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The National Indian Gaming Commission has reappointed Vice Chair Jeannie Hovland and has appointed Associate General Counsel Sharon M Avery as Associate Commissioners.

Both Hovland and Avery have been appointed to three-year terms with the NIGC. This will be Hovland’s second term as Associate Commissioner, while it will be Avery’s first. Both appointments were proposed by Secretary of the Interior, Deb Haaland.

An enrolled member of the Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe of South Dakota, Hovland has been with the NIGC since 2021. Previously, she was Commissioner of the Administration for Native Americans and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Native American Affairs for the Administration for Children and Families at the US Department of Health and Human Services. 

She also worked for nearly 13 years with the office of South Dakota Senator John Thune, assisting with legislation such as the Tribal Law and Order Act and the Code Talkers Recognition Act of 2008.

Commenting on her reappointment, Hovland said: “I am truly honoured to be appointed to serve on the Commission for a second term. I look forward to collaboration between the Agency and tribal nations, as we continue our important work to meet the ever-changing landscape of the tribal gaming industry.”

Avery is an enrolled member of the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan and has been with the NIGC for over four years serving as an Associate General Counsel in the NIGC Office of General Counsel. 

Before joining the NIGC, she served for more than 10 years in the Legal Department for the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan, most recently serving as General Counsel for Tribal Operations.

“It is with great privilege that I accept this appointment as an Associate Commissioner with the NIGC,” added Avery. 

“I am excited to be a part of the continued work between the agency and tribes within the framework of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act to ensure the continued integrity of Indian gaming.”