NCAI Remembers Marge Anderson, First Woman To Lead An American Indian tribe in Minnesota

Published on Jul 03, 2013

Washington, DC – The National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) released a statement today reflecting on the life and contributions of former Board Member Marge Anderson, who passed away on Saturday, June 29, 2013 at the age of 81.

Marjorie Anderson was the first woman to lead an American Indian tribe in Minnesota.  She served as Chief Executive of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe Indians from 1991 to 2000 and again from 2008 to 2012.  During her outstanding career she served on the Executive Board of the National Congress of American Indians. 

NCAI President Jefferson Keel stated on her passing, “We know that her spirit and example lives on, encouraging all Native peoples to stand up for what they believe in and accept the challenge of serving in leadership roles.”

The Mille Lacs Band economic development was enhanced through her efforts to invest tribal revenue into schools, social programs, infrastructure and environmental protection. Mrs. Anderson was also a driving force in promoting the separation of powers in tribal governments.

She is survived by her husband Merlin Anderson, their children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Our thoughts are with the Anderson family and Mille Lacs Band.


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