About us

Group photo from Tribal Nations Summit 2018 in front of City Hall
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About us

The Tribal Relations Program promotes culturally grounded, long-term, positive relationships and decision-making processes through government-to-government engagement with Tribal governments and the urban American Indian / Alaska Native community. Through the Tribal Relations program, the City is set-up to have focused and long-term strategies to work through well-established relationships with tribal nations and improve programs and services to Native people living in Portland. The program affirms and strengthens the City’s commitment to American Indian / Alaska Native people and coordinates policymaking to ensure that there is access to opportunities for a high quality of life and continuation of cultural lifeways now and for future generations.  

The Tribal Relations Program advises City bureaus and Council offices on outreach to, and interactions with, Tribal governments and the urban Indian community. Likewise, the program fields requests and inquiries from Tribes and community members about engagement with the City.  

For inquiries, please contact tribal.relations@portlandoregon.gov.

Laura John (she/her), Tribal Relations Director


Laura John, a descendent of the Blackfeet and Seneca Nations, started in her role as the City's Tribal Relations Director in 2017.  She brings over 20 years of experience working in Indian Country. She is a former State Policy Fellow with the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and was formally the State-Tribal Policy Analyst for the Montana Budget & Policy Center, working closely with Native American state legislators and elected tribal leaders in Montana. As Tribal Relations Director, she assists the Mayor, City Council, and City bureaus strengthen relationships and coordinate overall policy development with Tribal Governments and the Portland Native American community. Laura was born and raised in Portland and is honored to have the opportunity to serve her community in this role.

Miranda Mishan (she/her), Tribal Relations Community Liaison


As the Tribal Relations Community Liaison, Miranda works to build relationships with the urban Native American community in the Portland region and develop culturally relevant community engagement processes to support bureaus and council offices. She supports the implementation of the Tribal Relations framework across the City. She believes that creating equitable outcomes requires collaboration and grassroots engagement with the communities she serves. Miranda is a PhD student at Portland State University.