Greetings from Our New Commissioner

Hau Mitkauyapi (Hello My Relatives),

I was confirmed by the Senate as the Commissioner of ANA less than a month ago, and my how the weeks are flying by. I wanted to take a moment to introduce myself properly. My name is Jeannie Hovland, and I am an enrolled member of the Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe of South Dakota.

Prior to my appointment at ANA, I served as Senior Advisor to the Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs at the Department of the Interior and previously worked as the Tribal Affairs Advisor to Senator John Thune (R-SD) for over 12 years. My focus in every role has been to spend as much time as possible in tribal communities listening to leaders and members and working together to address the needs identified. This work allowed me to bring tribal concerns to legislators who responded through such legislation as, the Tribal Law and Order Act, Tribal Veterans Health Care Enhancement Act, Code Talker Recognition Act of 2008, the IHS Accountability Act of 2016, Restoring Accountability in the Indian Health Service Act of 2017, and the Native American Livestock Assistance Act of 2018.

I am also looking forward to starting a new chapter with ANA and doing more work worthy of our American Indian, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander communities. I have admired ANA’s work in Indian Country for a long time, and my initial time with staff has only strengthened my admiration for their passion and determination to make a positive difference.

Much like the legislation I worked on in my past, ANA’s funding opportunities are about letting Native tribes and organizations determine what their needs are and helping them to address these needs. We are here to support communities as they build themselves up through a variety of projects, for example:

  • workforce development
  • financial education
  • preservation of Native languages
  • establishing environmental regulations

In addition to supporting this work, my goals include expanding awareness of ANA’s capabilities and opportunities. I look forward to visiting our grantees either in their communities or at our annual Grantee Meeting. to ensure we’re listening and addressing the issues that most concern our Native communities.

In my dual role as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Native American Affairs, I am committed to strengthening the government-to-government relationship between the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and federally recognized tribes. I look forward to serving as an advocate for our tribes and working together to identify and address any gaps between needs and services.

I consider it an honor to continue my work with tribes through my appointment at ANA.

Pidamayapi ksto (Thank You),

Jeannie Hovland