2015 MIAC Legislative Agenda
Brief summary statement: The MIAC supports legislative initiatives that benefit the health and overall well-being of American Indian people in the state of Minnesota. The Council works to protect and preserve the sovereignty of the eleven tribes located within Minnesota. Pervasive inequities present persistent challenges in reducing disparities and improving quality of life for American Indians throughout the state. Working together to bring about substantive change to reduce disparities will help to achieve equality for American Indians in the state of Minnesota.
The Minnesota Indian Affairs Council (MIAC) Supports:
Minnesota Indian Affairs Council supports the efforts of the Tribal Nations Education Committee (TNEC), the official education committee as named in MS 124D.79. The TNEC is the official K-12 education committee on all issues relating to American Indian education and consists of members from all Tribes across Minnesota.
MIAC supports closing Minnesota’s most persistent and worst achievement gap for American Indian students in the nation. These efforts to close the achievement gap are many and include continuing consultation and follow-through on recommendations by the TNEC members and representatives on best practices to close the American Indian achievement gap; culturally-relevant American Indian curriculum that meets the standards requirements and benchmarks throughout all grade levels K-12; continuing funding language revitalization of Dakota and Ojibwe Language; continued funding for the highly visible and successful “Why Treaties Matter” exhibit and supplemental educational website, programs and curriculum; creation of satellite Indian Education offices in the areas with the largest populations of American Indian students statewide; and Indian Education for all students in the state of Minnesota.
MIAC supports continued funding for the Dakota Ojibwe Language Revitalization grant program supported by the Arts and Cultural Heritage funds.
MIAC supports the continued funding of the “Why Treaties Matter” exhibit, website, programming and curriculum.
MIAC supports continuing the Native Nations MNSCU Advisory Task Force and Tribal Leaders’ and Chancellor Rosenstone’s pledge to close the American Indian achievement gap.
Executive Order 13-10
MIAC supports Executive Order 13-10 and the legislature enacting the Executive Order into law. The Executive Order establishes a clear relationship between the State of Minnesota and the 11 sovereign Tribal Nations, recognizes the sovereign status of the Tribal Nations, sets forth more clear direction in the state’s work with the 11 Minnesota Tribal Nations through consultation agreements with Tribal Nations and state agencies, and makes educational requirements for state employees who work with Tribal Governments a priority. Because the future Governors can eliminate the preceding Governor’s Executive Order and this Executive Order is providing more clear direction for working with Tribal Governments, the Executive Order should be enacted into law.
Health and Human Services
MIAC supports continuing efforts to address the crisis of Indian children in the state of Minnesota. Indian Children endure the highest rates of placement into the foster and adoptive care system. MIAC held the first “Summit on the Crisis of Indian Children in Minnesota” in September 2014. Some recommendations from the summit include: Ensuring the current administration have American Indian representation on the task force to address issues; Continuing support for American Indian staff to work in ICWA at the departmental level; Increasing efforts and funding for treatment facilities to address the epidemics of prescription and street drugs in Indian communities; Increasing funding for culturally-appropriate treatment and programs for mothers and fathers and children; and Working together on the administrative, state, county and tribal level to solve the problem and crisis of Indian children in Minnesota.
MIAC supports continuing the work of the Tribal State Agreement and the work and policy recommendations set forth by the 2015 Tribal State Agreement work group.
MIAC supports Resolutions 11132014-1, 11132014-2, 11132014-3, 11132014-4, 11132014-5, 11132014-6, advocating for reform, additional resources and public policy changes to address the American Indian chemical dependency issues in the state of Minnesota and on Tribal Nations. For copies of the above resolutions, contact Minnesota Indian Affairs directly.
MIAC supports efforts to eliminate the Domestic Violence of Indian women and children and efforts to stop the Human Trafficking of American Indian women and children in the state of Minnesota.
MIAC supports the work of the Indian Liaison offices for the Department of Human Services and Health, the continuation and work of all American Indian-specific advisory councils within each entity, continuing and work to increase funding for all American Indian-specific programs, and increasing capacity within each entity to close the persistent disparities.
Public Safety and Corrections
MIAC supports the continuation of work and discussions between the Tribal Nations and State Agencies to address the state’s persistent disparity and overrepresentation of the American Indian population in the criminal justice system and prisons addressed in the State and Tribal Criminal Justice Learning and Listening Session in November 2013.
MIAC supports the Tribal Indian Housing program within the Minnesota Housing.
MIAC supports efforts to eliminate American Indian homelessness in the state of Minnesota.
MIAC supports efforts to increase funding and opportunities for affordable housing for American Indian people in the state of Minnesota.
MIAC supported the work of MICAH and the HOME bill that passed in the 2014 Minnesota Legislative Session.
MIAC supports the continuing work of the Office of Economic Opportunity in funding a liaison to the MIAC to work directly with Tribal Nations.
MIAC supports all efforts aimed at eliminating American Indian joblessness in the state of Minnesota. Out of 41,442 Minnesota Native Americans age 16 to 65, approximately 21,000 are without work or roughly 51% of American Indians of age to work. (MN DEED Stat) Efforts must focus on issues in child care, lack of transportation, housing needs, felony convictions that result in lost job opportunities, lack of education and training opportunities, and chemical health and mental health issues that maintain the cycle of joblessness.
MIAC supports the continuing work of the Indian Business Loan Program in DEED.
Thank you for your time in reading our legislative update! Anticipate updates throughout this session.
Legislative & Executive Assistant