Mary 'Heather' Dismuke
Ha-way O-gah-pah Nikashi!
My name is Mary “Heather” Dismuke, though many know me as Heather. I am excited to officially announce my candidacy for Vice-Chair of the Quapaw Nation Business committee and would like to ask for your support. I am starting my campaign by reaching out to all of our people and asking for your help to usher in a new generation that is committed to our people.
My Indian name is Mi Hanka, meaning Sacred Sun. I am the daughter of Walter “Wayne” Harper. The grand-daughter of Mary Alice Harper. I am a proud descendant of Dardenne and Harper family. My husband is Steven Dismuke, who is a proud Sincangu Lakota. We met at Haskell Indian Nations University and have been married 10 years. We have two beautiful boys, Marcus and Morgan.
When I turned 18, my father looked at me and said that it was time to decide to serve my country or my community. I decided to serve my community. I became a volunteer Firefighter, EMT, and Wildland Firefighter. I did this for 4 years, while working on my Associates in Arts and Bachelors in Arts. I proudly graduated with both degrees from Haskell Indian Nations University with honors.
After I graduated, I wanted to serve Indian Country. I did that by serving as the Native American Education Coordinator for Clover Park School District in Lakewood, Wa. I served 550 Native students. In my time there, I was nominated for Vice-President of the non-profit organization called, Western Washington Native Educators Consortium (WWNAEC). After serving for 1 year, I decided that I need to pursue my masters. I was accepted into Evergreen State College in Olympia, Wa in 2014 and graduated in 2016 with a Master’s in Public Administration in Tribal Governance.
Before my grandmother died, she told me that I needed to get my education and come back home. That was exactly what I did. I came back home in 2019. I worked for the Quapaw Nation as the Business Committee Executive Secretary for almost 3 years. I know with my education and previous career experiences has provided me with the skills necessary to serve, protect and unify our Quapaw people.
Today, I see no higher calling than serving as Vice-Chair for our Quapaw People. I want to represent all our tribal members. I want to promote an atmosphere of honesty and understanding. I want all tribal members to come to me with their problems and concerns- with the knowledge that they are being heard. I will be able to bring a good perspective to our Business Committee and will be able to assist our people, by listening and working for the betterment of all our tribal members. I will speak with my heart, with honesty, integrity, and respect.
Although my campaign is in its infancy, I have been honored to have early support from many of my elders. However today, I humbly ask you to consider me in the upcoming election on July 24th. Most of all I want to encourage all our tribal people to vote. We owe it to our children and grand-children for a better tomorrow.
Mary “Heather” Dismuke, Candidate for Quapaw Nation Vice-Chair