BISMARCK, N.D. – Gov. Doug Burgum today appointed Nathan A. Davis of Belcourt, a member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa and descendant of the Spirit Lake Nation, to serve as executive director of the North Dakota Indian Affairs Commission.
As a member of the governor’s Cabinet, the executive director provides vision, leadership and collaboration to strengthen state-tribal relations and oversees the management and administration of the office of the North Dakota Indian Affairs Commission.
Davis has served as District 1 Council Representative of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa since December 2018, representing tribal members on the local, state and federal levels. During that time, he has assisted in the efforts of a multimillion-dollar recovery center, managed the purchase and design of a tribal mobile health unit, and served as the tribal health liaison for the tribal government during the COVID-19 pandemic. Davis previously served as community education officer for the Special Diabetes Program for Indians.
“Nathan Davis brings the leadership experience and bridge-building skills we need to continue fostering tribal engagement and strengthening our state-tribal relationships built on mutual understanding and respect,” Burgum said. “His passion for improving the health, education and well-being of the members of the five tribal nations with whom we share geography will serve all of North Dakota’s citizens well.”
Davis has served as vice chairman of BlueChip Financial, an economic arm of the tribe; as a board member of United Tribes of North Dakota; and on the board of directors of United Tribes Technical College. He also has served on the United Tribes Gaming Association, as secretary for the Great Plains Tribal Chairmen’s Health Board, and on the boards of the Oyate Health Center, Tribal Leaders Diabetes Committee, and the federal Administration for Children and Families.
“It is an honor to serve the governor’s Cabinet as executive director of the Indian Affairs Commission, and I look forward to building on the successes of Governor Burgum’s Five Strategic Initiatives,” Davis said. “I am confident that working together with the five tribal nations of North Dakota will lead us to great heights for the betterment of tribal nations, North Dakota and all of our future generations.”
Davis will join Team ND on or before July 1, 2021.
Burgum expressed his gratitude to Erica Thunder for serving as interim executive director of the Indian Affairs Commission, in addition to her duties as state labor commissioner, during the search process.