Deborah Parker, Tsi-Cy-Altsa (Tulalip/Yaqui), was elected to the Tulalip Tribes Board of Directors in 2012. As a board member, Deborah brings to Tulalip leadership nearly two decades of experience as a policy analyst, program developer, communications specialist, and committed cultural advocate and volunteer in the tribal and surrounding communities.
Serving as a legislative policy analyst in the Office of Governmental Affairs for the Tulalip Tribes from 2005–2012, Deborah engaged in the legislative process on behalf of the Tulalip Tribes by providing quality analysis of issues most pertinent to the exercise of sovereignty and tribal governance, with particular emphasis in the areas of education, finance, taxation, and healthcare. Before joining legislative affairs, Deborah developed two unique outreach and education programs for the Tulalip Tribes. Young Mothers was a culturally relevant program for teen mothers, and the Tribal Tobacco Program sought to inspire responsible tobacco use among tribal members, while acknowledging tobacco’s sacred place in indigenous cultures. Prior to her work for the Tulalip Tribes, Deborah served as Director of the Residential Healing School of the Tseil-Waututh Nation in Canada, and in the Treaty Taskforce Office of the Lummi Nation, where she was mentored by American Indian leaders such as Joe Delacruz, Billy Frank, Henry Cagey and Jewell James. As a passionate advocate for improved education for tribal members, and a belief in the inherent right of all Native Americans to expect and receive a quality education, one that is free from racial or cultural bias, Deborah is focused on educational reform which includes developing curriculum that is a true reflection of an indigenous ethics and knowledge system.
Deborah remains committed to education by volunteering her time in the local schools where her children are enrolled. In 2010 Deborah was honored with a Parent of the Year award from the Washington State Indian Education Association (WSIEA), and in 2011 the National Association of American Indian Education (NAAIE) also named her Parent of the Year. Deborah spent several years in communications and helped to produce video and print journalism for the Native American community, and her film credits include both documentary and narrative work. Deborah graduated from the University of Washington with a Bachelor of Arts degree in American Ethnic Studies and Sociology where she distinguished herself as a scholar and a young indigenous leader. Deborah lives in Tulalip with her husband Myron Dewey (Paiute/Shoshone) and their five children.