Indigenous Advisory Council

In 2021, Ordinance 126512 created an Indigenous Advisory Council to advise city government on issues affecting American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian people residing in Seattle. The Indigenous Advisory Council builds and strengthens Indigenous representation and Indigenous knowledge in public policy processes by promoting and advancing priorities and solutions identified by and for Indigenous communities.  

Role of the Indigenous Advisory Council 

The Indigenous Advisory Council will advise the Mayor, City Council, and City departments on policies, budgets, programs, services, and projects directly affecting Indigenous populations including American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian people. The City of Seattle's government-to-government relationship with Tribal Nations continues to be fulfilled by the Office of Intergovernmental Relations.  


The Indigenous Advisory Council consists of nine members representing Indigenous communities. All members shall demonstrate a commitment to advancing Indigenous knowledge, values, and priorities with the goal to improve access and advance City services to better serve Indigenous people in an equitable way.  Learn about the recently confirmed Council Members here.

  • Position 1 & 2: A member of an Indigenous Tribe located in Washington State and nominated by the respective tribal council as their official delegate 
  • Position 3: A member of an Indigenous Tribe and nominated by the respective tribal council as their official delegate 
  • Position 4: An Indigenous youth aged 18-29 
  • Position 5: An Indigenous elder aged 50 or older 
  • Position 6-9: A representative from an urban Indian organization and nominated by the Board of Directors of the respective urban Indian organization 

Positions 1, 2, 5, 6, and 7 are appointed by the City Council. Positions 3, 4, 8, and 9 are appointed by the Mayor. All nine members are subject to confirmation by a majority vote of the City Council. 

Terms for all positions are two years, except that the initial term for positions 1, 4, 6, and 8 are one year. Members may serve up to four consecutive terms. If the Department of Neighborhoods has found no interested and qualified person to recommend to the appointment authority for that position, members may serve additional terms.  


The Indigenous Advisory Council is not currently accepting applications. Subscribe to the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods bi-weekly newsletter to get the latest news from our department.

Strategic Vision

In 2023, the Indigenous Advisory Council developed a collective vision of a culturally grounded advisory commission.

Frequently Asked Questions

Ordinance 126512 describes that the Indigenous Advisory Council will further define and strengthen the City's unique political relationship with the Coast Salish tribal communities that are the original stewards of the land and waters of Seattle and work to fulfill trust and treaty obligations to the American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian people that reside in Seattle. Goals may include:

  • Collaborating and advising the Mayor, City Council, and City department leaders regarding issues, policies, budgets, and potential projects
  • Providing opportunities to educate and practice Native cultures and lifeways with the urban landscape and City institutions
  • Developing best practices to engage with Indigenous peoples in the area

Additional goals and priorities will be determined by Indigenous Advisory Council members.

The time commitment and duties of Indigenous Advisory Council members will vary depending on the governance structure determined by the Indigenous Advisory Council. Many boards and commissions commit an average of 4-6 hours monthly through regular, subcommittee, and special meetings.

Yes, members of the Indigenous Advisory Council will receive compensation for their service.

All City of Seattle boards and commissions have the option of meeting in hybrid formats in accordance with state law. If Indigenous Advisory Council meetings are held in-person, travel expenses for members are reimbursable commensurate with city reimbursement rates and processes. 

Everyone is eligible to apply. The City of Seattle is committed to promoting diversity in the City's boards and commissions. Women, young persons, seniors, persons with disabilities, sexual and gender minorities, persons of color and immigrants are encouraged to apply.

Please see the "Structure" section above for additional information on Indigenous Advisory Council membership eligibility criteria as outlined by Ordinance 126512.

Applications are considered by Mayoral and City Council selection committees who review and identify candidates for recommended appointment.

Selection committees may assess applicants using the following selection principles:

  • Participation by a range of community members with diverse perspectives and experience, including private-sector and non-profit experience, that reflect the diverse Indigenous communities in and around Seattle
  • Broad geographic representation from neighborhoods and Indigenous communities across the Seattle region
  • Consideration for applicants who can serve as liaisons to other Indigenous community networks and groups
  • Ability to engage in collaborative policy and advocacy

All selection committee recommendations are subject to final confirmation by a vote of the full City Council.

Indigenous Advisory Council


Jenifer Chao, Director
Address: 600 4th Avenue, 4th Floor, Seattle, WA , 98104
Mailing Address: PO Box 94649, Seattle, WA, 98124-4649
Phone: (206) 684-0464
Fax: (206) 233-5142

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