(written from a Production point of view)
Nick Ramus (9 September 1929 – 30 May 2007; age 77) was a Native American actor from Seattle, Washington, who appeared as the Efrosian helm officer of the USS Saratoga in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. He was of Blackfoot heritage and received a Bachelors Degree from Eastern Washington College, majoring in Chemistry and minoring in Zoology. He began acting when he purchased a banjo from a friend and started performing folk songs, which led him to take voice and drama lessons. 
Ramus was the star of the first Native American language film, 1980's Windwalker. He also had a recurring role as Gus Nunouz on the primetime soap opera Falcon Crest during its first season (1981-82). Star Trek III: The Search for Spock actor Mario Marcelino played his character's son on the series, while Robert Foxworth was among the series regulars. Ramus later appeared in the recurring role of Black Kettle on Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, a series starring his Star Trek IV castmate, Joe Lando. Other Star Trek alumni with Ramus worked on this series include Colm Meaney, Edward Laurence Albert, Chad Allen, Barbara Babcock, Tim de Zarn, Richard Herd, Andrew Prine, James Sloyan, Gail Strickland, and Helene Udy.
Making his television acting debut in an episode of Gunsmoke (co-starring Mariette Hartley) and his film debut with a role in the Fred Williamson blaxploitation adventure Black Eye (both released in 1974), Ramus appeared in an unsold pilot for a western series called The Quest, which co-starred Brian Keith and Morgan Woodward. Keith and Woodward again co-starred with Ramus in 1978, when all three were among the many Star Trek performers to appear in the 1978 mini-series Centennial. Also appearing in this series were Michael Ansara, Henry Darrow, Cliff DeYoung, Robert DoQui, Robert Easton, Alex Henteloff, Sally Kellerman, Stephen McHattie, Clive Revill, Eric Server, James Sloyan, and Anthony Zerbe.
Ramus' other credits include the Disney TV special Kit Carson and the Mountain Men (also featuring Ike Eisenmann and Gary Lockwood), the films The Apple Dumpling Gang Rides Again (1979, with Kenneth Mars, John Arndt, Vince Deadrick, Lou Elias, Rex Holman, and Ed McCready), Invasion U.S.A. (1985, starring Richard Lynch), Love at Stake (1988, with David Graf), and 3 Ninjas Knuckle Up (1995, with Charles Napier, Vincent Schiavelli, and Don Stark), the 1991 TV movie Son of the Morning Star (co-starring Terry O'Quinn, Tim Ransom, and Dean Stockwell), and guest appearances on MacGyver, Harry and the Hendersons (starring Bruce Davison), and Walker, Texas Ranger (starring Noble Willingham). In addition, he and Brett Cullen were regulars on the short-lived CBS series The Chisholms (1980) and co-starred with future Star Trek: Voyager regular Robert Beltran in the 1984 TV movie The Mystic Warrior.
Outside of acting, Ramus' hobbies included horseback riding, roller-blading, tennis, and bike-riding. He was also skilled in languages, ice skating, boxing, and bareback horse riding.  He died in Benson, Arizona in 2007. He is survived by his wife, Kaysie, and four children.