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University of Minnesota names first senior director of American Indian Tribal Nations

MINNEAPOLIS/ST. PAUL — Tadd M. Johnson, an enrolled member of the Bois Forte Band of Chippewa, has been named the University of Minnesota’s first senior director of American Indian Tribal Nations Relations, the school announced Nov. 21.

In this inaugural role, Johnson will serve as the liaison between the University of Minnesota and regional Tribal Nations, creating pathways for strong collaborations.

“I am honored and humbled to be selected for this new position,” Johnson said. “It is my hope that this great university will form new and lasting partnerships with the Native Nations of the region.”

As senior director of American Indian Tribal Nations Relations, Johnson will continue to be housed at U of M Duluth, where he will also continue his work as the director of the Tribal Sovereignty Institute and director Graduate Studies in the American Indian Studies Department.

In addition to his academic work, Johnson is a resource to tribal governments and Native American people with more than three decades of leadership and service in the field of Federal-Indian law and policy.

Johnson served as a tribal attorney for more than 20 years, and has also served as a tribal court judge and administrator. Johnson is a frequent lecturer on American Indian history and Federal Indian Law.

He spent five years with the U.S. House of Representatives, ultimately becoming staff director and counsel to the Subcommittee on Native American Affairs.

In 1997, President Clinton appointed Johnson to chair the National Indian Gaming Commission.

Johnson received a B.A. at the University of St. Thomas, a J.D. at the U of M Law School, and serves on the Boards of the Udall Foundation and the Native Governance Center.

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