Topeka Gov. Sam Brownback on Friday announced the appointment of Chris Howell as Native American liaison.
Howell, a member of the Pawnee Nation of Oklahoma and a Lawrence native, will work to ensure that Native American concerns are addressed in state policy decisions, the governor’s office said.
He will also coordinate communications between tribal governments and state agencies. Kansas is home to four Native American tribes: the Kickapoo, Prairie Band Potawatomi, Sac and Fox, and the Iowa.
“Native American Kansans play a very important role in our state’s history, culture and economy,” Brownback said. “It is essential for them to have a direct line into the governor’s office.”
Howell has worked in state government for 19 years, most recently as chief operating officer for the Kansas Arts Commission. Brownback de-funded that agency in a veto.
Howell will be paid $65,000 a year in what is a new position, according to the governor’s office. Several state agencies, including the governor’s office, are sharing in the cost of Howell’s salary, the governor’s office said.