Jessica Leston

Jessica Leston, MPH is  the Clinical Programs Director of the Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board where she focuses on systems and policy change. She began her public health career working at the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium in 2004 and has worked in tribal health since. She believes strongly in learning from traditional indigenous ways of knowing to help guide, direct and strengthen our public health systems. Her mother’s side of her family are settlers to Turtle Island, originally from Germany, Sweden and Ireland. Her Father’s side of the family is originally from Austria, Finland and Tsimshian from British Columbia/Southeast Alaska. She grew up in Chicago but spent many summers in Southeast Alaska with her Grandmother’s family – climbing Deer Mountain, picking huckleberries around Ward Lake and watching the salmon make their way to the Ketchikan Creek Falls. In her life and work, she honors the Alutiiq cultural value, “we are responsible for each other and ourselves.”