Ray Gardner is a member of the Chinook Indian Nation and descends from the Wheelapa band of the Chinooks. Ray’s family lineage can be traced back to Huckswelt, Chief of the Wheelapa band and a signer of the 1851 Tansy Point treaty. Ray’s family still live in their ancestral homelands, as they have for untold generations.
Ray is Chairman of the Chinook Nation, as well as Chairman of the Natural Resources/Fisheries and Transportation committees, Vice Chairman of the Health Board, and Frisbie Scholarship board member. He has spoken at numerous state and national venues about Chinook Nation history and contemporary issues. Ray is a recipient of the Peace and Friendship award from the State of Washington Historical Society for providing significant contributions to understanding the cultural diversity of the peoples of the state of Washington.
He has worked in Washington State government since 1991, most recently for the Utilities and Transportation Commission, where he is a Transportation Specialist/ Investigator IV working with the Transportation and Railroad Divisions. He is also the Liaison for the Native American Tribes and Law Enforcement agencies. Ray served on the American Rivers board from 2007-2013.