Colleen is an enrolled member of the Kithehaki Band of the Pawnee Nation and a member of the Upper Athabascan people of Mentasta Lake.
Colleen was previously the Executive Director of the Chief Seattle Club, a nonprofit dedicated to the needs of Native American and Alaska Native people who are experiencing homelessness in Seattle. Chief Seattle Club provides a safe and sacred place to rest, revive and nurture the spirit of urban Native people. They serve urban Native people, 7 days a week, providing services such as hot meals, clothing, laundry, showers, resources for sobriety and wellness, and cultural programming. Because of the crisis of housing instability and homelessness in King County the Chief Seattle Club will open low-income housing in 2021.
The Seattle Met Magazine named Colleen one of the 50 most influential women in Seattle in 2018. Colleen was awarded the Adeline Garcia Community Service Award in 2018. Antioch University awarded Colleen the Public Service Award also in 2018. The Chief Seattle Club is the winner of the 2017 Neighborhood Builder Award. Municipal League of King County named Chief Seattle Club organization of the year in 2016. Crosscut Media awarded Colleen their annual Courage Award for Public Service, also in 2016.
As the founder of the Coalition to End Urban Native Homelessness, Ms. Echohawk is committed to homeless advocacy. The coalition is a first of its kind to respond to the trajectory of Native American and Alaska Native people living away from reservations in urban places and experiencing homelessness. Ms. Echohawk is interested in creating systems and structures that help facilitate wellness, and encourage kindness and courage. Her education has been focused on organizational development and leadership; helping brilliant people do better work for the greater good. She is the co-founder and principal at Headwater People Consulting Group.
Ms. Echohawk serves on local boards including a Mayoral appointment to the Community Police Commission. Other board affiliations are KUOW (National Public Radio member station,) Downtown Seattle Association, All-Home Coordinating. She is also the past board chair at Red Eagle Soaring Native Youth Theatre. Colleen is a past board member at the Pioneer Square Preservation Board.
In her spare time, she loves to read, sing karaoke, listen to National Public Radio and cook delicious food for her friends and family. Ms. Echohawk is a proud mom to two children and is married to Matt Hayashi.