OCTOBER 10, 2001


Born February 20, 1933, in Portland, Oregon, Luana’s mother was a Sin-aikst Indian, part of the Colville Confederated Tribes.  Her brother, Bernie Whitebear, was founder of the United Indians of All Tribes Foundation.  After attending Indian boarding school, Luana worked in San Francisco during the 1950s before moving to Seattle in 1962.  In 1970, Whitebear, who launched the Seattle Indian Health Board, re-focused his efforts on the Indian occupation of Fort Lawton.  Luana took over as the Board’s executive director and, by 1980, it had become a multimillion-dollar operation.  During this time, Reyes helped found the National Coalition of Urban Indian Health.  In 1982, she joined the Federal Government’s Indian Health Service, eventually becoming chief financial officer and director of headquarters operations.  In October 2001, President Bush honored her with 2001 Presidential Rank Meritorious Award for exceptional performance.  She died in Washington, D.C. on November 5, 2001.

Source:  Sara Jean Green, “Luana Reyes, 68, a leader in agency for Indian health,” Seattle Times, 11/10/2001.  Retrieved 7/15/2019, http://community.seattletimes.nwsource.com/archive/?date=20011110&slug=obit10m
Photo:  Indian Health Service.  Public Domain.  Photograph taken by an officer or employee of the United States Government as part of that person’s official duties under the terms of Title 17, Chapter 1, Section 105 of the US Code.

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