A graduate of the University of Washington, Chester Higman worked in a variety of businesses in the United States, and served as a volunteer for the American Friends Service Committee in Mexico prior to 1958.
As the first Administrative Assistant employed by the Tribal Council, Higman was involved in all aspects of tribal affairs. His chief duties included advising the Chairman and Council, drafting resolutions and ordinances, compiling Council minutes, managing business affairs of the reservation and personnel in the Tribal Office, and directing public relations. He resigned his position in June 1961.
The collection best documents Higman's efforts to assist the Tribal Council in improving their internal communications and policies, and in consolidating their endeavors to improve economic conditions on the reservation.
The larger files include Council Minutes, Development Programs, Journals, Mining and Mineral Rights, and Range Ordinances. Of interest are his reflections on daily developments in administration of the office in the Journals, and his evaluations and suggestions for restructuring in Recommendations for Improvements.
Most of the files contain both correspondence and background materials relating the specific topic; some folders contain items that predate Higman's tenure but relate to the topic. For example, the Districts file contains letters about the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' construction of the Painted Rocks Reservoir, and articles of incorporation for the East Chuichu Project and the San Xavier Non-Profit Development Company.