Chris Tollefson 703-358-2222
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe today announced the appointment of Scott Aikin as the agency’s new national Native American Liaison. Aikin, an enrolled member of the Prairie Band of Potawatomi Nation of Northeast Kansas, has more than two decades of experience helping the Federal Government carry out its trust responsibilities toward Tribes throughout the United States.
Aikin most recently served as the Deputy Regional Director of Indian Services for the Bureau of Indian Affairs’ Northwest Region, a position he has held since 2010. In his new capacity as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s National Native American Liaison, Aikin will work with the Department of the Interior and the Service’s leadership to ensure that the agency’s actions and authorities are implemented in ways that respect and acknowledge Tribal sovereignty and the importance of Tribal wildlife stewardship.
Recognizing the importance of Tribal relations to the Service’s conservation mission, Ashe elevated Aikin’s position, ensuring that he will report directly to the Office of the Director.
“Indian country encompasses more than 100 million acres of the best remaining wildlife habitat in North America, stewarded by people who understand the value of their natural heritage. It’s vital that we expand and our relationships with Tribes across the nation to ensure that they have a strong voice in wildlife conservation,” said Ashe. “Scott Aikin brings a wealth of experience and contacts to this role, and I’m excited for the opportunity to work together across the landscape to ensure that our shared wildlife legacy endures for future generations.”
Aikin began his career in natural resources with the Service in the late 1980s, and left the agency in 1994 to work in Indian Country as the Environmental Director and later the Tribal Administrator for the Wiyot Table Bluff Reservation in Northwestern California. Aikin came back to the Federal Government in December of 1999 to work once again with the Service's Pacific Region as Regional Tribal Liaison, focusing on enhancing relationships between the Service and Tribes in the Pacific Northwest. In 2007, he moved over to the Bureau of Indian Affairs to become the Northwest Region's Natural Resources Director.
Outside of his federal employment, Aikin serves as an ordained Deacon in the Catholic Church within the Archdiocese of Seattle. He is also a traditional Northeast style dancer and drummer. Aikin is married with four children and has lived in Vancouver, Washington since 1999. He received a Bachelor’s degree in Wildlife Biology in 1992 and his Master’s degree in Natural Resources andWater Quality in 2000 from Humboldt State University in California.
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