Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Chairwoman Karen Diver introduces President Obama on Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013, at the White House Tribal Nations Conference.

Anishinabe-Kwe in the House!

Mary Annette Pember

Karen Diver, Chairwoman of the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa in Minnesota, has just announced that she is stepping down from her long time position as tribal chairwoman and has accepted an appointment to serve at the White House as special assistant to President Barack Obama on Native American affairs.

Not bad for a woman who started out as a 15 year-old single mom struggling to educate herself while supporting her daughter.

Diver, a big advocate for self- sufficiency and advocacy for others, began working for the tribe in 2003 and was elected in 2007 as the first female leader of the Fond du Lac Band. A graduate of the University of Minnesota-Duluth, she also holds a master’s degree in public administration from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

“I am excited by the opportunity to have a wider impact in Indian Country under President Obama’s Administration, which has shown unprecedented support for Indian Country,” she said in her letter to the tribe.

She also expressed her gratitude and faith to tribal members for their support of her leadership.

In the letter, she said that her last day will be November 13; Vice-Chairman Wally Depuis will likely serve as interim chair.

RELATED: A Chat With Fond du Lac's Karen Diver, Presidential Climate Change Task Force


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