Ernest House, Jr. to Join Keystone Policy Center

House is currently Executive Director for Indian Affairs for State of Colorado.

We are excited to announce the addition of our newest Senior Policy Director, Ernest House, Jr.  Ernest comes to Keystone with a wealth of experience on tribal issues, having most recently served as the Executive Director for the Colorado Commission of Indian Affairs where he served as the official liaison between the Southern Ute Indian and Ute Mountain Indian Tribes and the State of Colorado.

Ernest has been an integral part of Keystone’s project on Creating Consultative Relationships with the Energy Industry and Tribes, and will be stepping into a management role on this initiative.  As a Member of the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe, Ernest’s leadership will deepen Keystone’s expertise and knowledge on this project, while also more broadly enhancing our focus on equity and inclusion across all of our programmatic areas.

We look forward to welcoming Ernest to our Denver office in October.



Office of Lt. Gov. Donna Lynne

Jacque Montgomery | | 303-518-0915

Lt. Governor announces resignation of state’s Executive Director for Indian Affairs

DENVER — Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2018 — Lt. Governor Donna Lynne today announced the resignation of Ernest House, Jr., the executive director of the Colorado Commission of Indian Affairs (CCIA). The CCIA is part of the Lieutenant Governor’s Office. Its executive director serves as the official liaison between the Southern Ute Indian and Ute Mountain Indian Ute Tribes and the State of Colorado.

“Ernest has played a tremendous role in ensuring our state government never lost focus on our tribal communities,” said Lieutenant Governor and Chief Operating Officer Donna Lynne. “Our tribes have an important seat at the table and a strong voice thanks to Ernest’s commitment and dedication.”

As Executive Director for the Colorado Commission of Indian Affairs (CCIA), House maintains the communication between the Southern Ute Indian Tribe, the Ute Mountain Ute Indian Tribe, and other American Indian organizations, state agencies and affiliated groups. The executive director represents the CCIA at various federal and state public policy meetings and provides legislative and government-related information to community stakeholders. House worked on a number of key initiatives including:

  • Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA)
  • American Indian Economic Impact Report
  • State/Tribal Consultations
  • Sand Creek Massacre Recognition/Awareness
  • Executive Order on American Indian Representations in Public Schools
  • Governor’s Ute Tribal Summit

House previously held the position of CCIA executive director under Governor Bill Owens and Governor Bill Ritter from 2005-2010.

“It means a great deal to me as a member of the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe that I have been able to bring the voice of all tribes to Colorado’s highest office,” said Ernest House, executive director of the Colorado commission of Indian Affairs.

House will leave the administration at the end of September to become the senior policy director at the Keystone Policy Center. CCIA program staff will continue to carry out the commission’s work through the remainder of Governor John Hickenlooper’s and Lt. Governor Lynne’s terms in office.

About Keystone Policy Center
Keystone Policy Center brings together crucial teams of stakeholders who have diverse individual perspectives but recognize a common need to address urgent issues with lasting solutions. For more than 40 years, The Center has helped leaders move beyond fixed positions toward collaborative, action-oriented approaches to problem-solving. In this age of polarized debate on nearly every major topic in public policy, The Keystone Center offers a refreshing yet proven blueprint for progress.