Institute for Tribal Government The Institute for Tribal Government is part of the Center for Public Service at the Hatfield School of Government at Portland State University in...

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Chair of Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians, the honorable Delores "Dee" Pigsly Wins Public Service Lifetime Achievement Award


Delores "Dee" Pigsley


Please join us in congratulating the Honorable Delores "Dee" Pigsley, Chair of the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians, for being a much-deserved recipient of the Public Service Lifetime Achievement Award.

Honorable Chair Pigsley began her public service career soon after the Siletz Tribal nation -- with the help of Oregon Senator Mark Hatfield – was reinstated by the federal government. Her 38 years on the Siletz tribal council has included 32 as Tribal Chair – a record unmatched in Oregon Indian Country. She has been a tribal delegate to the National Congress of American Indians and the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians, and served as Chair of the Oregon Legislative Commission on Indian Services. Honorable Pigsley’s public service career also included 24 years working for the federal Social Security Administration in Salem, where she rose to the job of Operations Supervisor before her 1998 retirement.

As noted in her nomination, “An important public service challenge in the realm of tribal governments is preserving traditional knowledge and ways of life. Delores has been instrumental in overseeing the cultural revival of the Siletz tribe. The nearly extinct Siletz tradition of basket weaving, including the difficult task of gathering traditional natural materials, has been revived, as has their age-old traditional dance, Nee-Dosh. Currently, the tribal council has undertaken the first steps toward the building of a tribal museum. Though none of this would have been accomplished without the contributions of many, clearly the leadership of Chair Delores Pigsley has played a pivotal role in the revival of the Siletz.”

Photo credit: Sam Beebe, taken at ILA 2011 awards