Ty Smith, NAICCO Project Director, and Masami Smith, NAICCO Executive Director, are both tribally enrolled members of The Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs (Oregon); where they were both born and raised. They are married with three children, one grandson, and have been by each other’s side for nearly 30 years. Together, they have chosen to combine their life experiences and education to seek out the best possible ways to give back to their Native People, both here in Ohio and around Indian Country.
Since 2011, they have been serving as management at the Native American Indian Center of Central Ohio (NAICCO). Over the years, they have not only helped save NAICCO from going under, but they also revitalized the organization into that of a reputable urban Indian center in Ohio – one based on integrity. Today, they are still devoted to their mission work of preserving and restoring balance in the lives of Native American youth and families living in and around Ohio through culture, wellness, community, and education.
Currently, they are working diligently to establish the presence of NAICCO Cuisine, a local food trailer with an exquisite and unique Native American street food menu. This initiative is very important to Ty and Masami on many levels, but most importantly, because NAICCO Cuisine is meant to serve as a practical sustainability component of NAICCO; and all that it does and stands for as an intertribal, Native American focused nonprofit agency in Ohio.