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Moving On Up: This Week’s Promotions, Hirings and Transitions in the Business/Gaming World

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Indian Country Today Media Network compiled a list of business executives, managers, attorneys, board members, medical professionals, and others making big moves in (and out of) Indian country.

Courtesy Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe

David ThunderEagle

David ThunderEagle, an enrolled member of the Karuk Tribe of California, was appointed tribal administrator of the Mashpee Wampanoag where he will oversee tribal operations.

ThunderEagle began his career in education at the Colville Indian Reservation in Washington state. After making a difference in students’ lives, ThunderEagle became the tribal planner and department manager for several tribes until he was named executive director of the American Indian Community Center in Spokane, Washington. He was previously tribal administrator for the Kootenai Tribe of Idaho, the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi of Michigan, and the Bishop Paiute Tribe of California.

“I love what I do for a living,” ThunderEagle said in a news release. “It fulfills my chosen purpose to make the world a better place. And I am excited to be working with the tribal council, the dedicated staff, and the tribal community to meet our goals and fulfill the dreams of our tribal citizens." 

Courtesy Cherokee Nation

Mark Vance

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The Cherokee Nation recently named Mark Vance, Cherokee, as its manager of the tribe’s Johnson O’Malley Program, a press release said.

The Johnson O’Malley program serves at least 24,000 Native American students by partnering with local public schools to provide funds and supplies as well as present educational and cultural opportunities to encourage achievement.

“This gives me the opportunity to come home and give back to my tribe,” Vance, a former educator, said in the release. “As an educator, I know a lot of our program’s superintendents already. I’m looking to bridge some gaps between the JOM Program and some of our other education programs to really benefit our schools.”


Kell Drummer

Kelly Drummer, Oglala Lakota, president and CEO of the Tiwahe Foundation, received congratulations for advancing the role of philanthropy between Native American communities and mainstream philanthropy by accepting the Louis T. Delgado Distinguished Grantmaker Award. Drummer was honored at the Native Americans in Philanthropy’s 25th Celebration at the Mystic Lake Casino Hotel in Prior Lake, Minn.

Brian Patterson, Oneida Indian Nation, has joined the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation’s board of directors. Patterson had previously served as president of United South and Eastern Tribes (USET).

“We have an opportunity to shed light on critical issues that affect Indian country and Native communities through the powerful impact of arts and cultures," Patterson said in a news release. "I believe that we can use the vital and unique resources of this organization to promote humanity, and to preserve cultural and social values that lead to the healing of our communities. Our cultural patrimony does not belong to us but to future generations, and I see my role at NACF to be its good steward." 

He is also a senior strategist for the Blue Stone Strategy Group.