Created by the North Dakota Legislature in 1949, the ND Indian Affairs Commission was one of the first such commissions established in the United States. Although the official function of the NDIAC has been modified over the years to reflect changes in federal and state policy, the main goal of the Commission has always been to create a better North Dakota through the improvement of tribal/state relations and better understanding between American Indian and non-Indian people.
Over the years, nine governors have served as chair of the Commission as the NDIAC has tackled many issues including jurisdiction, assimilation, employment, economic development, welfare, discrimination, research, self-determination for tribes and, most recently, gaming. The Commission has evolved as a vital link between the state and tribal nations. The NDIAC continues to address tough issues and to serve as a facilitator for building a better North Dakota through cooperation, understanding, and mutual respect.
North Dakota's Indian people remain a rich cultural resource who have endured and survived many oppressive federal policies. By educating ourselves about this history and the significant contributions made by the Native people, we can improve relationships and truly extend our wonderful North Dakota quality of life into Indian country.