September 12, 2007

Gover to head NMAI

Former Interior Official To Lead Indian MuseumThe Smithsonian Institution yesterday named Kevin Gover, a lawyer and former Interior Department official with no museum experience, to succeed W. Richard West as director of the National Museum of the American Indian.

Gover, an Oklahoma Pawnee and former assistant secretary for Indian affairs at the Interior Department, is a former law partner of West, the museum's founding director. His office at Interior oversaw the Bureau of Indian Affairs, historically one of the most contentious agencies in the federal government.
Why he was chosen:Burke said Gover was chosen over 10 candidates because "he has a strong presence, is committed to Indian country and the value and role of the museum in that community." West said Gover's lifelong work with Indian nations qualified him for the job. "He is a dedicated, competent public servant," West said. "He has good standing with the native community itself. He is a public figure who is well known and whose service to the native community is clear."

Suzan Shown Harjo, a writer and prominent voice for Indian rights, endorsed the selection. "I think he is perfect. He is very analytical about systems, management, how to run things. There is so much going on at the museum and he knows how to sort out priorities," she said.
Gover will take helm at NMAI on Dec. 2

Comment:  See The Feel-Good National Museum for the initial reactions to the museum.


writerfella said...

Writerfella here --
This is distressing, as writerfella has known W. Richard West since he was 16 years old, when writerfella was a student at Bacone College (OK) from 1960-1962. Richard West, the father of the now-former director of the NMAI, was the art teacher at Bacone. All of us Bacone students were 19 - 22 years old and we had this 'kid' trying to hang with us. By now, W. Richard West must be 62, and so, after spending 17 years developing the NMAI, he is retiring. Too bad, as Kevin Gover is an unknown quantity with ties to AIM. BUT --
writerfella's sister and brother-in-law, Bruce Caesar and Arlene Caesar, heretofore have received privileged treatment courtesy of the NMAI, and Bruce Caesar happens to be Pawnee and a personal friend of Kevin Gover. It all will have to settle down after the dust is raised and so writerfella, while distressed, will wait until such matters promulgate. He may as yet get his career writing display in the NMAI where you can see his STAR TREK shown every half hour...
All Best
Russ Bates

Rob said...

Elouise Cobell is opposing Gover's appointment because he kowtowed to the Bush administration. I.e., because he's too conservative, not because he's too radical.

My pal Victor Rocha is friends with Gover too. I bet Victor would vouch for him.

I met Gover once through Victor, though he wouldn't remember me. I have no opinion on whether he'll be a good NMAI director or not.