Heather Gurko

Education Manager

Caring for Indigenous people is deeply rooted in Heather Gurko’s core. It is a mission-driven passion that includes a commitment to educate the wider community about the Indigenous history, cultures, and ecology of our shared landscape. Heather’s Tlingit name is Shá xat k’ei and she is an enrolled Citizen of the Central Council Tlingit & Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska from her mother’s side and Dutch on her father’s side.

Over the past decade, Heather has been active in the Alaska Native Brotherhood, which she now serves as the first woman Grand President in the organization’s 109-year history as an Indigenous Civil Rights organization and has advocated for Indigenous Education through both the Beaverton School District and Hillsboro School District’s parent Advisory groups. Her previous work in the Indigenous community includes positions at CareOregon and the Native American Rehabilitation Association (NARA), where Heather advocated and helped remove barriers alongside community members. Heather also serves on the board of the Portland All Nations Canoe Family, where she helps coordinate the organization’s cross-generational community building, cultural strengthening, and also serves to deepen our connection to the environment.

Heather attended Sheldon Jackson College in Sitka, Alaska and then attained her BA in Management and Organizational Leadership at George Fox University. She is currently pursuing her MA in Indigenous Education at Arizona State University.

For questions regarding Confluence in the Classroom, Confluence Outdoors, and Professional Development workshops, contact her at heather@confluenceproject.org. For more info on our Education program, go here.