TPL Announces New Tribal and Native Lands Program Coordinator

Portland, OR, 7/30/2008: The national nonprofit organization, Trust for Public Land today announced the arrival of their newest member, Carol Craig who will serve as the Northwest Rocky Mountain Region Tribal and Native Lands (T&NL) Program Coordinator.

TPL’s Tribal and Native Lands program works with Tribes and Native communities to reconstitute a viable land base that will safeguard natural resources and provide opportunities to continue spiritual practices and maintain traditional economies.

Charles Sams III, TPL’s Tribal and Native Lands program said, “Ms. Craig will be a vital part of this dynamic program to help return land to Native Peoples across the United States>”

“She will be working out of the Oregon Field Office. And with the addition of Ms. Craig it will greatly serve our mission, “land for people,” Sams said. As part of her duties she will be traveling to various reservations working with tribes on land issues.

Craig is an enrolled Yakama tribal member in Washington State. She formerly worked for her tribe as well as the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission (CRITFC) also located in Portland, Ore. “Ms. Craig comes to us with a wealth of experience and knowledge. She has worked with northwest tribal communities for over 20 years,” said Sams.

During her 14 years with the Yakama Nation she served as the public information manager for the Yakama Nation Fish and Wildlife Program. “She was editor, writer, photographer and layout designer for the full-color magazine Sin-Wit-Ki which won several awards over the years from Washington Press Women, Native American Journalist Association and National Federation of Press Women,” said Sams.

Her public outreach educational materials and public relations on tribal treaty rights, tradition and culture also garnered local, regional and national awards. “I think it is important for the public to get a clear picture of tribes and their treaty rights to understand who we are as a people,” said Craig.

She was also a major part of the producing of several videos that explain and educate people on tribal treaties, culture, and traditional fishing practices. She holds a bachelor of science in Journalism from Portland State University. “I first came to Portland to go to college and stayed for 17 years then returned home and now I am back,” Craig said.

Craig has written numerous articles for Sin-Wit-Ki, News From Indian Country, CRITFC’s Wana Chinook Tymoo, the Oregon Historical Quarterly, and several newspapers. Just last year she was involved with the Celilo Commemoration that also provided northwest teacher workshops educating them about the meaning and importance of such a sacred place. “The falls were inundated after the completion of The Dalles Dam that was a major economic center for tribes since the beginning of time. It had been 50 years since the tribes lost that place,” she said.

Craig is a two-time nominee for the Buffet Award for Indigenous Leadership through Ecotrust, a Howard Simons Fellow for Native American Journalism and recipient of the Enduring Spirit Award from the Native Action Network, “In recognition of strong leadership and lifetime commitment to Native Peoples,” May 2006.

In her new capacity with Trust for Public Land Craig said, “It’s like coming back home. I’ve always enjoyed being in Portland especially since my children and grandchildren are still here.” She has a daughter and son, and one granddaughter and two grandsons.

The Trust for Public Land, established in 1972, specializes in conservation real estate, applying its expertise in negotiations, public finance, and law to protect land for people to enjoy as parks, greenways, community gardens, urban playgrounds, and wilderness. With funding from the Forest Legacy Program, the federal Land & Water Conservation Fund, state and local open-space funds, and other public and private investments, TPL has helped to protect more than 1.4 million acres across the country.