New tribal liaison will expand State Historical Society’s outreach to tribal nations

Enrolled Colville Tribal member Michael Finley is new liaison

Submitted by Julianna Verboort

Washington State Historical Society

Web Wash State Historical Museum-41TACOMA – The Washington State Historical Society (WSHS) is proud to welcome Michael Finley as its new tribal liaison. Finley will lead outreach to Washington’s tribal nations to develop positive relationships and support advancement of WSHS programmatic initiatives and exhibitions by ensuring appropriate tribal input and consultation.

“The Washington State Historical Society and State History Museum in Tacoma are primarily responsible for telling the stories of Washington, and those stories aren’t complete without the tribal perspective,” said Finley, who has co-authored a book on Native American history that received a finalist award from the State of Washington’s Governor’s office. “I’m very much looking forward to contributing to the Society’s mission and I think the people who call Washington home will appreciate the added context to their history.”

Born and raised in Inchelium, Washington, Finley is an enrolled member of the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation and has twice served as chair of the Colville Business Council. He has also served as first vice president to the National Congress of American Indians. Finley earned his Bachelor’s degree in History with a minor in American Indian Studies in 2003, and a Masters in History in 2005, all from Eastern Washington University, where he now serves as a trustee.

“We’re proud to make this announcement,” said Jennifer Kilmer, Director of the WSHS. “Michael will truly advance our mission of partnering with our communities to explore how history connects us all by leading collaboration efforts with tribal communities and ensuring the voice of Native American people, past and present, are at the forefront in all the Society does.”