Northwest Health Foundation knows when elected officials look like their constituents, the policies they create work better for all of us. So, when a community leader connected to one of our funded partners is running, we want to spotlight them. This does not constitute an endorsement.
Jaylyn Suppah (Warm Springs, Wasco, Shoshone Bannock, Yakama) is running for the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs Tribal Council as part of the Unite Warm Springs campaign, a group of four candidates dedicated to a common goal: “help build our People and our Nation.” Although tribal members will vote on each candidate separately, the four chose to campaign together, because they believe in a Warm Springs united across voting districts.
Several community members had encouraged Jaylyn to run for Tribal Council in the past. So, when Unite Warm Springs approached her to join them, she said yes. A slate of candidates with a common platform has never run in Warm Springs before, and that excited her. Although technically she’s running for a seat as Simnasho District representative, she emphasizes her intent to serve the whole Nation of Warm Springs.
Besides the few years Jaylyn spent at college attaining her associate’s degree, she’s lived her whole life in Warm Springs. Currently, she works for the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs as a community planner, managing the Papalaxsimisha program, which supports Native youth. As a freshman in college, Jaylyn struggled with finances and debt. Now she’s creating a financial management program for youth, so others will know what she didn’t as a teenager.
Before working for the Tribes, Jaylyn worked for the nonprofit Let’s Talk Diversity Coalition, one of Northwest Health Foundation’s grantees through the Healthy Beginnings+Healthy Communities initiative. Thanks to Let’s Talk Diversity Coalition, Jaylyn started getting into advocacy, policy change and cultural awareness. Jaylyn currently attends Evergreen State College. She’s working toward a B.A. through the Native Pathways Program, with an emphasis on tribal government.
Jaylyn wants Warm Springs to start talking about their historical trauma. She says they need to talk so they can start healing. She also wants to empower youth to get involved in advocacy and government.
No matter whether she’s elected or not, Jaylyn plans to continue this work.