The Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians last month announced that Chairman Matt Wesaw has been selected as the executive director of the Michigan Department of Civil Rights. Wesaw is the first Native American appointed to this position.
In accepting the position, Wesaw will retire from his roles as chairman of Pokagon Band Tribal Council and president and CEO of the Pokagon Gaming Authority. He will be succeeded in the interim by Vice Chairman Bob Moody, until the Pokagon Band holds a special election in January 2014 to elect a new chairman.
In addition to his roles in Pokagon Band government, Wesaw was first appointed to the Michigan Civil Rights Commission in 2004. He was also elected as the commission’s chairman in 2010 and served through 2011.
Wesaw also has held the position of chairman of Pokagon Tribal Council twice, first in 1996 when the Pokagon Band pursued a compact with the state of Michigan to open a casino, and again in 2008 following the opening of the Pokagon Band’s first Four Winds Casino in New Buffalo. Previously, Wesaw also served 26 years with the Michigan Department of State Police as a trooper and detective sergeant. He was also lobbyist for the Michigan State Police Troopers Association for seven years.