The Tulalip Tribes’ new chairwoman, Marie Zackuse (center), leads a prayer as the tribe dedicates a medicine wheel garden at the Tulalip Health Clinic on Monday on the Tulalip Reservation. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)

Tulalip Tribes members elect first woman-majority board

TULALIP — For the second time in its history, the Tulalip Tribes will have a woman leading its board.

On Saturday, the Tulalip Tribes membership voted in two new board members and elected Marie Zackuse chairwoman.

Zackuse replaces Chairman Melvin Sheldon Jr., who will remain on the board in a non-officer position.

The tribal membership also elected Teri Gobin, the longtime director of the Tribal Employment Rights Office, and Jared Parks, son of current board member Les Parks, to the board. Les Parks also won re-election.

Gobin joins Zackuse, Theresa Sheldon and Bonnie Juneau on the first female-majority board in the Tulalip Tribes’ history.

The first Tulalip chairwoman was Harriette Shelton Williams Dover, who served on the board for 14 years starting in 1939, according to HistoryLink.org.

Zackuse has been on the board since 1990. She has been involved in the state Early Learning Advisory Council and has worked with the Washington State School Directors’ Association to improve tribal student performance and incorporate tribal history, culture and government into curricula.

Zackuse said her first task as chairwoman would be to schedule a retreat with the other board members and work on smoothing over disputes that had developed among the tribal leadership.

“In that retreat we’re going to be able to agree to come together,” she said.

The Trump administration’s proposed cuts to many programs are likely to have a large impact, she said, so over the next year the board is going to have to focus on working within shrinking budgets and finding other sources of revenue.

“We need to look at other businesses besides casinos,” Zackuse said.

Sheldon said he was excited for Zackuse taking on the leadership role and said he plans to continue working on behalf of tribal members, especially on health care and education.

The election, Sheldon said, “does allow me to work from a different seat on the board, but still work for our people.”

Candidates do not run for specific seats. Rather, the board seats are won by candidates with the highest overall number of votes. A separate round of votes then determines who will fill the officer positions. Board members serve three-year terms.

Jared Parks won the highest number of votes from the membership, with 391. Les Parks received 379 votes and Teri Gobin 297 votes.

Board members Herman Williams Sr. and Glen Gobin did not win re-election. There were candidates on the ballot.

Teri Gobin also was elected vice-chairwoman. Les Parks retained his position as treasurer and Theresa Sheldon was chosen as secretary.

The new officers are scheduled to be sworn in April 1.

Chris Winters: 425-374-4165; cwinters@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @Chris_At_Herald.

Talk to us

More in Local News

Community Transit CEO announces he will retire

Emmett Heath has led the transit agency for six years after being hired from within.

Somers: There are no current plans to move back to Phase 1

Such a decision would require a significant, sustained spike in hospitalizations and deaths, he says.

At earlier-defiant Flower World, workers now wear masks

The owner, however, has said he will legally challenge the governor’s order requiring face coverings.

Dispute between ex-housemates leads to shooting in Sultan

Two men had a disagreement over a truck. A confrontation ensued. Then one allegedly shot the other.

Politicians get pay raises, state workers get furloughs

A citizens panel approved the hikes in 2019. Unable to rescind them, lawmakers look to donate their extra earnings.

Happy four-hour ferry wait on the Fourth!

With service reduced around Puget Sound due to the pandemic, it will not be the fun ferry ride of yore.

High court weighs legality of voter-approved car tab measure

Foes of Initiative 976 argue it violates the Constitution and should be tossed out.

2 women hit by car on Seattle freeway closed for protest

The driver, a 27-year-old man from Seattle, was in custody. His motive was unknown.

Other fireworks shows are canceled, but not Marysville’s

Amid the pandemic, most cities and towns are getting creative with drive-by parades and decorations instead.

Most Read