Native Americans in Philanthropy (NAP) is excited to bring on two additions to our staff! At our main office in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Tess Dornfeld joins NAP as our new Administrative Assistant. And based out of Seattle, Washington, Tachini Pete joins us as the Northwest Regional Network Weaver. We’re excited to have their wealth of knowledge and experience as we continue this important work of strengthening the health and well-being of our communities. Read more about Tess and Tachini in their bios below.
Tess Dornfeld is a lifelong Minnesotan who grew up in Owatonna and graduated from Carleton College in 2010 with an interdisciplinary degree in sustainable development and minor in Spanish. She spent a semester each in Costa Rica and in Botswana studying ecology and anthropology, and while on campus led the student environmental organization and the outdoors club. Since graduating, Tess has led student travel and service programs in Cambodia and Laos, worked as a field assistant on ecology research in Equatorial Guinea, and taught science and social studies at a prep school for top local students in Somalia. She has also been a community organizer in Minnesota with the Human Rights Campaign, and has returned on occasion to her longtime position at a Boundary Waters canoe outfitter. Tess now resides in Minneapolis, where she enjoys being involved in local activism, biking, cross-country skiing, and supporting the local doughnut industry. You can reach Tess at [email protected].
Tachini Pete was raised in both the Flathead Reservation and Navajo Reservation with strong cultural values in the Salish and Navajo traditions. His mother is Salish and his father Navajo. He is the father of four children, three sons, and one daughter. He has been an avid learner and teacher of the Salish language since 1994. Tachini is a learner by nature. He has earned Certificate’s of Completion in Automotive Technology from Wyoming Technical Institute and Salish Cultural Leadership from Salish Kootenai College (SKC); Associate’s degrees in Native American Studies and Bilingual Education from SKC. In 2001 he graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Elementary Education from the University of Montana Western and in 2010 he graduated from Gonzaga University with a Master’s Degree in Business Administration. His art and work activities include a small business producing and selling Native American drums online (Tachini Drums, www.tachinidrums.com), teaching, curriculum development, and most notable, in 2002 Tachini was the lead co-founder and served as executive director of the non-profit organization, Nkwusm, Salish Language Revitalization Institute until December 2011. Among others, his major accomplishments include publication of the first modern Salish language translation dictionary in 1998 followed up with a more comprehensive 816-page second edition (Medicine for the Salish Language, SKC Press) with thousands of entries published in 2010. Tachini is devoted to strengthening community and empowering youth through the wisdom of indigenous languages. His forte is second language acquisition, language revitalization, and small business and nonprofit development, drum crafting is his art. Currently, Tachini serves as the Program Director at Potlatch Fund (www.potlatchfund.org). You can reach Tachini at [email protected].