Meet The Team
Colette August, Canku Duta Win (Red Road Woman)
Tla’amin First Nation Citizen (Coast Salish), Little Shell Chippewa (Anishinaabe) and has family ties to Lower Sioux Community (Dakota). Colette brings 17 years experience in human services, volunteer work and even started a Survivors of Suicide group in her hometown of Tacoma. has worked at the Tahoma Indian Center since 2017 and in that time has started Overdose Awareness Day, and participated in Na'ah Illahee Fund's Neighborhood Capacity Building.
Colette has a bachelors degree from The Evergreen State College (TESC).
Her drive, and passion for community & healing derives from her love of family - with 5 sons and a granddaughter that motivate her to ensure the community they live in will be a safe and healthy place.
Colette loves roller skating, bike riding, hiking, Muay Thai training and photography in her spare time as a way to rejuvenate her to be able to provide her best self to her family and community.
Has completed her AA degree at Pierce College and plans to return to school next fall to continue her education in the medical field and traditional food and plant medicine. She enjoys spending time with family and outdoors. Her passions are traveling and helping others.
Jeffrey Thomas has been a cross-cultural ambassador throughout his life, starting with being a Seattle All-American Indian Dancer performing in the 1964 Seattle Chinatown parade at 6 years old.
Jeffrey has a Zoology B.S. degree from the University of Washington. His lifetime of cultural links to his local salmon resources led to his serving as a fisheries biologist for the Point No Point Treaty Council during 1983 until he joined the Puyallup Tribal Fisheries Department as the Director of their Timber, Fish & Wildlife Program in August 1989.
He has been leading the implementation of the 1987 Washington State Timber/Fish/Wildlife Agreement for the Puyallup tribal community ever since.
He's been a continuous tribal representative at the WA Department of Natural Resources “Small Forest Landowners Advisory Committee” since 2000.
Jeffrey’s professional growth includes earning a UW-Seattle Masters of Marine Affairs degree in 2016 (including his thesis subtitled “Developing a Tribal/Salmonids Social-Ecological Systems Model), and joining the Northwest Indian College/Muckleshoot Campus as a co-instructor of the 3-quarter series of cultural sovereignty courses. You can find some of his important educational work and contributions on the Educational Resources Page
Toby holds a 2 year degree from Tacoma Community College. He previously worked for GREAT camp for the Puyallup tribal police department and Chief Leschi Schools.
He currently serves as a major support and organizer for Tahoma Indian Center activities.
Patricia Conway Ortiz
Bio Coming Soon.
Melissa Meyer is Tsimshian, a member of the Eagle clan from a northern fishing village in British Columbia, Canada called Lax kw’alaams or Island of Wild Roses. She is a mother of two and she now lives and stewards a 1 acre farm known as Rose Island Farm in ancestral Puyallup territory.
Melissa is a Traditional Plant Practitioner for the Nisqually tribe and life-long student of our plant relatives. She is a Traditional Plants, Foods & Medicine Educator and collaborates with the Canoe Journey Herbalists to provide weekly traditional plant care to our relatives at the Tahoma Indian Center.
Melissa can often be found hiking the trails and parks of Washington and wild harvesting local plants and weather permitting, swimming outdoors in lakes or the ocean whenever possible!
You can find her work at her website and instagram:
Bio Coming Soon.
Bio Coming Soon.