Native Bruins: Past, Present & Emerging – Alan R. Parker

This December we are highlighting Native Bruin Alan R. Parker from the Chippewa Cree Tribal Nation.

A citizen of the Chippewa Cree Tribal Nation, Alan R. Parker attended St Thomas Seminary where he earned a B.A. in Classical Philosophy in 1965. He subsequently attended UCLA School of Law, in Los Angeles, California, where he received a Juris Doctor degree in 1972. Prior to attending Law School, he served as 1st Lt. in the Signal Corp in the US Army from 1965 1968. He was awarded a Bronze Star medal for Out-standing Leadership Service under combat conditions in Vietnam.

Parker practiced law in Washington, D.C. for over twenty years. He served as Chief Counsel to the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs. (1977-81) and, subsequently, as Staff Director to the Committee from 1987 to 1991. During his service in the Senate, Parker was instrumental in securing passage of the Indian Child Welfare Act, the Indian Religious Freedom Act, the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, and the Tribal Self-governance Act, as well as numerous tribal land and water claims settlement acts.

Parker joined the Evergreen College faculty in 1997, where he organized the nation’s first graduate school program in Tribal Governance with his colleague Dr. Linda Moon Stumpff. This historic program is located within the Masters in Public Administration program with a curriculum based on the recommendations of Tribal Leaders in the Pacific Northwest. Professors Parker and Stumpff recruited Tribal students from the northwest who were motivated to earn a professional degree that equipped them to provide professional service to their own tribal governments as well as state and federal agencies. Students earned an MPA degree with a major focus on Tribal Governance Studies.

Upon his retirement from Evergreen in 2014, Parker collaborated with faculty at the Maori Indigenous University, Te Whare Wananga o Awanuiarangi. The University, or Wananga, is based in the city of Whakatane, New Zealand. Parker joined with Dr. Patricia Johnston to design and create a Doctoral Program focused upon the advancement of Indigenous Nations across the Western World.  Ten of his students from Evergreen were among the first to enroll in this historic program in 2013, and the two of them have already earned their PhD degree.