The state is committed to building its relationship with Michigan's federally recognized Indian tribes for years to come, Gov. Rick Snyder said today during the 2012 State-Tribal Summit.
Snyder also signed Executive Directive 2012-2 on state-tribal affairs, affirming his commitment to the Government-to-Government Accord between the state of Michigan and the federally recognized Indian tribes of Michigan executed in 2002, and now spanning three administrations. The annual meeting is held pursuant to the Accord.
"By signing this executive directive, I am signaling my commitment to building a strong relationship between the tribes and the state not only during my tenure as governor, but for many years in the future," Snyder said. "The state has worked constructively with Michigan's tribes in many areas including transportation, human services and economic development, and I look forward to improving this relationship as we move toward a brighter future for all of Michigan."
Under the directive, the governor will select an advisor on tribal-state affairs from a member of his legal division to monitor the state's adherence to the 2002 Accord. The advisor shall have regular communication with tribal leaders and department tribal liaisons, and will also work closely with the directors and tribal liaisons from each executive branch department.
When formulating or implementing laws, rules or policies that have tribal implications, state executive branch departments, agencies and officials are directed to be cognizant of tribal sovereignty and the state's unique legal relationship with federally recognized tribes. Departments may establish guidelines for implementation, and must consult with tribes and respond to legislative inquiries if requested.
The parties to the Accord agreed to meet on at least an annual basis and consult on matters that significantly or uniquely affect the governmental interests of the other.
The event was opened with a traditional prayer, offered by Cecil Pavlat Sr., a member of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, followed by an Honor Song performed by Great Lakes Alliance Singers of the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe. Attendees discussed issues of common concern including human services, transportation and economic development.
Michigan's Indian tribes are Bay Mills Indian Community, Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians, Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi (Gun Lake Tribe), Hannahville Potawatomi Indian Community, Keweenaw Bay Indian Community, Lac Vieux Desert Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians, Little River Band of Ottawa Indians, Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians, Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi, Pokagon Band of Potawatomi, Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe, Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians.
For additional information on tribal resources, visit www.michiganadvantage.org/tribal. More detailed information about E.D. 2012-2 can be read at www.michigan.gov/snyder.