A Reflection on the May 2024 National Organizer Training

Last month I had the honor of joining the Native Organizers Alliance for the National Organizers Training in Federal Way, Washington which is the traditional land of the Cayuse, Umatilla, Walla Walla, and Puyallup. I’ve worked for NOA since 2022 but the timing never aligned for me to join this five day long trip that weaves together principles that are vital for grassroots organizing with traditional values. Everything happens for a reason and I believe I was supposed to be a part of this cohort. 

The organic connection between all of us as individuals was a beautiful thing. There was an understanding that we were all there for the same reason: to learn and grow so that we could return to our own communities with new tools that make our work more meaningful. 

There is a good balance between the various modules that have been uniquely and intentionally curated by the NOA Training Team. Some topics were heavier than others, but each day started with prayer and ended with reflection. Most importantly: every participant is equally valued. We all brought a different perspective to the space which only added to the tapestry of the work we are involved in around Indian Country.

I am so grateful to have been a part of this May 2024 cohort. My experience was spiritually fulfilling and will impact the work I am involved in through NOA. And I can’t wait to see what everyone else in the cohort is up to over the years! Overall, I left the National Organizer Training with renewed hope. 

A big thank you goes out to Judith and Robert, who are great examples of strength and humility, as well as the rest of the Training Team who took the time away from their families and communities. This experience is one I won’t forget.

Wado (thanks in Cherokee) for reading,

Shea Vassar Gomez