Media Contact: Trahant (202) 343-7435
For Immediate Release: January 7, 1980

Secretary of the Interior Cecil D. Andrus announced today the appointment of Sidney L. Mills as the Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs, effective January 19, 1980, when Assistant Secretary Forrest J. Gerard leaves the Department.

Gerard announced his resignation December 11 to return to private business.

Andrus said the Mills appointment was made to insure that programs, such as the Bureau of Indian Affairs management improvement project, continue without interruption for the remainder of this Administration. Andrus said his primary concern was that on-going programs to Indians are not interrupted. "We are committed to assuring continuity in policy making for Indian Affairs," he said.

Mills, an enrolled member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, has been serving as the Acting Deputy Commissioner of Indian Affairs since July 30, 1979. He has also served as the Albuquerque Area Director and as the Executive Assistant to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs. "

Resigning Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Indian Affairs Forrest. J. Gerard said that Mills "brings a rich and diverse background to the Indian field. He has both the government and the private sector experience which can only benefit his constituents...the Indian people."

A Navy veteran, Mills, 54, entered 'Federal service in 1973 in the Aberdeen, South Dakota, Area Office. He was supply and contract officer and: for almost a year, the Acting Deputy Area Director before transferring to Washington, D. C., in August of 1975. He had previously been Purchasing Manager for the Great Western Sugar Company; Merchandise Control Manager, creative Merchandising, Inc.; and Purchasing Manager for Sundstrand Aviation, all in Denver, Colorado.

Mills is married with two sons. His wife, Corrine, is an enrolled member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe.