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Governor Orders his Cabinet Officials to Work with Tribes

By Joe Morey

News Editor


Governor Tony Evers held a reception at the Governor’s Mansion in Madison following the 15th Annual State of the Tribes Address for tribal leaders and state officials. During the reception, Evers read an Executive Order he signed directing his cabinet officials to recognize and engage the state’s tribes when actions directly or indirectly impact the tribes.


Recognizing the unique legal relationship between the state and Wisconsin’s 11 tribes and their sovereignty, Evers’ Executive Order stated that “Policies, regulations, and decisions impact Tribal Nations both directly and indirectly; and the State of Wisconsin and Tribal Governments both serve our citizens, and close collaboration is essential for productive, safe, sustainable, and wise decision-making and policy implementation.”


The Executive Order directs his cabinet agencies to recognize the State of Wisconsin's unique legal relationship with Tribal Nations and engage them with the respect accorded to other governments; engage Tribal Governments, on a government-to-government basis, in developing policies or programs that directly impact Tribal Nations or their members, and appropriately consult Tribal Governments on matters that may indirectly impact Tribal Nations or their members.


“Develop an updated consultation policy that does the following: Ensures the state government workforce is educated on Tribal Nations and sovereignty; Strengthens the day-to-day working relationships between Tribal and state government agencies; Provides for at least annual consultation meetings with Tribal and state leaders; and Identifies at least one agency staff member to serve as a liaison between the agency and the Tribal Nations,” the order continued.


Finally, the order directed cabinet agencies to ensure impacted Tribal Governments and interests are represented and respected when managing federal programs.


LCO Chairman Louis Taylor said he appreciates everything the governor is doing. “He is open and willing to hear us and hear our concerns and this Executive Order shows he intends to develop a great relationship with the tribes.”


LCO Tribal Governing Board member Tweed Shuman said he is very fond of Governor Evers. “It’s amazing what he is doing regarding the relationship with the tribes. We are looking forward to meeting with him and his officials on a regular basis to accomplish great things for our tribe and all the Tribal Nations of Wisconsin.”


WI Governor Tony Evers with Chairman Louis Taylor and TGB member Rose Gokee at the Governor's Mansion, a reception held following the State of the Tribes Address.


Governor speaks to tribal leaders at the reception about his Executive Order.


Governor Evers signing the Executive Order.


Governor Evers and Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes poses with Tribal Leaders.


Photos by Joe Morey, LCO News Editor