Multnomah County names its first Tribal Relations Advisor

November 18, 2022

Anna Marie Allen, center, Multnomah County's newly appointed Tribal Affairs Advisor.
Multnomah County has named Anna Marie Allen as the County’s first Tribal Affairs Advisor in the Office of Government Relations. 

As Tribal Affairs Advisor, Allen will be responsible for establishing and maintaining relationships and leading policy initiatives with tribal governments and community-based organizations on behalf of the Board of Commissioners and County programs. She will also represent the County and the Office of Government Relations in a number of venues.

"As the first position of its kind at Multnomah County, it was imperative for us to find someone who brings an ideal blend of skills, experience, perspective and passion. Anna is, without question, the right person to deepen the County's work of supporting and empowering Indigenous communities," said Chair Deborah Kafoury.

Multnomah County is home to one of the largest urban Indian populations in the United States and is located on Indigenous land and the traditional village sites of tribes including the Multnomah, Wasco, Cowlitz, Kathlamet, Clackamas, Bands of Chinook, Tualatin, Kalapuya, Molalla, and others. 

Allen, who uses she/her pronouns, is a proud member of the Shoshone-Bannock Tribe from the Fort Hall Reservation. She brings more than 12 years of experience working with Indigenous communities in both the nonprofit and public sectors, using her background in advocacy, community engagement, policy influence and development, and relationship building, to advance equitable change for historically harmed communities. 

After serving as a youth advocate and development coordinator with the Native American Youth and Family Center, Allen joined Chair Kafoury’s staff as a policy and engagement advisor in 2015 to lead the office’s outreach efforts with communities of color. 

While working for the Chair, in 2016, Allen earned a Gates Millennium Scholarship through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. She attended Portland State University while working full time, studying political science and Indigenous studies. 

In 2021, she became the first-ever Equity and Inclusion Director for the City of Bend. She returned to the Portland area this September to serve as the interim director for the County’s Office of Community Involvement, splitting her time to also serve as a senior project manager supporting Chair Kafoury in the remaining months of her final term. 

One of Allen’s first initiatives as Tribal Affairs Advisor will be the renaming of the Sauvie Island Bridge. The Board of County Commissioners this week approved a resolution to launch the community engagement process for finding a new name that reflects the island’s rich Indigenous history before colonization.

Allen also serves on the board of directors for Bridge Meadows, an organization devoted to multi-generational housing solutions for youth in the foster care system.

Allen identifies as a mother, bow hunter, silversmith, traditional bead weaver and creator. 

She will start her new role Dec. 12.