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Mechele Johnson
Board Member

Mechele has worked across Indian country for the majority of her professional career. Her tribe, the Shoalwater Bay people, located in Pacific County, was honored in 2016 with the Robert Wood Johnson Culture of Health Prize thanks to the tribe’s intentional strategy to strengthen culture, environmental resources and the health of their people on their own terms.

Mechele has served as a Shoalwater Bay tribal council woman and organized as a part of Willapa Bay Resistance, a grassroots cross-racial coalition that recruits candidates to run for office and builds the voices of low-income people of color and rural Washingtonians who want reflective leadership in their community. She serves on her tribe's health board and fish and wildlife board. She also serves on the Pulling Together For Wellness team, an effort convened by the American Indian Health Commission. She has previously served as her tribe’s representative for National Congress of American Indians

Mechele is a graduate of Yakima Valley Community College and a licensed chemical dependency counselor. She worked as a drug and alcohol counselor with both adults and children for over 12 years with a specific focus on the impacts of methamphetamine addiction within rural tribal communities. She has also worked for Indian Child Welfare for six plus years creating culturally responsive foster care licensing and placements for Native children.

Mechele is an enrolled member of the Shoalwater Bay Tribe and an active member of the Chinook Indian Nation community, where she has advocated for years for the recognition of the tribe. She is also Native Hawaiian and has deep connections to all of her indigenous heritage. She is the proud mother of five children. Her most important identity is as a mother and an indigenous woman compelled to decolonize our relationships, our foods and our health. She considers herself an advocate for social justice worldwide.