David Swayla Duenas

Language Teacher

David Sway-la Cougar Duenas Jr is a Puyallup Tribal member and also has cultural strands with the Blackfeet, Comanche and Choctaw tribes. He is currently employed with the Puyallup Language Program as a Language Instructor. David graduated from Chief Leschi Schools in 2012, and will complete his Bachelor’s degree with an emphasis in Environmental Studies at The Evergreen State College in 2018.

David is an interesting individual, his family connections are vast he has many relatives within the Puyallup Tribe. Some of which include the Cross, Reed, Wright and Conway families. David married his high school sweetheart, Yvette M. Duenas, from the Quileute Tribe in 2015. Today they are both employed through the Puyallup Tribe, Yvette working as a school teacher at Chief Leschi Schools. They also are active as singers and dancers within the tribe and have performed with Chief Leschi Schools and other groups and tribes throughout their lives. David is also no stranger to loss. Prior to his marriage, he lost two very important women in his life, his mother in 2012, shortly after losing his grandmother Judy Wright in a short span of time.

Throughout David’s life, he has been introduced and involved in some work that included culture and community. That early education into the traditional values that his father, David Duenas Sr. carries is evident within David’s life, with his constant involvement with his tribal community. His father opened those doors by servicing the community through assistance with funerals, repatriation, and activism through the Puyallup Fishing wars, American Indian Movement (AIM), Native American Church (NAC) and multiple other communities such as the Sweat lodge, Pow-wow, and Administrations.