Seattle Foundation Blog

Colleen Echohawk Joins Seattle Foundation Board of Trustees

The executive director of Chief Seattle Club is an innovator, a connector and a thoughtful leader who is deeply engaged in improving our community

December 19, 2018

Colleen Echohawk has joined Seattle Foundation's Board of Trustees. Colleen is Executive Director of the Chief Seattle Club, a nonprofit dedicated to physically and spiritually supporting American Indian and Alaska Native people by providing food, medical support, housing assistance and other vital services.

Echohawk is an innovator, a connector and a thoughtful leader who is deeply engaged in improving our community. Her perspectives and experience will be invaluable to the board as we center on equity and opportunity in our mission to make Greater Seattle a stronger, more vibrant community for all.

“We are very pleased to have Colleen join the Seattle Foundation board,” said Ed Thomas, Chair of the Board, and Managing Partner for Deloitte in Seattle. “A nonprofit leader working on our community’s most critical issues, she is a bridge builder across sectors and is deeply respected by business leaders, elected officials, philanthropists and community representatives alike."

Echohawk is an enrolled member of the Pawnee Nation and a member of the Upper Ahtna Athabascan tribe. Seattle Met Magazine named her one of the 50 most influential women in Seattle in 2018. She is also the recipient of the Public Service Award from Antioch University and the Crosscut Courage Award for Public Service. The Chief Seattle Club received the 2017 Neighborhood Builder Award and was named Organization of the Year in 2016 by the Municipal League of King County.

At Chief Seattle Club, Echohawk oversees the nonprofit’s efforts to meet the needs of homeless and low-income Native people through critical services and cultural programming. She is a founder of the Coalition to End Urban Native Homelessness, the first advocacy effort in the state to focus on and find solutions for this group in need. She is also the co-founder and principal at Headwater People Consulting Group.

“Seattle Foundation is a civic leader that is working to increase the power and equity of under-represented people in our community. I am excited to bring my experience and energy to this work and to advance important systemic change in our region,” Echohawk said.

Echohawk serves on local boards including a mayoral appointment to the Community Police Commission, KUOW (National Public Radio member station), Downtown Seattle Association, and the All-Home Coordinating Board. She is the past board chair at Red Eagle Soaring Native Youth Theatre and served on the Pioneer Square Preservation Board.

About Seattle Foundation
Seattle Foundation ignites powerful, rewarding philanthropy to make Greater Seattle a stronger, more vibrant community for all. Focused on creating equity and opportunity, our goal as a community foundation is to simplify giving and strengthen the impact of philanthropy for the more than 1,200 individuals, families, businesses and nonprofits we serve. We provide deep community insights, powerful civic leadership, effective philanthropic advising and judicious stewardship of assets in support of our mission. Learn more at:



Nonprofit Partners


American Indians and Alaska NativesBasic NeedsHomelessnessphilanthropistsRacial equitySystems and policy change

Related Post

Nos Vamos 300 2

Nos Vamos: A New Photography Exhibit Explores Migration

August 08, 2019

The exhibit at Seattle International Foundation features images by Central American photojournalists

First grader Jesse Alba collaborates on Native totem drawings with Michael Truong. Both are students at MLK Jr. Elementary.

Arts and Culture: The Creative Advantage

August 05, 2019

The Creative Advantage brings the power of arts education to Seattle students in under-resourced schools and communities

Friends Deysi Olivera, left, and Elisa Antonio, appreciate the 10- week Youth Corps program that increases their understanding of environmental issues and green careers.

#NextGen: Duwamish Valley Youth Corps

July 10, 2019

A mural project helps young people learn about environmentalism