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2,000 and Counting

UMD, US, and Minnesota flags
February 13, 2018

UMD, MnDOT partner to train more than 2,000 State employees

More than 2,000 Minnesota State Employees are better empowered to interact with Minnesota’s 11 sovereign tribal nations, thanks to a partnership between UMD’s Continuing Education and Department of American Indian Studies departments, and the Minnesota Department of Transportation. The Tribal State Relations Training program was established in 2013, and the 2,000 person trained milestone was reached in January, 2018.

The training includes legal structure, introductions to the tribes, and historic  context. The training sites rotate around the state and are hosted by tribes, giving participants an opportunity to experience Indian Country.

It was established in response to Governor Mark Dayton’s 2013 Executive Order 13-10, which mandated that employees of state agencies consult with the 11 sovereign tribal nations in Minnesota on matters of mutual interest. Many state agency employees, however, had little knowledge or tools on how to implement such consultations.

“We’re avoiding misunderstandings, which often lead to challenges in court– the worst place to settle things,” explains Tadd Johnson, American Indian Studies professor and director of UMD’s Master of Tribal Administration and Governance (MTAG). “The best place to settle things is by sitting down with a tribal leader and figuring things out as partners”

The program was honored with the Humphrey School of Public Affairs’ State Government Innovation Award.

More information