The Warm Springs Community Action Team (WSCAT) is a non-profit community development organization located on the Warm Springs Indian Reservation (WSIR). WSCAT was first established in 2001 as an incubated program under the Central Oregon Partnership. WSCAT became an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in August 2008. WSCAT is located in the Warm Springs Agency, the largest community on the Warm Springs Reservation.
WSCAT envisions a Warm Springs Reservation in which tribal and community members control their own destinies, in which people are in a position to provide for their families, pursue their hopes and dreams, and achieve their full potential:
By 2040, the people of the Warm Springs, grounded in our multi-tribal heritage, will have found new ways to live happily and well, with healthy families residing in stable homes, locally-owned businesses supporting the community, our youth pursuing education, growth, and personal development, and our elders looking back on lives in which persistence and hard work helped create a stable, strong Warm Springs middle class and a vibrant economy. The people of Warm Springs will understand the importance of caring for our environment and our culture, draw strength and identity from time-honored knowledge systems, strive to reach personal and family goals, and demonstrate that good people with the right vision, values, and solutions to problems can achieve anything.
WSCAT’s stated mission from 2008 to 2015 was to alleviate poverty in Warm Springs. In looking at our programs, we realized that while focused indirectly on poverty alleviation, we are much more focused on empowering people to be more self-sufficient, to develop personally and professionally, and to take control of their own futures. With this in mind, we developed a new mission statement in December 2015:
WSCAT’s mission is to promote community development in Warm Springs by empowering individuals and groups of people to realize their potential, become self-reliant, and affect positive change for themselves, their families, and their community.
WSCAT’s work within the Warm Springs community is strongly influenced by our eight core values:
- Empowerment: We work to provide a hand up, not a hand out, to community members. We assist them in looking beyond day-to-day struggles and envisioning and orienting themselves towards a successful future in which they control their own destinies.
- Action: We work efficiently, effectively, and steadfastly to achieve genuine results, using clear benchmarks and reporting to the community and our benefactors on our performance. We strive to be known as an organization whose work speaks for itself.
- Personal development: We strive to enable community members to achieve their full potential. As we work to facilitate personal and professional development in our community, we also seek to learn and grow as individuals, as a team, and as an organization.
- Community: We are committed to fostering social cohesion and a sense of community in Warm Springs, to facilitating an environment of caring, communication, and respect.
- Respect: We acknowledge and appreciate the dignity, humanity, experience, intelligence, and potential of each member of our community, and of all people, and are cognizant of this as we perform our day-to-day work.
- Change: We are committed to planning ahead, setting SMART goals for our programs and projects, and working persistently and sensibly towards meeting benchmarks and facilitating impactful economic and social change in the Warm Springs community.
- Accountability: We take responsibility for our actions and the results of those actions. We strive to serve the community with honesty, transparency, and integrity.
- Innovation: We are open-minded and creative, always seeking to improve our services and processes, and always searching for better solutions to problems old and new.