Whites outnumber Indians on NMAI search panel

Non-Indians outnumbered Indians on the panel that searched for a new director of the National Museum of the American Indian, according to one of the participants.

In a letter posted on Pechanga.Net, Dwight A. Gourneau, a member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians in North Dakota, said the NMAI Director Search Committee consisted of four Indians and seven non-Indians. He described their backgrounds as six men and five women and three educators and eight museum professionals.

"The Committee included people with experience directing museums, historical and cultural institutions and crosscutting offices within and outside of the Smithsonian. In other words, our Committee members know what it takes to run something comparable to the NMAI and how to evaluate persons and experience best suited to the task before us," Gourneau wrote.

Gourneau said the committee interviewed "dozens of women and men" and settled on Kevin Gover, a member of the Pawnee Nation of Oklahoma who used to run the Bureau of Indian Affairs. The commitee recommended that Gover be hired for the job.

"He brings a wealth of management and policy expertise from his former position at the Department of the Interior to his new position with NMAI," Gourneau wrote.

Gover is currently being interviewed on Native America Calling as the "Native in the Spotlight."

Get the Story:
Dwight A. Gourneau: Why Kevin Gover is the new NMAI director (Pechanga.Net 9/17)

Relevant Links:
National Museum of the American Indian - http://www.nmai.si.edu
Indian Trust: Cobell v. Kempthorne - http://www.indiantrust.com

Related Stories:
Editorial: Kevin Gover, experience and NMAI (9/14)
Gover defends record after criticism from Cobell (9/13)
Cobell blasts Gover's appointment to NMAI (9/12)
Kevin Gover to take over NMAI on December 2 (9/12)
Kevin Gover named new director of NMAI (9/11)