2016-11-10 / News

Payment Elected President of United Tribes of Michigan

Aaron Payment, chairman of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians Board of Directors, was unanimously elected Wednesday, October 26, as president of the United Tribes of Michigan (UTM), which represents 11 of the 12 federally recognized Indian tribes in Michigan. He formerly served as the organization’s vice president.

United Tribes of Michigan meets each year with the Michigan governor in a tribal-state summit and works with all Michigan agency tribal liaisons.

The organization has ties to the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) and the Midwest Alliance of Sovereign Tribes (MAST). Its member tribes are Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians, Hannahville Potawatomi Indian Community, Keweenaw Bay Indian Community, Lac Vieux Desert Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians, Little River Band of Ottawa Indians, Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians, Match- E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Potawatomi Indians of Michigan (Gun Lake), Nottawaseppi Huron Band of Potawatomi, Pokagon Band of Potawatomi, Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe, and Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians.

“In 2000, the People of the Three Fires, the Anishinaabeg, breathed new life into our Grand Assembly of Tribes through our current incarnation, called the United Tribes of Michigan. We are a nonprofit that advocates for Native issues at the state, regional, and national levels,” said Mr. Payment. “I was humbled when Chairman Jim Williams from the Lac Vieux Desert Band of Chippewa recognized my work at the national level on Indian issues when nominating me. I will do my best and always speak respectfully and advocate issues affecting our Michigan tribes.”

On the federal level, Mr. Payment was appointed by President Barack Obama to the National Advisory Council on Indian Education.

He serves on the HHS Secretary Tribal Advisory Council, the HHS Health Research Advisory Council as co-chair, the National Institutes of Health Tribal Advisory Committee, and the Tribal Interior Budget Committee. He has been elected as NCAI Executive Officer-Secretary, MAST vice president, Chippewa Ottawa Treaty Resource Authority chairperson, and Inter-Tribal Council of Michigan vice president. He is a Michigan Political Leadership Program Advisory Board member and presenter. He serves in his community as Chippewa-Luce- Mackinac Community Action Agency vice chair.

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