Skip Navigation

American Indian / Alaska Native Emphasis Program (AIAN)

American Indian / Alaska Native Emphasis Program (AIAN)

Rich Edlund, (509) 924-7350   ext. 123
Washington's American Indian / Alaskan Native Program Manager

Rich Edlund - Washingtons states American Indian / Alaskan Native Program contact My name is Rich Edlund and I am the American Indian / Alaskan Native Emphasis Program Manager for NRCS in Washington. A primary goal is to bring a diversity of backgrounds and views to our workplace, with a focus on NRCS employment and training opportunities for American Indian youth in our state and region. My duties also include assisting the Civil Rights Advisory Committee to help ensure that NRCS programs are equally available to all citizens and communities including tribal lands.

I have been the DC for Palouse Team since 2005, and DC and Team leader in New York, Oregon, and Idaho. My family is in the active high school years which occupies most of our spare time.


Program Goals:

  • Recruitment and retention of AI/AN employees with WA NRCS.

  • Promote awareness of AI/AN contributions to conservation ethic thru AI Heritage Month activities.

  • Inform WA NRCS and partners about AI/AN promotional activities.

 November is the AIAN Celebrated Month

The first American Indian Day in a state was declared on the second Saturday in May 1916 by the governor of New York. Several states celebrate the fourth Friday in September. Presently, several states have designated Columbus Day as Native American Day. In 1990 President George H. W. Bush approved a joint resolution designating November "National American Indian Heritage Month." Similar proclamations, under variants on the name (including "Native American Heritage Month" and "National American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month") have been issued each year since 1994. 

Links on this page may require Acrobat Reader, Microsoft Word or Microsoft PowerPoint.


  • Red Fox James, a Blackfoot Indian, rode horseback from state to state seeking approval for a day to honor Indians. On December 14, 1915, he presented the endorsements of 24 state governments at the White House.
  • With 29 Federally Recognized Tribes in WA there are 29 sovereign nations in WA !  (WA Governor’s Office of Indian Affairs link to WA Directory of Tribes)

Specialty items of interest


Related Links:

  • (American Indian/Alaska Native Employee Association website)
    An association of NRCS employees, retirees and friends which advocates for services to reservations and Indian Lands, promotes the recruitment, retention and professional development of American Indian and Alaska Native employees.