Dave Hatch was a Native environmental activist and a cultural heritage advocate who became well known for his ability to bring together usually disparate tribal and non-Indian groups to pool resources to address regional issues. He was also a Tribal Council member for the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians and actively involved in the Siletz Tribal Arts and Heritage Society.
In 2001 Dave was selected as a finalist for the Ecotrust’s 2001 Buffett Award for Indigenous Leadership for his contributions to the tribes of the Pacific Northwest region and the survival of their ecosystems. He also was among the cultural and scientific community that collaborated with the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) to create Salmon Camp, a community education project that brought together Native middle and high school students out of urban areas into the Columbia River Gorge and tribal longhouses to teach them a cohesive combination of science, environmentalism, survival skills, cultural values and self-esteem building.
Dave was also the founder of the Elakha Alliance, a collaborative regional network dedicated to restoring the sea otter to the Oregon Coast. His fundraising efforts and accessible science writing on this cultural and environmental issue contributed to the growth and strength of the unique alliance.
Dave joined the NACF board in January of 2014 after retiring from a long career as an engineer for the City of Portland. Dave’s contributions to NACF’s work were invaluable. He was a tireless advocate for partnerships with tribes both regionally and nationally and strongly believed in efforts to support the continuation of Native cultures and traditions. We will miss him.