Chair – First Stewards Board
Micah McCarty serves as the Chair of the First Stewards Board and is an enrolled member of the Makah Indian Nation. As former chairman of Makah, McCarty has garnered important successes for Makah Nation by serving as a liaison between indigenous communities and the broader political system. His work in Neah Bay, Washington led to significant headway in strengthening the response to oil spills in coastal waters, helped to protect tribal whaling rights, and fostered strong connections between tribal and non-tribal governments.
Micah was recently appointed to the post of Special Assistant to the President for Tribal Government Relations at The Evergreen State College.
McCarty began his policy career attending Makah Whaling Commission meetings as an alternate for his father and his commitment to developing sound public policy deepened after 18 months of serving in his father’s place. In his autobiography, McCarty describes this experience as “stepping out of the canoe” into a profession that has since become his calling. In 2008, he formed the Office of Marine Affairs in order to develop marine planning policies for the Makah Tribal Organization, a testament to his dedication in this arena. McCarty has defended tribal interests across several political spectrums, pushing the boundaries of government-to-government consultation. He has encouraged both native and non-native leaders to embrace collaboration and has assisted state agencies to improve their policies and practices to protect native rights and resources. In addition to supporting tribal whaling rights, McCarty’s efforts have led to greater oil spill response protection in Neah Bay. Due to his leadership, Neah Bay now boasts a full-time emergency response tugboat (ERT) that prevents ship groundings in the area.
These initiatives inform Micah’s role as an advisor to NOAA’s Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee and Olympic Coast Intergovernmental Policy Council, as well as his position as Vice Chairman on the Governance Coordinating Committee for the National Ocean Council. He is a co-founder of the Navy-Tribal Council and a strong supporter of the Native American Lands Environmental Mitigation Program, working with the U.S. Navy, Coast Guard, and the Department of Defense on key energy and environmental initiatives.