Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Mohegan Indian To Head Up Indian Business Development Agency In The U.S. Department Of Commerce

Feather News

Mohegan Tribal member Don Chapman II was appointed to lead the U.S. Department of Commerce's Office of Native American Business Development.

The office, located in Washington, D.C., has a broad function serving as the primary interface with all Tribes and other federal agencies, including the U.S. Department of the Interior and U.S. Housing and Urban Development, concerning business development and trade promotion for Indians. The office also leads the way on International Import-Export and Tourism development on behalf of Indian Country and the Department of Commerce.

The office was created in 2000 under legislation sponsored by former Colorado Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell and is designed to promote economic self-sufficiency and political self-determination for Indian tribes and members of Indian tribes.

The office's duties also include reporting to Congress and advising the Secretary of Commerce on legislation, according to the law that created the Office of Native American Business Development.

Chapman will replace Kay Bills, an Osage Indian, who is retiring. He has served in an executive capacity to four different Alaska Native Corporations and the Wyandotte Tribe of Oklahoma. Chapman currently serves as an expert advisor on tribal federal business development to the Tuck/Dartmouth School of Business's Minority Business Program and on the boards of directors of other businesses, including tribally-owned and individually native-owned businesses.

Numerous recommendations by tribes and organizations around the nation were sent on Chapman's behalf to the Secretary of Commerce.

Chapman will continue serving as a guest speaker and lecturer at Indian Country business outreach seminars. His office is located at the US Department of Commerce, Office of Native American Business Development, 1401 Constitution Ave., NW, Room 5093, Washington, DC 20230.