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A member of the Wisconsin Oneida tribe who earned a law degree from Brigham Young University has been named director of the Utah Division of Indian Affairs.

Gov. Norm Bangerter announced the appointment of John E. Powless Jr., vice president of the Orem-based Indian Affiliates Inc., on Tuesday. Powless assumes the position immediately."John Powless will be a great asset to the state of Utah and its Indian people," the governor said. "Utah is in the process of addressing important Indian-related issues, and I believe John has the ability to work with tribal leaders to the mutual benefit of our Indian citizens."

Powless graduated from BYU's J. Reuben Clark law school in 1987 and has experience assisting tribes in economic development. He replaces Travis Parashonts, who resigned in April.