Tadd Johnson has been appointed to the University of Minnesota Board of Regents, making him the first Native American to be appointed to the board, MPR News reported. Johnson will represent the 8th Congressional District.
Johnson, 65, is a member of the Bois Forte Band of Chippewa and senior adviser on government affairs for the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe. He is also a former professor, tribal attorney, and tribal court judge.
He recently retired as the University of Minnesota's first senior director of American Indian Tribal Nations relations.
"My passions are giving a voice that hasn't been heard from before and making sure that the 8th District and the University of Minnesota Duluth are well represented on this board,” Johnson said.
He said it is important for Native Americans to be represented on the board of a school built with funds generated from land taken from Native people.
"There's an old saying, if you're not at the table, you're on the menu,” Johnson said. “For many, many years we were on the menu, as the Board of Regents and other universities were using Indian land to build their endowments. It's an honor to be finally sitting at the table."