Staff and Advisory Board

The Division of Tribal Relations, Arts, and Cultures includes government-to-government relations, the Longhouse, Tribal Liaison, Enduring Legacies Native Case Studies.

Meet Our Staff

Photo of Kara Briggs

Kara Briggs

Vice President for Tribal Relations, Arts and Cultures 

(360) 867-5344

We are pleased to announce that Kara Briggs, Sauk-Suiattle has joined The Evergreen State College as Vice President for Tribal Relations, Arts, and Cultures. Kara is a 2010 graduate of Evergreen’s Tribal MPA. She began her career as a journalist, serving as staff writer, investigative reporter and columnist at the Spokesman-ReviewIndian Country Today, and the Oregonian. She consulted for the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, focusing the museum’s fund development and communications.  She served as president of the Native American Journalists Association, UNITY: Journalists of Color, and Seattles Center for Women and Democracy. More recently, she served as the tribal liaison for a state agency, as government relations director for her tribe, and as a small business owner providing strategic consulting with Tribes and Native organizations from Alaska to Arizona.

In her role, Kara will oversee a portfolio that includes the Evergreen Longhouse. She served on the Colleges senior leadership team, and she will guide a new phase of relations between the college and Tribes in Washington and around the region, while playing a key role in foundation and donor relations.

Laura VerMeulen portrait

Laura (Grabhorn) VerMeulen

Managing Director

(360) 867-6413 

Laura is enrolled in the Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska. As of February 2021, Laura is the Managing Director. Previously she has served as the assistant director from 1999-2021. She is Gaanax.ádi clan, youngest daughter of Pearl Peratrovich of Klawock, Alaska. From 1994-1999, she served as a Financial Aid counselor and Director of Student Employment at Evergreen. Prior to that she worked in Multicultural Affairs at Kansas State University, and previously, she was the Assistant Dean of the University Graduate School at Indiana University-Bloomington. She has a Masters Degree in Higher Education and Student Affairs from Indiana University, and a B.A. in Sociology, also from Indiana University.
Linley Logan portrait

Linley Logan

Program Specialist-Northwest Heritage Program

Linley (Seneca) is a multi-disciplinary contemporary artist/designer and art consultant. He has attended four International Indigenous Arts Exchanges, curates contemporary Native American art exhibits, and serves on local arts boards. Linley’s employment experience includes the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American, and teaching printmaking at Hawaiian Ohana for Education in the Arts, Hawaii. Linley has served on grant review panels for the Longhouse Education and Cultural Center, Native Arts and Cultures Foundation, First Peoples Fund, Ford Foundation - Leveraging Investments in Creativity, NEA - Folk and Traditional Arts, All Roads Film program, and the National Geographic Society.

Meet The Longhouse Advisory Board

Our board is comprised of established Native artists and scholars who help to provide some of the creative direction to the Longhouse.

Marwin Begaye portrait

Marwin Begaye (Diné)

Marwin Begaye (Diné) is an Associate Professor of Printmaking and Painting. Begaye has received degrees in Illustration/Graphic Design, Painting and Printmaking. His research has been concentrated on the issues of cultural identity, especially the intersection of traditional American Indian culture and pop culture. He has also conducted research in the technical aspects of relief printing and the use of mixed-media. His work has been exhibited nationally and internationally. He has received numerous awards, including the Oklahoma Visual Artists Coalition’s Visual Arts Fellowship (2007) and Red Earth (2009).

Shelly Boyd portrait

Shelly Boyd (Arrow Lakes)

Both my parents are Arrow Lakes/ snʕa̓ y̓ ckstx; my father  descends from the Edward family (Chief Edward). My mother’s   people descend from Sepitc̓ a (also known as “Julia of the Lakes”  or Julia Provost). I grew up in Kewa (near Inchelium) where my  Tupa (Great Grandmother) led our family. My Tupa was a fluent s   speaker of the language and encouraged us as children to get a  formal education but to always remember our people and our   traditional ways. Lakes people have linages they are proud of  which reflects our continuity with the land and culture.

I have a Masters degree from Gonzaga University in Education and a Bachelors from Eastern Washington University. I spent nearly 20 years working with the Inchelium School District on the Colville Reservation and The Medicine Wheel Academy of the   Spokane School District, focusing on empowering Native youth. In 2007 I began my language journey where I dedicated myself to my own fluency in the N̓sәlxcín (Salish) language. I took four years of my life and worked with fluent speakers from Inchelium and Canada as well as other historical data. I studied archived recordings of my own Great Grandmother and other elders from our community including Pete Seymour, Dora Desautel, Mataline Desautel, Martin Louie and Tom Louie. In 2011 I was a founding member in the creation of the Inchelium Language and Culture Association (ILCA) and the Inchelium Language House, a non-profit with the mission to revitalize our language and culture. October 2017, I accepted the position as Arrow Lakes Facilitator/Coordinator for the Colville Confederated Tribes. In this position I feel I have the opportunity to assist in nurturing those connections and sharing the very important history and culture of our people. It’s important to know who you are, your past, present, future, history, language and culture, which is the heart of who we are as Indigenous people.

Mario Caro portrait

Mario A. Caro, PhD

Mario A. Caro (Mestizo) is a researcher, curator, and critic of contemporary art, having published widely on the history, theory, and criticism of contemporary Indigenous arts. His work within the academy complements his endeavors within various communities to promote global cultural exchanges. Mario is also a lecturer in the Art, Culture, and Technology Graduate Program, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Mariana Harvey portrait

Mariana Harvey (Yakama)

Mariana is the Traditional Plants Program Coordinator at Garden Raised Bounty (GRuB) in Olympia WA. Mariana has spent the last 6 years working to promote culturally based leadership initiatives for Native youth within the northwest and nationally through her work with the Native Youth Leadership Alliance and the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians Youth. Mariana co-led Native student buffalo harvests at her college in Colorado which sparked her journey into Tribal Food Sovereignty. Since then she’s returned home to Washington State and is actively learning about traditional foods from her Yakama community and elders, has studied with Elise Krohn in her Wild Roots apprenticeship and she is a founding Tend, Gather, Grow development team member. Mariana is an artist, she designs earrings using natural materials her ancestors used and is a Native song composer & singer. Mariana has her Bachelors of Arts Degree in American Indian Studies. She is a member of the Yakama Nation and a proud mother of Áyut.

Trudy Marcellay portrait

Trudy Marcellay (Chehalis) 

Trudy Marcellay “tsl stah ble” is a master weaver, a sixth-generation basket weaver and the   daughter of master weaver,  teacher and lecturerHazel Pete (Chehalis). She has had the   opportunity to learn from master weavers, Bruce Miller (Skokomish), Karen Reed   (Puyallup), Hazel Pete, and Yvonne Peterson (Chehalis). Trudy has learned from   international Indigenous weavers and blends traditional weaving techniques with contemporary materials from around the world. Trudy is a founding member of the Hazel Pete Institute of Chehalis Basketry.

Alex McCarty portrait

Alex McCarty (Makah) 

Alexander McCarty (Makah) has taught Native Studies and Visual Arts at The Evergreen State College Olympia campus since 2014. He earned his M.i.T. degree at the Evergreen State College in 2002, and taught several years at Chief Leschi Schools in Puyallup, Washington. His teaching and visual arts interests include Pacific Northwest Native regional design, woodcarving, and printmaking. From 2015-18, Alexander was the lead designer and carver of the west elevation of the new Fiber Arts Studio that was built on The Evergreen State College Indigenous Fine Arts Campus. He also completed public works during 2013-15 for the Tacoma General Hospital’s new Rainier Tower. He lives in Olympia with his wife and two children, and enjoys working in his garden, camping, surfing, and ocean fishing.

Yvonne Peterson portrait

Yvonne Peterson (Chehalis) 

Yvonne Peterson “Too Nee Mu Sh”, an enrolled member of the Chehalis Tribe, is a member of the faculty in political science at The Evergreen State College.  Prior to joining the Evergreen faculty, she taught about American Indian learning environments, Washington State treaty relations, and contemporary issues in Native American treaties.  Yvonne’s academic training is in education and ethnic studies (Western Washington University) with graduate work in political science at the University of Arizona where she worked with Vine Deloria, Jr.  Yvonne’s work has focused on enabling American Indians to succeed in school, most especially to finish high school and enter college.  She was worked intensively on multiple aspects of this issue, working in curriculum development, program assessment, culture matters projects, and Indian youth leadership programs.  Yvonne has been a consultant for the Washington State Office of Public Instruction around the challenge of “Teaching the American Indian Learner” and says “Because mainstream teachers aren’t given tools for working with cultural differences, Native American students are often expected to change.  Indian youth maintain their differences are their greatest strength.  How can one culture’s teachers educate another culture’s children, without obliterating a precious heritage?”

Gail Trembly

Gail Tremblay (Micmac/Onondaga) 

Gail Tremblay has been contributing to the arts and cultural life of Washington State for decades by sharing a unique vision through her multimedia visual works, art installations, her critical writing, and poetry. She has mentored hundreds of students in the fields of visual arts, writing, Native American, gender and cultural studies. Her artwork is included in the collections of the Hallie Ford Museum of Art, Willamette University, Salem OR; National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian, Washington DC; Arkansas Art Center, Little Rock, AK; and the Portland Art Museum, Portland, OR. She has been included in numerous exhibitions and anthologies concerning feminism, gender roles and the Native American experience. (Bio from Froelick Gallery site and has been slightly edited)

Shirod Younker portrait

Shirod Younker (Coquille/Coos/Umpqua) 

Shirod Younker Is a practicing artist, instructor and a partner in a small business operating in the state of Oregon. Mr. Younker’s art practice predominantly works to promote and instruct Indigenous people how to make Traditional Native American tools, models that help perpetuate cultural arts, subsistence and ceremonial practices. He is the Director for the "Journeys In Creativity" program that provides art and higher education opportunities for Native American Teens.  Additionally he is a partner with Kanim Associates LLC who  provides expertise for Native American tribal communities working in the Energy, Natural Resources and Educational fields.

Fund Development Council

Helen Carlson portrait

Helen Carlson

Legacy Gallery

Helen Carlson, co-owner of The Legacy Ltd, brings her eye for quality to a gallery with an international reputation as a source for the finest examples of Northwest Coastal Art. Clients include The British Museum as well as other major museums and an outstanding list of private collectors. A native of Seattle, Helen has been interested in Northwest Coast Indian art since the 1970’s when she studied with Bill Holm and Robin Wright at the University of Washington. She learned about many aspects of Northwest Coast Native art and culture while at the UW. She received a BA in anthropology in 1980. One part of her training in archaeology included working at The Ozette Archaeological site on the Olympic Peninsula with the Makah tribe and Washington State University. Helen also took part in archaeological  surveys on the Columbia River and in the Puget Sound area. Since 1977 photography has been a passion as well as a career and she has photographed many artists, dance groups and events in the Native American communities. She has won numerous awards for her photographs.

Ellen Ferguson portrait

Ellen L. Ferguson, Co-Chair

The Hugh and Jane FergusoFoundation

Described as “profoundly committed to the welfare of the diverse communities of the Puget Sound region,” Ellen has been a long time philanthropist. After majoring in political science and history at Puget Sound, Ferguson earned her Master in Museology degree from University of Washington. She is currently director of community relations at the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture. She also is co-president of the board of the Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience. She was named the Women’s Funding Alliance “Inspirational Leader of the Year” and received the Washington Museum Association’s Board of Directors Award of Excellence. (Pulled from University of Puget Sound)

John McCoy portrait

Washington State Senator John McCoy, Co-Chair

Tulalip Tribes

Washington State Senator John McCoy, Co-Chair of the Fund Development Council, Tulalip Tribes. John represents the Everett, Marysville, and Tulalip communities and neighborhoods of Snohomish County. First elected to the House of Representatives in 2003, John was appointed to the Senate in November 2013. In the Senate, John serves as the Chair of the Senate Democratic Caucus. He also serves on the Natural Resources Committee, Agriculture, Water, Trade & Economic Development Committee and the Rules Committee.

Rita Moore portrait

Rita Moore

Rita Moore took early retirement from a career in the software industry when she and Robert moved to Washington in 1999. Since then she has devoted herself to ecological restoration and the study of Washington native plants, serving as a Washington Native Plant Steward, and a King Conservation District Land/Water Steward and Forest Advisor. Rita and Robert started seriously collecting and studying Northwest Coast Native Art around 2008. Pieces from their collection have been shown at the Seattle Art Museum, the Palm Springs Art Museum, and the Schack Art Center. Rita is currently on the Steering Committee of the Seattle-based Friends of Native Art.

Robert Moore portrait

Robert Moore

Robert Moore has spent his professional career in artificial intelligence research at SRI International, NASA Ames Research Center, Microsoft Research, and Google Research. Robert and Rita started seriously collecting and studying Northwest Coast Native Art around 2008. Pieces from their collection have been shown at the Seattle Art Museum, the Palm Springs Art Museum, and the Schack Art Center. Robert is currently president of the Seattle-based Friends of Native Art.

Marcia Mueller

Marcia Mueller

Marcia Mueller Photography

Marcia Mueller enjoyed a successful 20-year business management career before returning to school at Evergreen for a Master of Environmental Studies degree where she focused on water issues and environmental health (MES '94).  She had graduate internships as a Legislative Analyst at Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission and Washington State Association of Counties. Marcia also worked with the Squaxin Island Tribe on water quality issues through the Washington State Department of Health.  As a result of her Evergreen education, she had a 10-year career at DOH as an Environmental Health Program Manager before starting her own business, Evergreen Environmental Consultants. She also worked as a consultant with EPA Region X Office of Toxic Substances as a lead poisoning prevention specialist. Since her retirement, Marcia has concentrated on her passion for nature photography and volunteering.  She's currently serving a second term on The Evergreen State College Foundation Board of Governors and continues to serve on the Longhouse Fund Development Committee.

Paul Nicholson portrait

Paul Nicholson

Legacy Gallery

Paul Nicholson is a co-owner of The Legacy LTD and printed many of the prints in The Evergreen State College’s Native Art Print Collection. He studied the graphic arts of the Northwest Coast while working at the Ozette archaeological site for WARC and the Makah tribe. It was during his time at the University of Washington that he began to study Lushootseed, a local Pacific Northwest Salish language, with Salish elder Vi Hilbert. He learned the craft of printing and began to print editions for artists in the Pacific Northwest. Nicholson has printed editions for many Native American artists and arts organizations, including Greg Colfax, Tony Hunt, Marvin Oliver, David Boxley, and Robert Davidson. In 2001 Nicholson, along with co-owner, Helen Carlson, bought the The Legacy LTD gallery that they currently work out of, which features contemporary and historic art and prints.

Paul Rudnick

Paul Rudnick

Paul Rudnick received a B.A. in Anthropology from the University of Washington (’90) and a Master of Environmental Studies degree from The Evergreen State College (’97). Majoring in sociocultural anthropology lead him to work at The Burke Museum, and an interest in the rights of Indigenous peoples and Native American culture. For the past 20 years Paul has been working in Development for organizations, including the University of Washington and the World Wildlife Fund. In 2017, he returned to work at Evergreen as their Associate Vice President for Development. Paul, his wife, and two children live in Tacoma.

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