Honored by the Tribal Council in 2022
Adam Barrell has been named Volunteer of the Year by Tribal Council. He was nominated by Rachel Sullivan, the Tribe’s Cultural Coordinator. “I don’t know where our programs would be without Adam’s quiet steadfastness and generosity. All of this is of course in addition to his tireless efforts as a department head. We have our hands raised to Adam for all he does,” said Sullivan. Adam spent much time this past year helping the Traditional Foods and Culture team with projects including volunteering his time and tractor to create the community garden, and donating his time and expertise to build the 20’ x 40’ handicap-accessible Elder’s high tunnel. For that project, he organized volunteers to install the cover, a project that requires a team. Adam gives the credit for the project to his wife Lisa, the Tribe’s Culture Supervisor, for realizing that the Community Garden needed an inclusive, accessible space for Elders to gather without having to navigate the uneven ground closer to the garden, and to staff members Dean Owen and Gerald Lane for framing the tunnel. The tunnel is used as both a greenhouse for growing plants that need extra warmth, and a weatherproof area for gathering to share meals, sing songs and dance.
“There are always opportunities for people to participate in Tribal activities,” he said. “I’ve been doing it as far back as I can remember, but I have never thought of it as volunteering; I was just helping out where help was needed.” Adam also mows a local Elder’s field and yard twice weekly, and has volunteered to pick up the canoe in Blyn and deliver it to the Marina for canoe practices. In addition, he took 8 hours on a Sunday to drive to Neah Bay to pick up salmon, and helped his wife, Lisa, fillet 300 pounds of salmon, as well as cleaning clams for the Mini-Canoe Journey dinner in August. “A lot of what I do is because we live in and are part of the Jamestown community, and that’s what neighbors do, right?” he said, adding that he and Lisa have been married for 36 years, and dated for 5 years before that (starting three months after the Tribe was recognized). “When you marry someone, you get in-laws. When you marry into the Tribe, you get a Tribal community,” he said. Adam works fulltime as the Information Systems Director for the Tribe but makes time to help the Tribe whenever his time and expertise allow for it.