Tony A. (naschio) Johnson
As a program officer, Tony (naschio) builds relationships with communities and grantees across Washington State and helps shape grantmaking and program strategies to improve health equity. He has spent his career promoting cultural and community health, including serving as director of the Education and Heritage Department for the Shoalwater Bay Indian Tribe, chair of the Northwest Indian Language Institute Advisory Board at the University of Oregon, and cultural education coordinator and language specialist with the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde. Born and raised in Southwest Washington, Tony is a member of the Chinook Indian Nation and chairman of the Tribal Council, as well as chairman of the Cultural Committee. He brings deep, multi-generational connections with tribal and non-tribal communities throughout the state and a personal understanding of the socioeconomic injustices present in many rural communities.
Tony is also an artist, carver, and designer. His most recent project—a large-scale installation reflecting the arrival of a Chinookan canoe carrying cultural heroes from the Columbia River—is displayed on the entry plaza, greeting visitors to the Burke Museum. He and his family live above the Willapa River, where they feel inspired by the natural beauty around them and compelled by the lifeways of their ancestors. Tony studied silversmithing and American Indian Studies at the University of Washington and earned a BFA with a minor in anthropology at Central Washington University. He is also a licensed American Indian language teacher specific to the Chinuk Wawa language that he learned from his elders.