New Members’ Expertise will Enhance and Strengthen Board

(GREAT FALLS, Mont., February 28, 2022) — The National Native American Hall of Fame announced the appointment of two new members to their board of directors. Michael J. Anderson, Muscogee (Creek) and Frances Alvarez, Kumeyaay from the San Pasqual Band of Mission Indians, were added. The board members will support the work of the National Native Hall of Fame to bring greater awareness to the significant contributions of contemporary Native people and assist with fundraising efforts to establish a physical home for the Hall of Fame at the First Americans Museum in Oklahoma City, OK.

Michael J. Anderson has practiced federal Indian law for over 35 years in Washington, D.C. Anderson served as Acting Assistant Secretary and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs from 1995 to 2001, and previously served as Associate Solicitor for Indian Affairs from 1993 to 1995. Prior to joining the Clinton administration, he served as executive director of the National Congress of American Indians and served as general counsel to the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, and the Special Committee on Investigations. In 2009, Anderson was named by Global Gaming Business Magazine as one of the “Ten Most Influential People in Gaming”. In 2019, he was the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award by the D.C. Native American Bar Association.

Frances Alvarez has over 20 years of experience in tribal gaming. She has worked with the San Pasqual Tribal Gaming Commission as an industry professional with a focus on regulation and compliance and as a board member of the Tribal Gaming Protection Network (TPGN). In 2020, she was elected as Chair, a position she currently serves. Through TGPN, she has played an instrumental role in forming the Women in Tribal Gaming Symposium, an annual event nurturing the professional growth of women in the tribal gaming industry. Alvarez also has expertise in the technology field, serving as the vice president of professional services for Merydyan, assisting tribes develop efficient technological practices. She is currently working with BMM, a gaming industry test lab, in the tribal services division, aiding tribal community development through education and philanthropic efforts.

“Michael Anderson and Frances Alvarez bring a wealth of experience and an extensive network in Indian Country to the board,” stated James Parker Shield, CEO and founder of the National Native American Hall of Fame. “With the addition of these highly respected new members and their areas of expertise, we are even better equipped to continue our work, grow, and establish a physical presence in Indian Country.”

James Parker Shield, Little Shell Chippewa, Chief Executive Officer, founded the National Native American Hall of Fame in 2016 to recognize and honor the inspirational achievements of Native Americans. The Hall of Fame has inducted iconic contemporary and historic Native figures such as Cherokee leader Wilma Mankiller, and this year inducted U.S. Poet Laureate Joy Harjo, Muscogee (Creek), Senator Ben Nighthorse Cambell, Northern Cheyenne and Marcella LeBeau, Cheyenne River Sioux, a leader in health policy, who walked on just days after being inducted in the Hall of Fame in November 2021, at the age of 102.

President and Board Chair Walter Lamar, Blackfeet, said, “I am pleased to welcome Michael Anderson and Frances Alvarez to the board and I look forward to working with both of them as we continue to establish a stronger presence, grow new initiatives, and expand our reach throughout Indian Country and mainstream America.”

An integral part of the Hall of Fame’s mission is to educate the public about contemporary indigenous people and exemplary individuals, by shedding light on the lives and stories of Native peoples’ struggles and triumphs beyond what is taught in history books about 18th century Indians.

The Hall of Fame has developed curricular materials for grades 4-12. The lesson plans highlight historic contributions of Native leaders such as Ada Deer, who defended her people and saved the Menominee tribe from termination, and Vine Deloria Jr., Standing Rock Sioux, considered the leading Native intellectual figure of the 20th century.

In addition, Hall of Fame posters, depicting inductees, have been distributed to schools, Native organizations, tribal colleges, and universities across Indian Country.

The Native American Hall of Fame has held three induction ceremonies since its inception, honoring 32 Native men and women. For more information go to: