MISSION, Ore. – Former Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation (CTUIR) General Council Chair Lindsey X. Watchman is continuing his tribal service by transitioning from elected official to directing the Workforce Development Department.
“I had a desire to get back into the trenches,” Watchman, 52, said. “I enjoy interacting directly with and training tribal members, to find out what their life aspirations and dreams are and to help create a roadmap to assist that dream come into reality. These are the moments that workforce development-focused staff strive for.”
Watchman’s last day on the Board was Nov. 29, the day newly elected CTUIR officials were inaugurated. Before being elected in 2019, he spent four years at the Yellowhawk Tribal Health Center as its workforce development and health education grant manager. He left that position in April 2019.
Prior his time at Yellowhawk, he spent 2012-14 managing the CTUIR Department of Education State-Tribal Education Partnership professional development grant and 2007-09 at the Higher Education Scholarship and Adult Vocational Training Program.
As WFD director, his duties include developing a visual career pathway/roadmap for tribal members with various interests and skills, enhancing cross-department and program communication as part of a comprehensive referral management system and enhancing external training partnerships with tribal, local, county and state workforce development initiatives.
“For example, CTUIR recently was awarded a $2 million grant for drone apprenticeships, and we’ll be partnering with Cayuse Native Solutions, Blue Mountain Community College and the unmanned aerial system range at the Pendleton airport,” he said.
Watchman will also implement what past and current managers have determined the WFD is to become – a one-stop center. That will include creating cross-program intake forms, case managing clients along with tracking data and reporting efforts to the Board as well as state and federal grantors.
“My entire life, I have been a staunch advocate for tribal, as well as individual sovereignty, which means each person self-determines their future and attempts to be self-sufficient in its pursuit and sustainability,” he said. “We all often need help to strategically plan for our future, instead of living day-to-day and paycheck-to-paycheck. My goal is to enhance tribal member confidence in their abilities to do what they want, and to work where they want.”
Watchman works in the Administration wing of the Nixyáawii Governance Center but expects to move in 2024 to the old Administration Building at the July Grounds when the WFD programs move into the facility.