TUBA CITY-Dennis J. Bowen, a longtime community health advocate, former president of the Seneca Nation and current Tuba City Unified School District (TCUSD) cultural counselor was honored at a recent event in Berkeley, Calif. for his service as the chairman of the board of directors of the Seva Foundation.
Bowen has completed his term of office, but will continue to serve on Seva's Advisory Board and its Native American Program Action Group.
Attended by over 150 people, the event featured a number of guests including singer-songwriter Jackson Browne-also a longtime advocate for Native Americans-and Larry Brilliant, co-founder and longtime board member of Seva who is the current executive director of Google.org, the philanthropic arm of the popular search engine.
Speaking to guests about the work of Seva, Bowen said, "Native Americans and other Indigenous people are accustomed to having their voices ignored, but Seva is different. Seva listens to those voices, then approach[es] their work in partnership with local people to resolve those problems in the community, always mindful of respecting the cultural and spiritual traditions of the people [they] serve. That's the key to building sustainable programs and is why Seva has been so successful."
As former president and CEO of his own Seneca Tribe, Bowen was responsible for over 430 employees and a tribal budget of $112 million.
During his term in office, Bowen developed international trade agreements with Egypt, helping to secure legal victories that strengthened the sovereignty of American Indian nations in the U.S. and advanced interests of Indigenous cultures at the United Nations.
With over 35 years of public service in human relations, Bowen now focuses on the student population at TCUSD.
Bowen was formerly president of the Tuba City Board of Education and was also a member of the Governor's Drug Policy Committee in Arizona.