Tribal Governing Board Member Michelle Beaudin has been appointed to serve as an alternate member in the Department of Interior’s first-ever Secretary’s Tribal Advisory Committee (STAC) led by Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland. Secretary Haaland announced the launch of the Secretary’s Tribal Advisory Committee and its inaugural members Wednesday at the National Congress of American Indians 2022 Mid-Year Conference.
The purpose of the Secretary’s Tribal Advisory Committee is to seek consensus and provide a forum to discuss ways to enhance the intergovernmental relationship between federally recognized tribes and the United States. The Secretary’s Tribal Advisory Committee will ensure that tribal leaders have direct and consistent contact and communication with the current and future officials of the Department of Interior, as well as facilitate discussions on intergovernmental responsibilities, exchange views, share information and provide advice and recommendations regarding Department of Interior programs and funding that impact tribal nations to advance the federal trust responsibility.
The Secretary’s Tribal Advisory Committee is composed of a primary tribal representative from each of the 12 Bureau of Indian Affairs Regions (BIA), and one alternate member from each region. The members are appointed on a staggered term for up to two years. Beaudin will serve as an alternate member of the Secretary’s Tribal Advisory Committee representing a tribe from the Bureau of Indian Affairs Regions Midwest Region for a one-year term.
“I am excited for this opportunity to be able to represent the Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians, the tribes in the Midwest Region, and tribes throughout Indian Country as an alternate member of the Secretary’s Tribal Advisory Committee,” said Beaudin. “I think that finally having a Native person serving as the U.S. Secretary of Interior and having the opportunity through the Secretary’s Tribal Advisory Committee to be a connection between Secretary Deb Haaland and the tribes will be a great way for tribes to finally really be heard. I hope that through the Secretary’s Tribal Advisory Committee, we will be able to change and improve how the Department of Interior interacts and consults with tribes, and that the Department will understand our concerns and needs and how we need the information and availability of funding to come to us.”
As the Midwest Region alternate member, Beaudin will participate in forums, meetings, and conversations between Federal officials and elected tribal leaders when the primary member is unable to participate. The Midwest Region primary member is Bay Mills Indian Community President, Whitney Gravelle. Beaudin will attend a virtual Secretary’s Tribal Advisory Committee orientation in August 2022. The Secretary’s Tribal Advisory Committee will have its first meeting with the Department’s leadership in September 2022.