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Jaime A. Pinkham Plenary Session Speaker

Jaime A. Pinkham

Jaime was recruited to help launch the Native Nations program in 2009. In time, the work led to the creation of an independent entity that would continue to support tribes with their nation building strategies. In late 2015, that entity—the Native Governance Center (NGC)—became reality. He is still a Bush employee but now on loan as a Senior Advisor to support NGC in their early stages. He rates NGC’s creation as a career highlight along with restoring wolves to Idaho and regaining ancestral lands in Oregon.

Before joining the Foundation he spent the previous two and a half decades advocating for tribal sovereignty and treaty rights in the Pacific Northwest including being twice elected to the Nez Perce Tribal Executive Committee.

During a 9-month sabbatical to simply “hop off the treadmill” he helped out on causes and places he cared about. One project landed him in the Yukon to assist a coalition of native villages devoted to protecting the Yukon watershed. In the Yukon he came across a beautiful sight: an intern, Tija Karklis, who is a Latvian-U.S. citizen. Smitten, married and still smitten he and Tija continue to travel to the Yukon to support the coalition of native villages. His sabbatical was “the best medicine I’ve ever taken.”

Jaime has a passion for “wildness” that originated in his youth hunting and fishing with his father, grandfather and older brother. Over the years he has served on various conservation boards and currently sits on The Wilderness Society Governing Council, American Rivers Board of Directors and Northland College Board of Trustees (a private liberal arts college with an environmental emphasis).

He still owns a log house on the Nez Perce Reservation but when he’s home he prefers to hang out in the mountains or down by one of the many rivers. After a long day he’s at his parent’s house for a “sweat” with the men of the family. And, if he times his trips right he can be found sitting around the drum with his brothers singing the old songs in the old way.

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