Kayak Public Transit and Yellowhawk Tribal Health Center facilities. They then visited the Timíne Way North Apartments and Nixyáawii Community School before meeting Board of Trustees Vice Chair Aaron Ashley and BOT Members At Large Corinne Sams and Lisa Ganuelas for lunch at the Tamastslikt Cultural Institute.
“I think it’s absolutely amazing being here and seeing all the accomplishments the tribe has done. It’s so amazing to watch it grow. There’s just a sense of community that I wish we could repeat out and sort of copy and paste,” Hartman said. “I’m interested in learning more about the housing barriers that the tribe is facing. That’s in my head right now, that and supporting the Walla Walla Water Basin projects that it has coming up and see where we go from there.”
Tovey said he was delighted to host Hartman because it allowed CTUIR officials to meet one of the few Native legislators in the House.
“The visit with Rep. Hartman gave us the opportunity to meet not only a state representative, but a Native representative. Parting ways with her at the end of the day gave us a sense that she really cared about what we are doing here and what we are hoping to accomplish. She seemed tremendously receptive to our initiatives, and we are looking forward to working with her in the future.” Tovey said.
In the Oregon House of Representatives, Hartman serves as vice chair of the House Interim Committee on Agriculture, Land Use, Natural Resources and Water. She is also on the Joint Committee of Information Management and Technology, Joint Committee of Transportation Special Subcommittee on Transportation Planning, House Interim Committee on Early Childhood and Human Services and House Interim Committee on Housing and Homelessness.
– CTUIR Communications