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Mr. Steinhauer has been active on his reserve and in the province for many years. He served as a councillor on his reserve for 34 years and as its chief for three years. He was also a founder of the Indian Association of Alberta, president of the Alberta Indian Development Corporation, a member of a federal subcommittee on Indian Economic Development.
As chief and councillor of his reserve, he introduced the Saddle Lake Centennial Development Association that is now a successful farming operation on the reserve.
The association, structured like a corporate farm, employs all Native people.
Mr. Steinhauer and his five children have built up their own grain and cattle farm which he hesitates to leave for the city.
The new lieutenant-governor said he accepted the position mainly "for the sake of non-Indian people, to let them know that people have faith in our abilities".
After the appointment was officially announced, the 75 members of the Alberta legislature responded by thumping their desks with approval. Allan Adair, minister of northern development, said "the appointment will be a great lift to the people of the province, particularly the Native people."