Archived Story

Wesaw wins national award

Published 8:09pm Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Pokagon Band Chairman Matthew Wesaw has been selected by the Native American Financial Officers Association to receive the Tribal Leader of the Year Award.
“Out of more than 550 tribes in the United States, Pokagon Band caught the attention of experts for its solid finances and enterprise expansion plans,” said John Warren, Pokagon Band treasurer. “Bankers have told us that some countries should take note on how we manage financial resources.”
A retired Michigan State Trooper, the Bangor native has spent his career devoted to public service. He served as vice chairman of the Pokagon Band’s Tribal Council and was elected in 2009 to serve as chairman.
Wesaw,  who lives in Lansing, is the recipient of three gubernatorial appointments, serving on the Michigan Community Service Commission, as past chairman of the Michigan Commission on Indian Affairs and as only the second Native American to be appointed to the Michigan Civil Rights Commission. He now serves as that commission’s chairman.
In 2009, Wesaw was elected by the leaders of the Midwest’s 37 federally recognized tribes to serve as area vice president for the National Congress of American Indians, the oldest organization serving Native Americans in the country.
“It is such a privilege to honor and recognize the excellent work Chairman Wesaw is doing to benefit Indian Country,” said Bill Lomax, NAFOA president. “He is truly an innovator and an inspiration.”
Wesaw will accept the award March 21 at the NAFOA conference in New Orleans.

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