Cobell: Gover the wrong choice to head NMAI

"There are two major reasons why Indian country should be troubled by the appointment of Kevin Gover, a former Interior Department official with no museum experience, to head the National Museum of the American Indian.

The first goes to the very heart of the selection process, which excluded and disdained input from Native Americans. The second addresses the flawed record of the person selected by that process. Together they make clear why the Smithsonian Institution has created a serious affront to thousands of Indians.

As a member of the museum's board of trustees, I was shocked that the board was never consulted. In fact, Mr. Gover's name had never been mentioned during our board discussions about the directorship.

When I was named to the board of trustees, I was told the trustees had been selected because we were leaders in Indian country. The Smithsonian said it wanted to know what Native people sought in ''their museum.''

But what happened here was nothing more than a continuation of the same pattern of insider deals by the Smithsonian Institution's top administrators that have brought this wonderful institution into disrepute. This appointment has tarnished our wonderful new museum's reputation as one of the jewels of Indian country."

Get the Story:
Elouise Cobell: Museum's process, pick flawed (Indian Country Today 9/21)

Another Opinion:
Dwight Kevin Gover unquestionably best choice to run NMAI (Indian Country Today 9/21)

Relevant Links:
National Museum of the American Indian -
Indian Trust: Cobell v. Kempthorne -

Related Stories:
Secrecy shrouded hiring of new NMAI director (9/19)
Gover outlines vision for Indian museum (9/18)
Cobell: Gover's hiring an affront to Native people (9/18)
Cobell: Gover's hiring an affront to Native people (9/18)
Whites outnumber Indians on NMAI search panel (9/17)
Editorial: Kevin Gover, experience and NMAI (9/14)
Gover defends record after criticism from Cobell (9/13)
Cobell blasts Gover's appointment to NMAI (9/12)
Kevin Gover to take over NMAI on December 2 (9/12)
Kevin Gover named new director of NMAI (9/11)