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Aaron Payment 121715 4 x 5Aaron Payment, chairperson of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, was unanimously re-elected as president of the United Tribes of Michigan Oct. 11 at Gun Lake in Shelbyville, Mich.

The UTM president said, “I appreciate the unanimous support of Michigan tribal leaders to continue to serve as the president of UTM and look forward to representing all tribes to protect or sovereignty and uphold our treaty rights, including full funding for tribal programs and governmental services.”

Payment is also running for National Congress of American Indians first vice president next week. Payment served previously as Midwest area vice president and as secretary for NCAI.  He has testified over 15 times in Congress and has been invited to the White House under both Republican and Democratic Administrations.

Now in his second term as Sault Tribe chairperson, Payment serves in the following capacities:
National Advisory Council on Indian Education (Presidential Appointment);
National Congress of American Indians, Executive Officer ~ Secretary;
HHS Secretary Tribal Advisory Council Member;
HHS Health Research Advisory Council Co-Chair;
National Institutes of Health ~ Tribal Advisory Committee;
Tribal Interior Budget Committee;
Mid-West Alliance of Sovereign Tribes, Vice President;
United Tribes of Michigan, President;
Chippewa Ottawa Treaty Resource Authority, Chairperson;
Inter-Tribal Council of Michigan, Vice President;
Chippewa-Luce-Mackinac Community Action Agency, Vice Chair; and Michigan Political Leadership Program, Advisory Board and Presenter.

Payment has been awarded numerous honors in his distinguished career, including 2015 National TRiO Achiever, 2013 Sergeant Shriver Achievement Honoree, 1999 NMU Distinguished Young Native American Alumni and 1994 Mid-West TRiO Achiever.

A high school dropout from an impoverished reservation community, Payment has since earned a G.E.D., a Bachelor’s degree, Master’s degree in Public Administration, Master’s in Education Administration, and, most recently, a doctorate in Education.

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Photo by Ken Bosma / CC BY