indianz.com your internet resource indianz.com on facebook indianz.com on twitter indianz.com on Google+ indianz.com on soundcloud
phone: 202 630 8439
Fredericks Peebles & Morgan LLP
Advertise on Indianz.Com
Home > News > Headlines

printer friendly version
BIA head Anderson speaks to tribal youth
Wednesday, February 18, 2004

The new head of the Bureau of Indian Affairs is taking his message of positivity and empowerment to the next generation of tribal leaders.

As founder of the Lifeskills Center for Leadership, Dave Anderson is used to working with Native youth. But his appearance before the United National Indian Tribal Youth last Friday was his first as a government bureaucrat.

Yet Anderson didn't necessarily want attendees of the Washington, D.C., meeting to see him that way. Calling attention to his own troubled past, he urged Native youth to stay free of drugs and alcohol as they lead tribes in the next century.

"As Native youth, you are the leaders of tomorrow," he said. "You are the leaders of Indian Country."

Anderson said his battle with substance abuse was so bad that at one point he didn't remember wrecking his car. Another time, he suffered a heart attack from drug use.

"My immune system was so shocked that I barely made it to the hospital," he recalled. "The doctors told me that if I had gotten there two hours later that I would have been on life support."

"So today, I really feel I'm living a life of gratitude," he continued. "I really feel that, today, my purpose in life, the reason God kept me alive, was so that I could be able to come and share my story with you."

A member of the Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Ojibwe from Wisconsin, Anderson's message mixes Native empowerment with business acumen and a big heaping of motivational-style speaking. In 1994, he opened a restaurant near his tribe's reservation. Famous Dave's is now a publicly-traded chain of of 87 restaurants in 23 states.

Part of the reason for his success, he said, was his desire to be more than average. He spent most of his early life that way -- ranking at the bottom of the class and failing graduate from high school.

"There is no reason for you, as Native people, why you should live lives of mediocrity or just being average," he said.

Another factor, he told the youth, is to keep a positive outlook when encountering obstacles. "Become solution conscious, not problem conscious," he said.

That's a philosophy he intends to take as head of the BIA, one of the most troubled agencies in the federal government. He's jumping headfirst into the scandal over the broken trust fund, a reorganization that tribal leaders oppose and other problems.

But he said he doesn't intend to shoulder it alone. He urged youth not to blame the federal government, or their tribes, for everything that goes wrong. "Don't go your tribe and say, 'Where's my free housing?'" he said. "Every one of you should be thinking, 'How can I become a homeowner?'"

Anderson was sworn in to his post two weeks ago. His next major appearance is before the National Congress of American Indians, which is holding its annual winter session in Washington, D.C., next week.

Relevant Links:
United National Indian Tribal Youth - http://www.unityinc.org/index.php
Famous Daves - http://www.famousdaves.com
LifeSkills Center for Leadership - http://www.lifeskills-center.org

Related Stories:
Anderson asks for prayers in new job as head of BIA (02/05)
Dave Anderson finally sworn in as head of BIA (2/3)
Q&A with Dave Anderson: 'I'm not an Indian leader' (12/15)
Dave Anderson: So much to do, so little time (12/12)
'Famous' Dave Anderson confirmed to head BIA (12/11)
'Nobody better' to head BIA than Anderson (12/10)
Dave Anderson nomination hits another snag in Senate (12/01)
Daschle meets with BIA nominee Dave Anderson (11/21)
Anderson asked to reconsider Pequot recognition (11/20)
Indian Affairs panel had placed hold on Anderson (11/17)
Ex-Anderson partner funding Nipmuc recognition bid (11/11)
Anderson faces challenges upon arrival at BIA (11/10)
Hold on Anderson nomination for BIA baffles some (11/3)
Anderson nomination to head BIA put on hold (10/31)
Anderson involved in opening of new restaurant (10/31)
Minn. senator rejects talk of Anderson hearing snub (10/24)
BIA nominee wins endorsement of Senate panel (10/23)
Minn. senator upset over Anderson hearing snub (10/23)
Anderson firm took 40 percent of casino profits (10/22)
Anderson's marching orders: Avoid controversy (10/22)
Hearing on BIA pick Anderson moved to new room (10/21)
Editorial: 'Cloud' hanging over Famous Dave (10/17)
Ex-Anderson partner has projects before BIA (10/13)
BIA nominee Anderson not so famous beyond BBQ (09/26)
Martin not upset she was passed over for BIA post (09/25)
White House acts to fill top BIA leadership post (09/15)
Biography: BIA nominee 'Famous' Dave Anderson (09/15)
Lack of BIA nominee puzzles Indian Country (08/07)

Copyright 2000-2004 Indianz.Com
More headlines...

Latest Headlines:

'Stand up, Fight back!' -- Annual march to honor lost Native children continues
Harold Frazier: Another treaty violation against the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe
YES! Magazine: Why decision on route isn't a win for the Keystone XL Pipeline
Native Sun News Today: Lakota Sewing Circle fosters a sense of community
David Ganje: Water a major issue as company eyes uranium mine in Black Hills
Final push is on to find Indian beneficiares owed money from Cobell settlement
Secretary Zinke under renewed scrutiny for travel practices and role of spouse
Navajo Nation gains access to national criminal data with Obama-era program
Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe marijuana consultant 'free' after state sentence
Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation clashes with state over 'bingo' machines
Redding Rancheria faces opposition to move of casino amid changes in D.C.
Pokagon Band debuts police station to service site of new casino in Indiana
Wiconi Un Tipi Camp rises to fight back against another controversial pipeline
Indian Country vows battle after final Keystone XL Pipeline route is approved
FBI offers reward in case of man from Crow Tribe who went missing years ago
Harold Frazier: Don't believe them when they tell you their pipelines won't spill
Mark Trahant: Indian Country isn't valued as lawmakers move on tax reform bill
Rep. Tom Cole: Tribes are improving the lives of their people and their neighbors
Albert Bender: Indigenous community in Nashville honors warrior Dennis Banks
Native Sun News Today: Touting food sovereignty with Pine Ridge bison harvest
James Giago Davies: We are all writing to be brilliant for that one perfect person
Cronkite News: Domestic violence remains a deadly probably for Native people
DVIDS: Native community shares culture with Air Force base in South Dakota
Newspaper apologizes to Mississippi Choctaws for story on casino referendum
Ponca Tribe returns to Indian gaming industry with Chickasaw Nation as partner
Bad River Band demands federal investigation into fatal shooting of 14-year-old
Tribes see opening under Trump to reshape agency that targets lending industry
Native Sun News Today: Lakota mother fights to keep her daughter's dream alive
Victor Swallow: Historic store was a vibrant part of the Oglala Sioux community
Gyasi Ross: Native child gunned down by police officer on his own homelands
Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate concerned about spill of oil from Keystone Pipeline
Mississippi Choctaws hail vote against new casino as they await official tally
Tribes still in the dark as Trump administration moves to roll back Bears Ears
Senate Committee on Indian Affairs adds tribal water rights hearing to schedule
Albert Bender: The original genocide continues with the Dakota Access Pipeline
Native Sun News Today: Tribal activists renew fight against Keystone XL Pipeline
Ivan Star Comes Out: We should be asking ourselves 'What's next?' at Whiteclay
Tunica-Biloxi Tribe distances film from Hollywood producer accused of assault
Morongo Band distributes 10,000 turkeys in annual tradition for Thanksgiving
Chemehuevi Tribe expects to complete work on second gaming facility in 2019
Tribes report mixed slot machine returns as they press Trump team on casino
Ponca Tribe secures victory in long-running battle over restoration of homelands
Winnebago Tribe asserts self-determination in hopes of fixing troubled hospital
Comanche Nation sees setback in effort to stop new Chickasaw Nation casino
Alaska Native corporation welcomes action on bill to open lands to development
Doug George-Kanentiio: Thanksgiving represents an indigenous gift to the world
Mark Trahant: Republicans target health care and education to pay for tax cuts
Native Sun News Today: Military service inspires Lakota veteran to bring change
ProPublica: Trump appointee resigns after report on troubled Indian loan program
Bill to end discrimination against indigenous women closer to passage in Canada
Quapaw Tribe calls for resignation of vice chairman following criminal indictment
Senior Trump administration official resigns after scrutiny of Indian loan program
Bureau of Indian Affairs makes changes to loan guarantee program amid scrutiny
Arne Vainio: For over 50 years, I blamed myself for my father's death by suicide
Secretary Zinke among those excited to take part in #RockYourMocs this year
Native Sun News Today: Homeless veterans in South Dakota share their stories
Dakota Access opponents aim to hold law enforcement accountable for tactics
Mississippi Choctaws headed to polls to vote on plans for new gaming facility
President Trump taps Bush-era official as Health and Human Services Secretary
Lawmakers easily approve tribal land bill as Supreme Court weighs major case
>>> more headlines...

Home | Arts & Entertainment | Business | Canada | Cobell Lawsuit | Education | Environment | Federal Recognition | Federal Register | Forum | Health | Humor | Indian Gaming | Indian Trust | Jack Abramoff Scandal | Jobs & Notices | Law | National | News | Opinion | Politics | Sports | Technology | World

Indianz.Com Terms of Service | Indianz.Com Privacy Policy
About Indianz.Com | Advertise on Indianz.Com

Indianz.Com is a product of Noble Savage Media, LLC and Ho-Chunk, Inc.