The Department of Economic Security has hired Mary Huyser as the department’s new tribal relations liaison to help tribal governments and community members deal with the state agency that delivers an array of services to tribes, including members of Payson’s Tonto Apache Tribe.
“One of our goals is to develop strong working partnerships with Arizona’s American Indian Nations and Tribes,” said Clarence H. Carter, director of DES. “We are so pleased to have Ms. Huyser join the DES team, as she brings with her a wealth of professional and personal experiences and expertise that will help DES improve our understanding of tribal issues and move us towards our goal.”
Ms. Huyser is from the Dine (Navajo) Nation in Arizona and belongs to the Salt Clan. An American Indian child welfare expert, she has worked in urban areas and on tribal lands to address challenges faced by American Indian children and their families.
As a former strategic adviser for Casey Family Programs, Huyser conducted advocacy work, identified and mobilized resources and communicated with state and tribal governments to promote effective, integrative and culturally relevant child welfare policy and practice standards. Huyser has also provided national consultation and training regarding the Indian Child Welfare Act, enacted in 1978 to give tribes the right to self-govern and oversee child welfare issues among tribal members.
Her previous positions include administrator for Gila River Indian Community, program manager for Navajo Nation Social Services in Window Rock and social worker at the Denver Indian Health Services.
Anyone interested in speaking with Huyser about tribal related issues may contact her via e-mail at DESTribalRelations@azdes.gov.