Rising up from the grasslands of the Umatilla Reservation outside of Pendleton. the Tamástslikt Cultural Institute is a striking, low-slung glass, wood and stone edifice set against a backdrop of big sky and dusky mountains. Inside, its collection is treasured as a celebration of Cayuse, Umatilla and Walla Walla tribal heritage; as a resource for linguistic and cultural scholarship: and as a place of convocation and discussion for the surrounding communities and region. Tamastslikt's director, Bobbie Conner, says that OCF was there at the beginning of its creation. "Back in 1998, they gave us a $5,000 grant for the master plan. OCF's grant represented a blue-ribbon Good Housekeeping seal of approval, causing other grantmakers to support the plan as well." And she adds, "OCF has continued to support Tamástslikt in many ways: Now there are two endowments housed at OCF to support the future of the Institute and they've also permitted us to be successful grantees a number of times."
In 2007, Bobbie joined OCF's Eastern Oregon Regional Leadership Council. "It's rare when an organization tells you that if you want to help change your region, here's a grant to help make it happen," Bobbie exclaims. "And OCF's participation in a project is not only beneficial because others in the philanthropy world respect its processes and criteria and monitoring. It's also invaluable because they're really good about providing technical support and follow-up, they're fantastic about transparency. and they have really great staff."