In celebration of Earth Day and Earth Month, we introduce you to Dezerae Hayes, Sound Transit's Director of Tribal Relations.
She's the latest spotlight in our regular series introducing you to the people who work here trying to make it easier for you to get to where you work, live and play every day.
"I was taught that nature speaks to us all and to walk lightly upon the Earth for the Earth is our mother," she said. "Our human race needs to strive to care for our Earth, as we are borrowing it from our grandchildren."
It is important to celebrate Earth Day as it is a means for our world to come together, to unify our strength and passion as well all strive to advance policies for Mother Earth's healing.
Hayes has been with the agency for eight months, and previously worked with the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe as the Director of Transportation.
She built the Transportation Division from the ground up -- which included transit, fleet, transportation planning and safety.
Her position at ST was created in large part to support and enhance the environmental stewardship of our tribal partners. Environmental stewardship is a core part of our agency’s mission.
Q: What do you tell your friends you do for work?
A: I monitor tribal engagement by coordinating and collaborating with tribal governments and agency technical staff, and teach Sound Transit staff the basics of tribal governments, treaty rights and federal consultation.
Q: What’s your passion outside of your job?
A: My family, culture, Pow Wow trail, canoe journey, lake adventures, reading, PhD dissertation (she's studying leadership at Gonzaga University), softball and gardening.
Q: What attracted you to work at Sound Transit?
A: I have always been an advocate of Transit and Transportation within Indian Country. I am blessed to work with ST as we move forward with building the largest transit expansion in the country and the first light rail service within Indian Country.
Q: How do you get to work?
Q: What three things would you take with you to a desert island?
A: My family, my animals and my traditional medicine.