Welcome from Interim Director Mary Rose Navarro

I remember my first drive from the Portland Airport over the Fremont Bridge. With Mt. Hood standing solidly to my left, Mt. St. Helens to my right and the dense evergreens in Forest Park in front of me, I was in awe. I moved to Oregon in 1990, and after 34 years of nurturing friendships, getting married, raising two children and working to connect people to nature, I feel honored to call this place home.

But a home needs tending. After years of tree planting, stream restoration, policy advocacy, and influencing investments in thriving communities through investments in nature, I still seek to deepen my connections to the land and Indigenous peoples of Oregon and Washington. That’s what drew me to Confluence and Stephanie Craig’s weaving workshops this past December and January. Stephanie introduced us to Tule and Cedar. As each workshop participant worked with the material, we shared stories of the joys and challenges of our lives. We supported each other as we learned the weaving techniques and watched as our own creative expressions emerged.

A few weeks later, Colin Fogarty called to see if I was available to serve as Confluence’s Interim Executive Director. I accepted. It is a deep honor to serve the board, the staff, and all the Indigenous educators who make up the Confluence community.

The Board is going through a thoughtful and deliberate effort to recruit and hire the next Executive Director. That lucky person will step into an organization with a dedicated staff, a talented board, strong business practices, stable funding, and deep community relationships. Thanks to Colin’s 10 years of leadership, the next Executive Director will be well-positioned to continue elevating Indigenous voices to help people connect to the Columbia River system’s history, living culture, and ecology—and understand what it means to tend to our home.

In the meantime, Confluence will carry our mission onwards through public programming, professional development workshops, school programs such as Camp Confluence, and print publications such as Voices of the River. You can read more about our upcoming programming below, plus an opportunity to join the Confluence team as an Operations Assistant.

With Heartfelt Gratitude,

Mary Rose
Interim Executive Director

Mary Rose Navarro (right) and her friend, Jes Larson, at a Confluence basket weaving workshop.