Five Indian Country Leaders Added to Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian Board of Directors

A story about the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian selecting five new board members, all Native leaders in Indian country.

On Thursday, March 7, the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian announced five new members to its Board of Directors, for a three year term each.

The five are:

  • Governor Bill Anoatubby, Chickasaw
  • Margaret L. Brown, Yup'ik
  • Dr. Brenda Child, Ojibwa
  • Lance Morgan, Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska
  • Chief Gregory E. Pyle, Choctaw

“We look forward to working with this new group of board members who bring a depth of experience and deep knowledge of working with Native constituents and communities. They will be essential in helping to determine future directions taken by the museum,” said Kevin Gover, Pawnee, director of the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian in a museum press release

Governor Bill Anoatubby has been the leader of the Chickasaw Nation, located in Ada, Oklahoma, since 1987. Under his leadership, the Nation has opened the Chickasaw Cultural Center, the Chickasaw Nation Medical Center, the Chickasaw Nation Aviation and Space Academy and several senior citizen centers. The Nation has improved the lives of tribal citizens by focusing on health care, youth programs, education and elder services. Anoatubby has been on several commissions, boards, and councils on the local, state, regional and national level, including the InterTribal Council of the Five Civilized Tribes, the board of directors for the Ada Chamber of Commerce, the Oklahoma Indian Affairs Committee and on the board of trustees for the Morris K. Udall Scholarship and Excellence in Nation Environmental Policy Foundation, Agencies and Commissions program.

Margaret L. Brown recently retired as the president and chief executive officer of the Cook Inlet Region, Inc., an Alaska Native Corporation located in Anchorage, Alaska. In her position, Brown was responsible for the development and implementation of the company's corporate strategies, Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian programs and policies and procedures. She oversaw all the company's business operations and was the primary contact with the company's stakeholders. Brown currently serves on the national board of the Trust for Public Land, the Student Conservation Association and the Alaska Native Heritage Center. She also serves on advisory boards for Alaska Airlines and the University of Alaska Anchorage Honors College. Brown is a 1992 YWCA Woman of Achievement recipient, a 2008 fDi Magazine business personality of the year, a 2009 Alaska Business Hall of Fame laureate and the 2012 Athena Award recipient.

Brenda Child, Ph.D., is a professor of American Studies at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. She is a well known expert on the American Indian boarding school experience and has written several books on the subject Away From Home: "American Indian Boarding School Experiences, 1879-2000," "2000 and Boarding School Seasons: American Indian Families, 1900-1940, 1998." She serves on the editorial board of Ethnohistory. She has served as a member of the Native American Council at the Eiteljorg Museum of Art in Indianapolis, Indiana and on the Executive Council of The Minnesota Historical Society.

Lance Morgan is president, chief executive officer, and co-founder of Ho-Chunk, Inc., the award winning economic development corporation owned by the Winnebago Tribe. Ho-Chunk, Inc. aims to promote economic self sufficiency for the Winnebago Tribe and its members by creating jobs through its joint ventures and investments, including hotels, convenience stores, web sites and a temporary labor service provider. The company currently employs over 1,400 workers in ten states and three foreign countries, operates 18 subsidiaries, and has revenues in excess of $195 million. Ho-Chunk, Inc. also founded and funds a non-profit corporation that provides supplemental capital to individuals and businesses. Morgan is also the managing partner in the law firm of Fredericks, Peebles and Morgan, LLP; he specializes in Indian law and economic development issues.

Chief Gregory Pyle has been the leader of the Choctaw Nation, headquartered in Durant, Oklahoma, since 1997, after serving more than 13 years as assistant chief of the Nation. Under the leadership of Chief Pyle, the Choctaw Nation has put families first, with priorities on education, health and jobs. The Nation's efforts in economic development have resulted in many profitable tribal businesses such as gaming centers, manufacturing plants and travel plazas, creating numerous jobs and funding tribal programs. Education milestones include the Choctaw Language Program and increasing the scholarship program to serve 5,000 students. Pyle serves on the Inter-Tribal Council of the Five Civilized Tribes, served as the President of the Oklahoma Area Indian Health Board, was a member of SI-435-2008 the National Indian Health Board, and serves on the Board of Directors of Landmark Bank and Durant Chamber of Commerce.

About the Board

The museum is governed by a 25 member board of trustees, which meets three times a year. Each appointment is three years. The chair of the board is Roberta Leigh Conner, Confederated Tribes of Umatilla, of Pendleton, Oregon. Smithsonian Secretary Wayne Clough and Under Secretary for History, Art, and Culture Richard Kurin are on the board as ex-officio members. Eighteen of the current members are Native American. For more information, go to AmericanIndian.si.edu.