David G. Lewis, the tribal historian of the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde, has been elected the chair of the Oregon Heritage Commission. He replaces Jan Mitchell of Astoria whose term on the commission ends next month.


"I look forward to this opportunity knowing that I have the support of my tribe and of the other commissioners," said Lewis.


Lewis has a Ph.D in anthropology from the University of Oregon, and has participated for the past decade in regional and inter-tribal projects and activities in the Northwest. Lewis was appointed to the Heritage Commission four years ago by then-Gov. Ted Kulongoski.


The Heritage Commission is comprised of nine people representing Oregon's heritage and geographical diversity who have been appointed by the Governor. There are nine advisory representatives from state agencies and statewide organizations. The mission of the Oregon Heritage Commission is to secure, sustain, and enhance Oregon's heritage by ensuring coordination of heritage initiatives by public and private organizations; advocacy on its behalf; education of the public about its extent and value; and promotion and celebration of its diversity.