This long-awaited book is in its third printing — Chief of the Chiefs: Louis Rooks Bruce, Mohawk/Sioux, Commissioner of Indian Affairs and Lobbyist

Chief of the Chiefs: Louis Rooks Bruce, Mohwak/Sioux, Commissioner of Indian Affairs and Lobbyist by Jane Richardson

Louis Rooks Bruce Elevated the Status of American Indians

In Chief of the Chiefs you will learn how Louis Bruce elevated the status of all American Indians: their health, housing, education. Discussed are the similarities and differences in customs, cultures and lifestyles of his parents' Mohawk and Sioux backgrounds; while other tribes are covered, as well.

Visit the reservation of his father; join him working his way through high school and college, becoming a pro baseball star pitcher, a dentist and a Methodist Minister. Teaching his son to honor their Indian heritage, the junior Louis heads NY's Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) during the Depression, meeting First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt and "the ball gets rolling." He becomes Consultant to six U.S. Presidents, FDR through Ford.

President Nixon appoints him Commissioner of Indian Affairs where he transforms the Bureau from a management agency to a service organization. Real drama occurred during that period with the takeover of Alcatraz; of the Bureau building; and of Wounded Knee. His consulting firm rounded out his glowing career as he continued helping his fellow American Indians.

Lively contributions from young and very old Indians, White House staff, politicians, American Indian activists and family keep the book moving across the land, visiting longhouses, tepees, men and women at work, children at play - to the political arena. Over one hundred illustrations, letters and documents are included.


  • Introduction
  • The Mohawk Tribe and St. Regis Reservation
  • Educating the Native Americans and Louis' Baseball Career
  • Louis Bruce marries Noresta (Nellie) Rooks
  • Wounded Knee and the "Trail of Tears"
  • Education, Pole Vaulting and The Great Depression
  • Freedom Foundation Award Winning Essay
  • Making a Difference
  • Continuing Life on the Farm and a Rapidly Expanding Career
  • Commissioner of Indian Affairs
  • Bureau of Indian Affairs
Author Jane Richardson's in-depth research and attention to detail has again been recognized: Chief of the Chiefs is being used as a college-level textbook, helping a new generation learn more about the history of our nation and many of her people.