Governor Walz Signs Historic Executive Order to Expand Tribal-State Relations


Governor Tim Walz last week signed Executive Order 19-24, affirming the government-to-government relationship between the State of Minnesota and Minnesota’s eleven tribes. Building on previous executive orders on such tribal relations, Governor Walz’s order applies to all state agencies and was made in consultation with both agencies and tribal governments as it was written.

“This order ensures the State of Minnesota and the eleven tribes engage in true government-to-government relationships built on respect, understanding, and sovereignty," said Governor Walz. "We are committed to meaningful consultation with the tribal communities in our state.”

“This order builds on the important work Governor Dayton did with his executive order," said Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan. "But we also acknowledge today there's still a lot of work to do, and that work must never stop. For too long, policy has been done to our tribal communities, instead of with them. That order changes that.”

“This executive order is Minnesota’s strongest yet, and I’m excited to continue building strong government to government partnerships to accomplish and achieve even more together,” said Cathy Chavers, Chairwoman of the Bois Forte Band of Chippewa. “I appreciate Governor Walz and Lieutenant Governor Flanagan for their continued commitment to engaging in meaningful tribal consultation and for recognizing how critically important it is to work closely together with the eleven Tribal Nations in Minnesota.“

“Meaningful tribal consultation is foundational to recognizing and supporting the sovereignty of Tribal Nations. Executive Order 19-24 expands the framework established by the Dayton Administration to build positive and lasting relationships with Tribal Leaders, and further strengthens the state’s commitment to working with Tribal Nations on a government-to-government basis,” said Robert Larsen, President of the Lower Sioux Community. “I look forward to exploring new ways that our tribes and the State of Minnesota can partner together, and the new opportunities we can create.”

Executive Order 19-24:

— Affirms that the State of Minnesota recognizes and supports the unique status of the Minnesota Tribal Nations and their right to existence, self-govern, and possess self-determination.

— Directs state agencies to recognize the unique legal relationship between the State of Minnesota and the Minnesota Tribal Nations and respect the fundamental principles that establish and maintain this relationship.

— Requires all state agencies to designate Tribal Liaisons that will be able to directly and regularly meet and communicate with the Agency’s Commissioner and Deputy and Assistant Commissioners in order to appropriately conduct government-to-government conversations.

— Mandates tribal-relations training for all state leaders and other employees whose work may impact Tribes.