Jodi Gillette, Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, will be replacing Kimberly Teehee, as Senior Policy Advisor for Native American Affairs.

President Obama Announces Jodi Gillette Appointment, Replacing Kimberly Teehee


President Barack Obama confirmed what Indian Country Today Media Network reported on April 26, when he announced the appointment of Jodi Gillette as Senior Policy Advisor for Native American Affairs in a press release on April 27.

Gillette, a member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, will be taking over for Kimberly Teehee, a member of the Cherokee Nation, who is leaving her position within the White House for a position with Mapetsi policy group, a small legal and lobbying firm, founded by tribal advocate Debbie Ho with the aim of preserving tribal sovereignty as reported by ICTMN on April 26.

Gillette will pick up where Teehee left off advising the President on issues impacting Indian country according to the release.

“Jodi Gillette will be an important member of my Administration’s efforts to continue the historic progress we’ve made to strengthen and build on the government-to-government relationship between the United States and tribal nations,” President Obama said in the release. “She has been a key member of my administration’s efforts for Indian country, and will continue to ensure that Native American issues will always have a seat at the table."

Gillette was a part of the Obama Administration early on when she held the position of the Deputy Assistant Secretary to the Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs for Policy and Economic Development in the U.S. Department of the Interior.

Gillette’s experience prior to joining the secretary’s staff included Deputy Associate Director of Intergovernmental affairs and Associate Director of Public Engagement. While in that role she was in charge of all communication and interaction with tribal nations and the White House; playing an integral role in the White House Tribal Nations Conference in 2009 and 2010.

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candyo's picture
Submitted by candyo on
I'm sorry to hear about Kimberly Teehee leaving cause she was so instrumental in the Cobell lawsuit going forward... I don't know of Gillette but she has beautiful teeth and I'm sure she will fill the shoes of Kimberly as well, I would like to address the Quantum Blood issue... So many people put an emphasis on race, use to if a person said he was part Native American there was no reason to dispute it. However, now you have to show so much documentation it is unreal. They want to know your tribe, I have mothers who are Half-Cherokee, A mother who is Full-blood Arapaho, a father who is Chickasaw and a birth father who was full-blood Kiowa, however, when my adopted Native American parents passed I went to his Tribe the Chickasaw to enroll and they turned me away. I went to my mother's Tribe the Cherokee and they turned me away, I had to go to the juvenile court where I was legally, adopted and have the Judge open my records, to find out who my real parents were that were both full-blood of their respectful tribes to enroll. They said I could enroll in either Tribe and I picked the Tribe of my mother whom I had never met or laid eyes on. Now, I have my CDIB and all my documentation and I still have trouble with people believing I'm full-blood Native American cause my skin is maybe a shade lighter than some of my brothers and sisters... It's so funny, no matter which side of the family I am on- I have to prove myself Native American. Still, to this day, my birth mother denies being my mother, and when I went to my birth father's probate who my birth mother had not lived with since the year of my birth, stood up before her family and God and told that Judge I was not her daughter. Even she did not mention she gave birth to me to her children, it was kind of embarrassing for me and I'm sure for her. I had the marriage certificate from the county that my birth parents were married and she even named her second daughter my same name that was on my original birth certificate. I was born at an unwed mothers home even though my parents were actually, married! Thank God my adopted parents were good and loving people. Proving ones heritage may be a blessing to some but it can be very hard. I do believe I am a member of my Tribe the Cheyenne/Arapaho because I have the documentation to prove it, but I was raised by good parents a mother who was half-Cherokee, a father who is part Chickasaw, and I have family who have Kiowa, Comanche and Apache and I will never deny them no matter what shade of skin they have...