In the heart of the Nisqually Indian Tribe’s economic progress stands Bea Parks-Foreman, a member of the Medicine Creek Enterprise Corporation (MCEC) Board of Directors. With a rich history of dedication to Tribal gaming, Bea’s connection to the Nisqually Indian Tribe runs deep, and her passion for the Tribe’s prosperity shines through every endeavor she undertakes.
Bea’s affiliation with the Nisqually Indian Tribe began in the early ’90s when she was hired by the Tribe as the first manager of Nisqually’s Bingo Hall, the Tribe’s groundbreaking gaming enterprise.
Over the years, she has dedicated her career primarily to Tribal gaming, including an impressive 19-year tenure at Little Creek Casino after its establishment. With four decades of experience in the industry, Bea has used her expertise to play a vital role in driving Nisqually’s economic growth.
When an opportunity arose to join the MCEC Board of Directors, Bea was intrigued by MCEC’s vision and inspired by the Tribe’s accomplishments since MCEC’s inception, so she eagerly applied for the position and is now serving her third term on the Board.
As a non-tribal representative on the Board, Bea said her experience working with Nisqually and other Tribal entities has been profoundly rewarding.
“It’s been such an honor to be involved in Indian Country,” she said. “The people I’ve worked with and the people I’ve met have been so welcoming and nurturing.”
Bea’s connection to Tribal culture is further deepened by her three Tulalip tribal-membered children, who have helped Bea foster a profound understanding and appreciation for the indigenous communities she serves.
Before the advent of the Bingo Hall, the Reservation landscape held a smoke shop where Tribal Members sold cigarettes, seasonal items, and even artwork. Bea fondly recalls walking across the street to the shop during her breaks from managing Bingo, creating a bridge between the past and the transformative future.
“Opening the Bingo Hall was amazing,” Bea said. “When everything got up and running, we packed the place out. Everybody was so happy.”
The atmosphere was electrifying as the dedicated workers, elegantly dressed in tuxedos with red shirts, vests, and bow ties, welcomed guests to a world of entertainment and opportunity. Car giveaways and other innovative programs were designed to attract visitors and ignite excitement within the community.
Bea Parks-Foreman, then Nisqually Bingo Manager, presents former Nisqually Chairman Dorian Sanchez with the Tribe’s first Bingo earnings in the early 1990s.
Bea’s time at the Bingo Hall provided her with the privilege of impacting the lives of numerous Nisqually Youth, and her dedication to empowering the next generation has had a lasting impact on the lives of many.
“I had the pleasure of training many Nisqually youth throughout my time at the Bingo Hall, many of whom went on to do great things for the Tribe and the community,” she said. “Every time one of my trainees would learn something new, their eyes would just light up. It was so awesome.”
For Bea, returning to work with the Nisqually Tribe as a member of the MCEC Board of Directors felt like coming home. The warm welcome she received reaffirmed the deep connection she had with the people of Nisqually.
Working alongside a diverse group of individuals on the Board, Bea said she cherishes the collaborative spirit each member brings. Amazed at the wealth of knowledge she’s gained as a member of the board, Bea expressed gratitude for the opportunity she’s been given to work with such exceptional individuals.
“Each of us brings something different to the table, and I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished together,” Bea said.
Together, the board’s primary goal is to provide economic support to the Nisqually Indian Tribe, offering stability and prosperity through their business endeavors.
Over the last three decades, Bea has witnessed remarkable transformations in the lives of Nisqually Tribal Members. From the development of new facilities and job opportunities to the expansion of cultural and advocacy programs, the Tribe has flourished.
“I’ve seen the lives of Nisqually Tribal Members change for the better, and I’m proud to be part of it,” she said.
Bea’s unwavering commitment to the prosperity and empowerment of the Nisqually Indian Tribe is inspiring and uplifts the entire community.