Media Contact: Nedra Darling, OPA-IA Phone: 202-219-4152
For Immediate Release: August 7, 1969

Secretary of the Interior Walter J. Hickel, on behalf of President Nixon, today announced the nomination of Louis R. Bruce, 6,3, of Richfield Springs, New York, as Commissioner of Indian Affairs.

Bruce, a member of the Oglala Sioux tribe of South Dakota, was praised by the Secretary as "a man of unparalleled qualifications, with the leadership skills and the desire necessary to carry out the Administration's pledge to bring dignity, education and economic progress to all of our American Indian, Eskimo and Aleut citizens.

"Mr. Bruce's extensive experience in Indian activities, in community and youth relations, and in Indian housing programs will provide a solid foundation for advancing our programs to assure the Indian American is no longer the forgotten American."

Bruce served as special assistant commissioner for cooperative housing with the Federal Housing Administration until becoming executive director of the" Zeta Psi Educational Foundation and Fraternity in 1966.

He organized the first National Indian Conference on Housing in 1961,and was instrumental in changing regulations of the agency to provide more direct benefits to Indian Americans.

Early in his career, he was New York State director for Indian projects with the National Youth Administration.

He has served as public relations and promotions director of Mid-Eastern Cooperatives; community relations consultant with the New York State Housing Division; vice president of the Compton Advertising Agency of New York; and as a member.of the Board of Directors of the Dairymen's League Cooperative Association of New York.

He owns and, until recently, operated a 600-acre dairy farm in Richfield Springs.

His father, Dr. Louis Bruce, a Mohawk Indian, was until his death last year a leader in working for a better life for the Indian people. Hr. Bruce's mother was an Oglala Sioux of the Pine Ridge Reservation of South Dakota.

Bruce was born on the Onondaga Indian Reservation in New York and grew up on the State's St. Regis Mohawk Reservation. He is a graduate of Cazenovia Seminary and Syracuse University.

He has received a number of awards including the American Indian Achievement Award and the Freedoms Award, presented by President Eisenhower for "outstanding contributions in promoting the American way of life."

A member of the Association of Indian Affairs, the Indian Council Fire of Chicago, and the National Congress of American Indians, he has served as executive secretary of the National Congress of American Indians.

He is married to the former Anna Jennings Wikoff. They have three children and five grandchildren.