Sault Ste. Marie Tribal Chairperson Aaron Payment
Published August 27, 2015
WASHINGTON — On Wednesday, August 26, 2015, President Barack Obama appointed Aaron Payment, tribal chairperson of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, based in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, to the National Advisory Council on Indian Education.
The National Advisory Council on Indian Education is an advisory council within the U.S. Department of Education, authorized by section 7141 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965.
“I have been so looking forward to this appointment and contributing as a team player to improve the education trajectory of American Indians. Education as opportunity has been huge in my life,” Chairperson Payment commented to Native News Online.
“I attribute a great deal of my success so far to Upward Bound, a U.S. Department of Education TRiO program. Like the White House My Brothers’ Keeper and Generations Indigenous initiatives, I would love to help facilitate others to have such opportunities. This appointment gives me the forum to do so.”
Payment has been chairperson of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe since 2012 and previously from 2004 to 2008. In 2010, Mr. Payment served as Tribal Executive Director of the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi. He was the American Indian Liaison at Michigan State University from 2008 to 2009. Mr. Payment held various positions at Lake Superior State University which include a Data Consultant for Upward Bound in 2008, an Academic Coordinator from 2003 to 2004, and a Native American Counselor/Recruiter in 1989.
From 1996 to 2004, Mr. Payment was Vice-Chair of the Tribal Board of Directors for the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, where he served as the Deputy Executive Director/Judicial Branch Division Director from 2001 to 2003. He was a Grants Writer and Policy Project Management Consultant for the Michigan Rural Systemic Initiative and a Project Coordinator for the Anishnabe Future Leaders Program at the Inter-Tribal Council of Michigan from 1998 to 2004.
Mr. Payment was an Instructor of Political Science, Native American Studies and Grant Administration at Lake Superior State University from 1994 to 1996 and served as Federal-State Policy Administrator/Assistant to the Executive Director of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians from 1991 to 1993. He was Dean’s Assistant in the Dean of Students’ Office/Minority Retention Coordinator at Northern Michigan University from 1989 to 1990. Mr. Payment received a B.S. and an M.P.A. from Northern Michigan University.
In additiion to this new appointment, Chairman Payment serves secretary for the National Congress of American Indians and serves on an tribal advisory board for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.