12/18/2019 3:51:37 PM
Kirk Crow Shoe, American Indian Liaison
For too long, Minnesota’s tribal nations did not have a voice on matters of state policy. That was until Executive Order 19-24, the state’s strongest order yet, affirming the government-to-government relationship between the state and tribal nations in Minnesota. The order mandated, in part, that Minnesota state agencies maintain ongoing consultation with tribes. DEED began our in-person consultations with tribal nations this fall and will continue consultations into 2020. One of our first objectives is to identify priority issues and engage tribes in the development of annual legislative and fiscal proposals.
Commissioner Grove and I have traveled over the last months to meet with the respective tribal leaders at Bois Forte Band of Chippewa, Prairie Island Indian Community, Lower Sioux Indian Community and the Red Lake Nation. In January, we’ll travel to Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa and Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe. Additional consultations will soon follow as we continue our visits to all 11 tribal nations in the state. I will provide updates on our tribal consultations as they continue to progress.
As a result of these tribal consultations, tribes are recognizing many untapped resources available through DEED’s extensive workforce and economic development programs.
For example, each tribe we’ve consulted with paints a picture of their community’s broadband coverage. In turn, we’ve had opportunities to share information on DEED’s grants, technical assistance and resource partnerships to improve broadband access, which provides new connections and greater economic mobility for tribal communities across Minnesota.
We’re also hearing firsthand about the challenges tribal members have connecting to our CareerForce locations to access workforce development assistance. And together, we’re engaging partners to determine ways to improve access and offerings
Tribal nations are very concerned about their youth entering the workforce, and they are asking for our outreach and support. We’ll continue to support them through DEED’s youth training and career programs.
It is a remarkable time, historically, in Minnesota between tribal nations and state government. Commissioner Grove and I are taking stock of our relationships with tribal nations, learning from the past, making necessary adjustments, and re-engaging with tribal leaders more consistently to meet the needs of all Minnesotans.
It is an honor for me to both serve my own people in Minnesota and walk alongside our Commissioner doing so. I look forward to carrying out this important work on behalf of the Walz-Flanagan administration in 2020.
- Kirk Crow Shoe, American Indian Liaison, DEED