Community Fund names new Hatfield Fellow

By Angela Sears

Community Fund program coordinator

The Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde and Spirit Mountain Community Fund have selected Traven Joseph as the 2018-19 Hatfield Fellow.

Joseph, who was born and raised in Oregon, is a member of the Koyokon Athabascan of Tanana, Alaska/Doyon Corp. and the Gros-Ventre (White Clay) Tribe of Fort Belknap, Mont.

Joseph is a graduate of the University of Oregon where he received a bachelor’s degree in Applied Business and Economics. He has an active history in Indian Country with past work at the Native Wellness Institute and Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board.

The Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde established the Mark O. Hatfield Fellowship in 1998 as a living tribute to honor his accomplishments as governor and senator. Each year, Spirit Mountain Community Fund sponsors a Native American to serve as the Hatfield Fellow, and intern in a congressional office for an eight-month term.

Placement of the fellow traditionally rotates through the Oregon congressional delegation to enhance the mutual understanding between leadership in Washington, D.C., and Indian Country.  

Joseph will serve in U.S. Rep. Suzanne Bonamici’s office. He will be the second fellow that she has hosted since taking office in 2012.

“Senator Hatfield was a consummate statesman who is remembered for his integrity and effectiveness, and so it is with great honor that I welcome the next Hatfield Fellow, Traven, into my office,” Bonamici said. “This fellowship will give my office and the Oregon congressional delegation an opportunity to learn more about issues affecting Oregon Tribes and give Traven a learning experience that will be beneficial to him in the future. I look forward to working together and seeing all that he will accomplish.”

Joseph will begin his fellowship in November with a monthlong orientation at the American Political Science Association in Washington, D.C. Following orientation, he will assume his placement in Bonamici’s office.

Joseph said he looks forward to being a part of Bonamici’s team and learning more about the legislative process. He added that he is passionate about educational issues in Native American communities and hopes to have an opportunity to advise the staff about these important issues, and to work toward a systemic change.

His future plans include returning to school in pursuit of a master’s degree in business administration and a law degree. He said he hopes to combine his education with his fellowship experience to obtain a leadership role within his Tribe or Indian Country.


Past Hatfield Fellows

1998: Pete Wakeland (Grand Ronde)

1999: Direlle Calica (Warm Springs)

2000: Alyssa Macy (Warm Springs)

2001: Bodie Shaw (Warm Springs)

2002: Kevin Simmons (Grand Ronde)

2003: Bryan Mercier (Grand Ronde)

2004: Joseph Hostler (Grand Ronde)

2006: Dennis Worden (Coeur d’Alene)

2007: Rebecca Knight (Grand Ronde)

2008: Francene Ambrose (Grand Ronde)

2009: Stacia Martin (Grand Ronde)

2010: Shana Radford (Nez Perce)

2011-12: Darrel L. Lawrence (Grand Ronde)

2013-14: Rudy Soto (Sho-Ban)

2014-15: Mary Bodine (Warm Springs)

2015-16: Maria Givens (Coeur d’Alene)

2016-17: Robert Ahern (Warm Springs)

2017-18: Karlen Yallup (Warm Springs)