Indian Affairs - State of Minnesota

 

Legislation

Legislative Update March 2nd, 16th, and 30th, 2009

On Monday, there was a press conference to introducing the trafficking legislation. Senator Pappas spoke of the issue of trafficking and some women who were previously trafficked spoke about trauma they have suffered. The bills that were introduced are SF 1212, 1120, 1101, 1050, 1048, and 1019.

On Tuesday, the HF 456/SF 764 was heard in the Government Operations committee. This is the bill allowing Indian Affairs Council to conduct meetings via teleconferencing. A delete all amendment was introduced and prevailed that would allow any state agency, board, commission, or department, to conduct meetings by electronic means. The bill passed out of committee and was referred to the general registrar.

          • SF 764 was also heard in the Senate on Wednesday afternoon in the government Operations committee. The bill also passed.

In the House, the following non gaming bills have been introduced in regards to Indian Issues:

    HF 1240 (Eken) establishes a volunteer working group that works on Native language revitalization and preservation, appointments provided, report required, and money appropriated.

    HF 1139(Dill) On the Bois Forte Reservation, a renewable energy biofuels demonstration facility be authorized with bonds issued and money appropriated.

    HF 758 (Persell) On Big Rice Lake; Wild rice management cooperative established.
In the Senate, the following non gaming bills have been introduced in regards to Indian Issues:
    SF1159 (Bakk) Companion bill to HF 1139

    SF 1150 (Berglin) $3,500,000 is appropriated in fiscal year 2010 and $10,600,000 for fiscal year 2011 from the TANF fund to the Commissioner of Human Services to be allocated to counties and tribes for supported work for MFIP participants.

    SF 1050 (Pappas) Human trafficking criminal and victim provisions modifications; training and public awareness, victim assistance and MFIP eligibility and waivers.

    SF 1048 (Pappas) Human trafficking criminal and victim provisions.

    SF 1019 (Pappas) Legal Advocacy services for human trafficking victims grant appropriation.

    SF 836 (Stumpf) Pre-kindergarten through grade 12, family and adult education provisions modifications and appropriations.

    SF 590 (Chaudhary) Big Rice Lake cooperative wild rice management pilot project.

    SF 117 (Wiger) Creates a committee on American Indian education programs to advise the Commissioner of Education.

Legislative Update for the week of March 16th, 2009

On November 4th 2008 there was a question on the general election ballot to increase the sales and use rate beginning July 1, 2009 by 3/8ths percent on taxable sales until 2034. This Clean Water, Land, and Legacy Amendment was passed. 19.75% of the money will go to the Arts and Cultural Heritage fund to be spent only for arts, arts education, and arts access, and to preserve Minnesota history and cultural heritage. Early estimates are that this fund will be approximately $48 million in FY 2010 and $54.5 million in FY 2011.

On Monday evening, the Cultural and Outdoor Resources Finance Division committee met to discuss the vision and expectations for this new fund. Cultural Resource Director, Jim Jones, and Pete Palma, Cultural Resources Specialist, testified at the hearing. They reminded the committee that Minnesota’s first heritage and culture in Minnesota is the American Indian community. He recommended that the fund not leave out the voice of the Tribal communities and include money for the Indian Affairs Council to deal with accidental unearthing of skeletal remains to comply with federal law, NAGPRA.

SF 1256
SF 1256/HF 1240 was heard in the Senate Government Operations committee last yesterday. Wayne Wells, Prairie Island Dakota Language Consultant, John Poupart, American Indian Policy Center Director, and Jennifer Bendickson, Dakota Ojibwe Language Revitalization Alliance, testified in support of the bill. Prairie Island Tribal Council and Chief Executive Marge Anderson from Mille Lacs send letters of support to the bill’s author, Senator Olson. Leslie Harper, the Director of the Niigaane Ojibwemowin Immersion School at Leech Lake, also sent her testimony via email as she was unable to make the trip down from Leech Lake. Senator Robling asked how the $150,000 appropriation was to be spent and if any staff were going to be hired, stating the Legislative Commission to end poverty hired staff and was given the same appropriation.

Senator Olson said that no staff was going to be hired. Senator Robling reminded the committee that the Indian Affairs Council testified before the committee with a bill that would allow state agencies to conduct meetings by electronic means, which may decrease the need for such an appropriation. Senator Day reminded the committee members that American Indian students have some of the lowest graduation rates in education and wondered why the Tribes won’t pay for the feasibility study. He also wanted to know why the Tribes wanted the government involved in language revitalization. Senator Olson said that revitalizing Dakota and Ojibwe languages are the least that the state can do for the Tribes. The bill passed as amended (see below) and will go to the rules committee next because legislators are being appointed onto the working group.

On Friday morning, the Crime Victims/Criminal Records Division heard the majority of the trafficking bills: HF 1636/SF NA Human trafficking victims' housing and support services provided, money appropriated.
HF 1768/ SF1050 Sex trafficking criminal penalties increased, victim housing and support services provided, technical training for judges, prosecutors, and law enforcement provided, public awareness increased, Minnesota family investment program eligibility and waiver provisions addressed, money appropriated.

HF 1810/ SF 1120 Human trafficking notice posting required at establishments that sell alcoholic beverages at retail and certain lodging establishments that have been involved in prostitution-related activity;

HF 1505/ SF 1514 Sex trafficking criminal penalties increased, and crime of violence definition extended to include sex trafficking.
All four bills passed out of the committee.

S.F. No. 1256, as introduced - 86th Legislative Session (2009-2010)
    1.1 A bill for an act
    1.2 relating to education; establishing a volunteer working group on Native language
    1.3 revitalization and preservation; providing for appointments; requiring a report;
    1.4 appropriating money.
    1.5 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA:
    1.6 Section 1. VOLUNTEER WORKING GROUP ON DAKOTA AND OJIBWE
    1.7 LANGUAGE REVITALIZATION AND PRESERVATION.
    1.8 Subdivision 1. Establishment. A volunteer working group is established to develop
    1.9 a unified strategy to revitalize and preserve indigenous languages of the 11 federally
    1.10 recognized American Indian tribes in Minnesota. As the federal government recognized
    1.11 through passage of the Esther Martinez Native American Languages Preservation Act
    1.12 of 2006, the revitalization and preservation of American Indian languages is of vital
    1.13 importance to preserving the American Indian culture. There have been recent efforts in
    1.14 Minnesota to develop programs to teach the Dakota and Ojibwe languages to students
    1.15 and to create fluent speakers at both the kindergarten through grade 12 level and at the
    1.16 postsecondary level. The volunteer working group shall, among other duties, inventory
    1.17 these efforts and make recommendations regarding how to further revitalize and preserve
    1.18 Dakota and Ojibwe languages.
    1.19 Subd. 2. Membership. The executive director of the Minnesota Indian Affairs
    1.20 Council shall invite each of the 11 federally recognized tribes under Minnesota Statutes,
    1.21 section 3.922, subdivision 1, clause (1), to participate by appointing one member of each
    1.22 tribe to the working group. Three additional members shall be appointed by the Indian
    1.23 Affairs Council. Two of these members must represent the American Indian population
    1.24 in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area and one member must represent the American Indian
    2.1 population in Duluth. Other working group members may include, at their discretion, the
    2.2 commissioner of education or the commissioner's appointee, the director of the Office of
    2.3 Higher Education or the director's appointee, one member of the Board of Teaching, one
    2.4 member of the senate appointed by its Subcommittee on Committees, and one member
    2.5 of the house of representatives appointed by the speaker of the house. The working
    2.6 group may add other members as deemed appropriate by a majority vote of the existing
    2.7 members. The executive director of the Indian Affairs Council must convene the first
    2.8 meeting no later than September 1, 2009. At the first meeting, the members shall elect
    2.9 from amongst themselves a chair and vice chair of the working group.
    2.10 Subd. 3. Duties. The working group must develop strategies for the 11 federally
    2.11 recognized American Indian tribes and the state to work together to revitalize and preserve
    2.12 the Dakota and Ojibwe languages in Minnesota. The duties of the working group include,
    2.13 but are not limited to:
    2.14 (1) creating an inventory of existing programs designed to preserve Dakota and
    2.15 Ojibwe languages in the state, including postsecondary programs, programs in tribal
    2.16 schools, and other schools throughout the state;
    2.17 (2) creating an inventory of available resources for Dakota and Ojibwe language
    2.18 revitalization and immersion programs, including curriculum, educational materials,
    2.19 and trained teachers;
    2.20 (3) identifying curriculum needs to train teachers to teach the Dakota and Ojibwe
    2.21 languages in immersion programs and barriers to training teachers to teach the Dakota and
    2.22 Ojibwe language;
    2.23 (4) identifying classroom curriculum needs for teaching students in Dakota and
    2.24 Ojibwe languages;
    2.25 (5) determining how the identified curriculum needs should be met;
    2.26 (6) determining if there is a need for a central repository of resources, and if there
    2.27 is a need, where the repository should be located, how it should be structured, and who
    2.28 should have responsibility for maintaining the repository;
    2.29 (7) determining what technical assistance the state could offer to further Dakota
    2.30 and Ojibwe language immersion programs;
    2.31 (8) identifying both existing state and national financial resources available to further
    2.32 Dakota and Ojibwe language revitalization and preservation efforts;
    2.33 (9) identifying current state and federal law, rules, regulations, and policy that
    2.34 should be repealed, modified, or waived, in order to further Dakota and Ojibwe language
    2.35 immersion programs; and
    3.1 (10) assessing the level of interest in the community for Dakota and Ojibwe
    3.2 language immersion programs.
    3.3 Subd. 4. Report. The working group must report its findings and recommendations
    3.4 to the Indian Affairs Council and the committees of the legislature having jurisdiction over
    3.5 early childhood through grade 12 education and higher education by February 15, 2011.
    3.6 The committee expires on February 16, 2011.
    3.7 EFFECTIVE DATE.This section is effective the day following final enactment.
    3.8 Sec. 2. APPROPRIATION.
    3.9 $150,000 is appropriated in fiscal year 2010 from the arts and cultural heritage
    3.10 fund to the commissioner of education for the working group on Dakota and Ojibwe
    3.11 Language Revitalization and Preservation. Any balance in fiscal year 2010 is available
    3.12 in fiscal year 2011.

An amendment was added to the bill that clarifies how the appropriation will be spent, “The commissioner of education shall provide the working group with meeting spaces and the necessary staff support for meetings of the working group. Members of the group are not eligible for compensation but may receive reimbursement for their expenses as provided in Minnesota Statutes, Section 15.059, subdivision 3.”

Bill Summary

Section 1: Self explanatory

Section 2: The Executive Director of Indian Affairs will ask the Tribal Chairs to appoint one member to be on the working group. They will also appoint one person from Duluth and two from the Minneapolis/Saint Paul area to be on the working group, for a total of 14 people on the working group. The Commissioner of Education, the Director of Higher Education, or their designees may also sit on the working group, as well as, one member from the Board of Teaching. One Senator and one representative will also be appointed to sit on the work group. Additional members may be added if the majority of the members vote to do so. The Executive Director of Indian Affairs Council will have the first meeting before September 1, 2009 where a chair and a vice chair of the working group will be appointed.

Subd. 3. Duties. The working group will develop strategies for the 11 tribes and the state to work together to revitalize and preserve Dakota and Ojibwe language.

Duties of the working group:

    • Create an inventory of existing programs to preserve Dakota and Ojibwe languages including all coursework available
    • Create an inventory of curriculum, educational materials, and trained teachers for the Dakota and Ojibwe language
    • Identify curriculum that is needed to train teachers and barriers to training teachers to teach Dakota and Ojibwe
    • Indentify classroom curriculum needs for teaching Dakota and Ojibwe languages
    • Determine how the curriculum needs should be met
    • Determine if a warehouse is needed to hold the resources identified, where it should be located, and what it should look like
    • Determine what technical assistance the state could offer to Dakota and Ojibwe immersion programs
    • Identify any financial resources available to further language preservation and language revitalization
    • Identify any laws that are hindering the expansion of Dakota and Ojibwe language immersion programs.
    • Evaluate the level on interest for Dakota and Ojibwe language immersion programs.

Report. The working group must report its findings and recommendations to the Indian Affairs Council and the committees of the legislature having jurisdiction over early childhood through grade 12 education and higher education by February 15, 2011. After which, the working group will end.

Appropriation: $150,000 is appropriated in 2010 from the arts and heritage culture fund to the commissioner of education for the working group who will provide the committee with meetings space and staff support. Group members will not receive compensation but may receive reimbursement for relative expenses.

Legislative Update for the week of March 30th, 2009

The IAC office met with the Assistant Commissioner of the Department of Education, Morgan Brown to discuss the Governor’s recommended budget cuts that would affect Indian programs. There are four main programs that are affected. He will be at the next Indian Affairs Council meeting to answer any further questions. There are also cuts to higher education that will probably not be made effected by the Federal Stimulus.

Governor's Educational Program Cuts

     
Current Fiscal Year
 
Governor’s Recommendations
     
($ in thousands)
 
($ in thousands)
2008
2009
2010
2011
Success for the Future
$2,137,000
$2,137,000
$1,923,000
$2,137,000
Indian Teacher Preparation
$186,000
$194,000
$190,000
$190,000
Tribal Contract Schools
$1,853,000
$1,842,000
$1,764,000
$2,127,000
Tribal Early Childhood Program
$68,000
$68,000
$68,000
$68,000


In the Cultural and Outdoor resource finances committee, Representative Murphy introduced a delete all amendment to HF 2229 to include omnibus bill for agencies and accounts within the Cultural and outdoor resources finance division. Included in this bill is a decrease of 5.08% to the operating budget of the Indian Affairs Council, with an increase of $64,000 over the biennium for activities of the Council relating to Indian burial sites and unfunded federal mandates. It also includes a report due to the legislature by January, 2010 on the possible collocation of the Indian Affairs Council and the other councils of color, mainly looking at any cost savings that would result from collocating.

Bill Updates

SF764/ HF456 (MOUA) A bill allowing for state agencies to conduct meetings by electronic means passed on the Senate floor earlier this week.

SF 1514/HF 1505, which expands the prostitution definition passed out of Judiciary committee.

SF 1256/ HF1240, the volunteer working group to do a feasibility study on Dakota and Ojibwe languages passed out of the rules committee and was referred to finance, in the Senate. There will be an amendment to change the appropriation from going to the Commissioner of Education and instead going to Indian Affairs. The Commissioners office approves this change.

Upcoming Meetings

Indian Affairs Council Urban Board
Thursday, March 12, 9:30am
Room 400 S
State Office Building

Indian Affairs Board
Tuesday, April 28, 2009 at 9am
A $59 a room block is set up for the night before

For any information, please contact Indian Affairs Council.

We've set up a few links to help you stay on top of what's happening within the Minnesota State Legislature. You can track bills within the legislature, find specific voting information for your area, view current session information, find tribal liaisons, as well as view the statutes that governs the Indian Affairs Council.