Michigan’s Matthew Wesaw Selected Tribal Leader of the Year

Matthew Wesaw

Pokagon Band Chairman Matthew Wesaw was 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.”

Wesaw, a retired Michigan State Trooper, served as vice-chairman of the Pokagon Band’s Tribal Council, and was elected in 2009 to serve as chairman. He lives in Lansing, and 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, which he now serves as 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.”