Leadership Transition at Confluence

I’m writing to let you know that after 10 years as Executive Director of Confluence, I will transition out of this role next month. Though I am sad to leave this amazing organization, I am excited for a new opportunity to join the Oregon Community Foundation. Confluence is in a strong and sustainable position right now. It seems like the right time to make room for new leadership. The Confluence Board of Directors has named Mary Rose Navarro as our Interim Executive Director to keep our programming and projects moving forward in 2024. Soon we will launch a search for a permanent replacement to lead Confluence into its next chapter.

The last decade of our work at Confluence is built on partnerships. Our list of collective accomplishments is long! Together, we have:

  • Connected thousands of students with Indigenous artists and storytellers through classroom visits and field trips to culturally significant places
  • Introduced Camp Confluence
  • Offered professional development workshops for educators and Field School learning experiences for adult learners
  • Created the Confluence Story Gatherings, produced and screened original films, hosted weaving workshops, led interpretive tours, and organized countless mulch parties and tree plantings
  • Developed interactive displays for museums to connect visitors with Indigenous voices
  • Launched the Voices of the River journal
  • Co-published the book My Name Is LaMoosh by Linda Meanus
  • Built a digital library of interviews, documentaries, and photo galleries
  • Produced a monthly podcast and radio show
  • Completed the Confluence Listening Circle by Maya Lin at Chief Timothy Park
  • Refurbished the People Overlook at the Confluence Land Bridge
  • Rebuilt the Confluence Boardwalk at Cape Disappointment
  • Established the Confluence Art Endowment at the Oregon Community Foundation
  • Started the Emerging Indigenous Artist Educator and the Confluence Filmmaker Fellows programs

Of course, there is one project that will be up to others to lead. One day, the Celilo Park project by Maya Lin will educate people about Celilo Falls, honor the Indigenous people of the Columbia River, and strengthen the Tribal presence in public spaces along the river. Though this incredible project remains on hold for now, Confluence is committed to seeing it through and so is our community of friends from the river. I remain personally committed to do what I can, no matter how long it takes.

In my time at Confluence, I had two of the greatest honors of my life. The first is to be chosen as the successor to our Founding Director Jane Jacobsen. She was a force of nature and tireless advocate for this work. Only she could have built Confluence from the ground up. My second great honor was to share a stage and work closely with our Founding Board Chair Antone Minthorn. I have not only learned enough history from him to fill an encyclopedia, I have had the chance to soak in his vision of a future for our shared homeland, to collectively always seek the “win-win”. This idea is deep in the DNA of Confluence, that elevating Indigenous voices helps create a better world for all of us.

I am very confident in our skilled and experienced staff and our dedicated Board of Directors, a majority of whom are Tribal members. We continue to be guided by the Confluence Advisory Community of Indigenous friends and partners. Interim Executive Director Mary Rose Navarro has the demonstrated competence to keep Confluence moving forward and the warmth and passion for our mission to be successful.

Thank you to all the supporters, funders, organizational partners and friends who have made this work so enriching and meaningful for me. I am truly full of gratitude. I hope our paths will continue to cross, like confluences of rivers flowing toward the same ocean.


Colin Fogarty

Executive Director

From the Board,

On behalf of the Confluence Board of Directors, we want to wish Colin Fogarty all the best in his next adventures. We appreciate all the amazing programs and projects that he and the Confluence staff have accomplished over the last 10 years.

We want to make sure you know that Confluence Board members are fully engaged in making certain this transition goes smoothly. We are impressed with Interim Executive Director Mary Rose Navarro’s smarts and commitment to our mission. Our next priority is to make sure that we find someone with just the right skills and qualifications to become the permanent Executive Director. Confluence is special and we all want to ensure we preserve what makes it unique and valuable while allowing space for its growth and natural evolution.

All the best,

Karissa Lowe, Cowlitz
Vice-Chair Confluence Board of Directors