Questions?    Contact us at 877-773-2448  or
National Family Engagement Summit - Logo - White - Horizontal

Heather Lopez

REACH Program Director
Educational Service District 112

Laxayam Nayka Nim, my name is Heather Lopez, a proud member of the Salakike and  Kekoanui families and a Shoalwater Bay Tribal Member from the Clatsop and Lower Chehalis Tribes. I am deeply connected to my Indigenous heritage and committed to  preserving and sharing ancestral teachings within my community. It has been an honor to  raise my children along the sacred waters of the N’ChiWana, also known as the Columbia  River Gorge, where we remain deeply rooted in our culture and ancestral homelands.

My journey as a first-generation college graduate began over 15 years ago when I started  my career as an Indigenous educator, nurturing the next generation and preserving  cultural heritage through education. Working closely with youth during these fifteen years  has reinforced my commitment to education and community advocacy. My experiences  with youth led me to embark on my own educational journey. In 2020, I proudly completed  my Master of Arts in Indigenous Education from Arizona State University. This  achievement as a first generation, not only reflects my personal growth but also allows me  to lead by example for my children and future generations.  My journey reflects resilience, connection to identity and culture, and a commitment to  breaking generational trauma while fostering deep community connection and  understanding. My role as an educator means the world to me, working for Educational  Service District 112’s 21st Century Community Learning Center’s REACH After-School

Programs in the Columbia Gorge, serving the rural communities of Lyle and Wishram  School Districts. I am also a passionate parent advocate, actively involved in the Native  Parent Advisory Committee for the Educational Service District 112 and the Glenwood  School District. Family engagement is an integral part of our small communities as it  provides opportunities to strengthen relationships with our families and build trust.  Through advocacy, I aim to promote policies and initiatives that support youth well-being  and success, contributing to a legacy of connection and understanding within our rural  communities. We are all lifelong students on this sacred journey, learning and growing from each other. I  look forward to the opportunity to collaborate and contribute to meaningful initiatives that  uphold Indigenous knowledge and empower the next seven generations.