Itukdi kadux (Good day),
My name is Alyssa Macy and I joined WCV and WEC in January as the new CEO. I imagined that my first year would be challenging but I did not imagine that we would be living and working through a global pandemic. This is difficult but I also look at this as an opportunity – to innovate, discipline oneself, and connect deeper with the family, friends, colleagues, and members of the organization. In that spirit, I wanted to share with each of you a little about who I am and where I come from.
I am the daughter of activists who, prior to my birth, were raising the issue of Tribal treaty rights and sovereignty to the Federal Government in the early 1970s. The movement brought them together and they raised me with a deep understanding of justice, respect for our planet, a love for my people and culture, and a belief that when we work together we can solve complex challenges.
I am a citizen of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, Oregon and was raised on the Warm Springs Indian Reservation. Much like many of the regions in Washington, Central Oregon is breathtakingly beautiful – with snow-capped mountains, mighty rivers, endless sagebrush, towering timber stands, magical waterfalls, and remnants of explosive volcanic activity. These beautiful lands are dotted by rural communities, ranchers and farmers, Tribal Nations, and resilient, hardworking people. I count myself as one of them.
Like many Indigenous communities, we have been witnessing climate change impacts to our ability to hunt, fish, and gather in usual and accustomed places. Salmon runs in the Columbia River are at historic lows and deer and elk populations struggle as ecosystems degrade. The times of gathering traditional foods, like roots and berries, come sooner. The snow-capped mountains are sometimes barren during summer months and waterways are becoming warmer. The threat to our cultural lifeways is painfully real.
I’ve also seen the impacts of climate change to this region – especially the increasing challenges with balancing water needs between Tribal Nations, communities, agriculture, ranching, and economic development. I’ve seen how some communities started to take action to mitigate climate change impacts, and the consequences of those who have not yet started to pivot away from extractive natural resource industries.
It is with these experiences and a deep love for this region that I come to WCV and WEC. I stepped into this role at an unprecedented time. Our planet is suffering and with it, people. I’m excited to join an organization that has been a leader in addressing critical environmental challenges in our region, believes deeply in partnership and collective power, and is committed to ensuring that those most impacted by environmental degradation are at the table in meaningful ways.
I’m honored to be leading a talented staff and working with committed boards of directors to elect environmental champions to curb climate change impacts, develop smart, innovative policy, and bring our collective strength forward to advocate for these policies. We must unequivocally act with expedience. We owe it to those who have come before us, those that are here with us now, and those yet to come.
I look forward to working alongside you toward a better future for all.