8-22-2022 Update – What is Tananawit?
Tananawit is a non-profit organization. It took years to gain that status. In the beginning, a group
of Warm Springs tribal members met to consider the idea of forming a cooperative. Very quickly,
the group decided that an arts cooperative was the best idea. The group mostly comprised of
artists, formed a steering committee to guide the process. In 2015 and 2016, the group began
working with the Warm Springs Community Action Team (WSCAT) and Oregon Native
American Business Entrepreneurial Network (ONABEN). They hosted workshops in
marketing,merchandising products, and developing a website. WSCAT helped Tananawit gain
the non-profit status.
From the Tananawit Vision Statement:
“Warm Springs has a vibrant and sustainable arts community and Tananawit artists prosper
from their art. The work of Tananawit artists reflects the strongly-held values of family,
creativity, and culture in Warm Springs, and the deep commitment of these artists to sharing
intergenerational knowledge through teaching and passing down of cultural art styles to future
Tananawit exists to serve our clients, who are breaking new ground themselves, and whose
success may depend, at least in part, on our performance. Art is an integral part of cultural
identity of many tribal members. Tananawit has reached out to numerous artists over the years,
and built a strong connection with many. There is a desire amongst artists and others in Warm
Springs to strengthen this artisans community.
Our operations are made possible through the generosity and goodwill of foundations,
associations, state and federal government agencies, and individuals.
The Board of Directors is the governing body responsible for the Tananawit operations and
oversees the Executive Director.
The Mission statement of Tananawit:
“Tananawit, a community of Warm Springs artists, is a community-based organization whose
mission is to provide educational and economic opportunities by empowering our people and
building knowledge and understanding of traditional and contemporary Native art of the
Columbia River plateau.”
Deb Stacona is the new Executive Director for Tananawit. She is a Tribal member of the
Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs. She is Warm Springs, Wasco and Yurok (California).
Her professional background has been in the resort and hospitality field, retail management and
While working in several of the departments at Kah-Nee-Ta Resort, she found her passion for
retail management. She states that her first position in retail was at the Village Craft Shop and
that’s where her love for it began. She credits working with two extraordinary women who ran
the Gift Shop, Marge Rouse and Eliza Brown (Jim) for her love of retail and salesmanship.
Those two women truly understood customer service and hospitality. From working in sales at
the Village Craft Shop, Debbie worked her way up to Assistant Gift Shop Manager, then
manager at both of the resort’s gift shops.
In 1999, Deb accepted a job offer at The Museum At Warm Springs as their Gift Shop Manager.
A whole new world opened up for her, besides retail and customer service, she learned so much
about the history and heritage of The Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs. She learned more
about the tribal arts and artisans, working with tribal member artists who sold to the Museum.
For over twenty years, the Museum was her home away from home, the staff were an extension
of her family. She credits Michael Hammond and Beaulah Tsumpti, who at the time were the
Executive Director and Office Manager of the museum, and who invited her to an interview.
Deb hopes to bring her experience and her business relationships with artists she has worked
with through the years. Deb knows and understands how important tribal artisans are to the
Oregon Native Tourism industry. She knows that our visitors to the reservation WANT to take
home a piece of Warm Springs with them. She also knows that Warm Springs is rich in
cultivating artists, that we have numerous master artists, and wants to support beginner artists.
Deb is happy to have been selected to work at Tananawit and support our local artists.
Sara Dowty is the Business and Outreach Coordinator for Tananáwit. Sara is a Confederated
Tribes of Warm Springs tribal member from Simnasho, OR. She has been a local artist for 24
years. She creates powwow regalia, beadwork, moccasins,and babyboards. She also weaves
baskets, fixes historical artifacts for use, and crochets items. She has volunteered and taught a
few small beading classes. Her hobbies include: powwow dancing, hiking, yoga, snowboarding,
and crafting. She obtained her Associate degree and is currently working towards earning her
Bachelor degree at Eastern Oregon University in IT Management and Cyber Security. A brief
summary of work history: Supervisor for 6 Years; Administrative for 8 years, and Customer
Service for 10 years. With her combined experience, skills, and knowledge she plans to utilize
her abilities to help enhance Tananáwit. Sara is excited to get to know other artists in the
community and to help them grow.
The Tananawit Shop is accepting art to sell, currently items are sold on a consignment basis.
You can email Deb or Sara to make an appointment: email@example.com or