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                       Office of the Press Secretary 
                     (Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts)
For Immediate Release                                September 2, 1997 
                       U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

President Clinton today announced the appointment of Tadd Johnson as Chairman of the National Indian Gaming Commission at the U.S. Department of the Interior. Mr. Johnson will serve as a recess appointee. He was nominated on July 31, 1997 and his nomination is currently pending before the Senate.

Mr. Johnson, of Lino Lakes, Minnesota, is a member of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe. He is an attorney in private practice at the law firm Johnson, Hamilton, & Quigley, where he specializes in negotiating self-governance agreements for Native American Tribes. Mr. Johnson served as the interim Executive Director and Counsel of the Bois Forte Band in Minnesota in 1995. Prior to that, Mr. Johnson was the Staff Director and Counsel for the House Sub-Committee on Native American Affairs. He also served as Counsel on Indian Affairs for the Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs from 1991 to 1993. During his tenure with the Committee, Mr. Johnson was responsible for the oversight hearings held on Indian gaming issues. Mr. Johnson received a B.A. from the College of St. Thomas in 1979 and a J.D. from the University of Minnesota in 1985.

The National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC), under the jurisdiction of the Department of Interior, was created to regulate all affairs relevant to gaming on Indian lands. The Commission has the power to monitor gaming activities, levy fines, inspect all premises located on Indian lands, conduct background investigations and conduct audits. The Chairman oversees the day-to-day operation of the Commission and has the power to issue orders temporarily closing gaming activities, levy and collect civil fines, approve regulation and classification of gaming classes, and approve management contracts for Class II and III gaming. The appointment of the Chairman will ensure continued leadership at the National Indian Gaming Commission.

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