We had the good fortune of connecting with Lynn JamesJackson and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Lynn, other than deciding to work for yourself, what was the single most important decision you made that contributed to your success?
My Ancestors and understanding want generational wealth actually meant. I had to learn how to life with and above intergenerational transmission.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Being a Native American and African American women in Oregon has not been easy. I am proud of my cultures, I am free under God when it comes to my past. I am excited that I have had the opportunity for over 3 decades to work as a social work with individual with substance use and mental health disorders. I believe as long as there is breath there is hope, picking or choosing who I help is not an indigenous value. I have learned it takes courage to stand up against systemic racism, colonialism or missionary beliefs that America was founded on. Becoming an elder has given me experiences with how the system have impacted my ancestors, I am carrying the torch fighting the same internal/external fights they fought. Just during a different time in history. There is still a lot of work to do. WE need to work together to heal future generations so history doesn’t keep repeating itself. I have so many examples.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I also know that the Pacific Northwest, you have options, to go Ski, the coast, hiking and other scenic views. We want then to come during at time we would be in a ceremony. I would go straight to the Columbia Gorge, Multnomah Falls, Chehalis Reservation and Yakama Reservation where my ancestors are buried. Learning the history of the Pacific Northwest, I love boating and fishing or to a Native American Ceremony, Pow-wow or give -away. I would also love to take them horseback riding (if able). Most of the gathering have traditional foods, salmon, roots along with art work. I would want the them to enjoy themselves enough to come back.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My Creator, Ancestors, my 5 beautiful children,(my daughter-in-law, Nicole Tyler) my grandchildren. I want to thank my Native American tribes, I am affiliated with Yakama, Nisqually and Cowlitz tribes, African American, LGBTQ and recovery communities for all their love and support. I want to thank everyone that has crossed my path during my journey good, bad or indifferent that turned my losses into lessons or gifts.

Website: marykionafoundation.com

Other: We would take from Mary Kiona Foundation let the board members get the word out too.

Image Credits
Google: Mary Kiona( She raised my mother until my mother was taken to boarding schools) and Chief Kamiakin (signed treaty of 1855 for Confederated Tribes and Bands of Yakama Nation) I am a direct decadent of both of them.

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