At Tribal Leaders Summit, Burgum highlights progress, opportunities for further state-tribal collaboration

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Gov. Doug Burgum today highlighted recent progress made in state-tribal relations, as well as opportunities for further collaboration, during the 23rd annual Tribal Leaders Summit and Tradeshow hosted by United Tribes Technical College (UTTC) at the Bismarck Event Center.

“True government-to-government partnership requires time, intentionality and a commitment to collaboration, and we’ve seen all of this from the tribal leaders, whether we’re working on education or economic development or tax agreements,” Burgum said, also inviting the UTTC students in attendance to work on solving problems for the next generation. “Collaboration and partnership aren’t just words to us. We’re not going into meetings and holding summits to check a box. We’re there to do the work with you, all of you, to build on these relationships and partnerships.”

Burgum outlined several examples of progress made in state-tribal relations, including:

  • A historic oil tax revenue sharing compact signed earlier this year with Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation Chairman Mark Fox.
  • Signed legislation allowing the governor to enter into state-tribal agreements for administration and collection of sales tax and alcohol and tobacco wholesale taxes.
  • Directing the flags of the five tribal nations with whom North Dakota shares geography to be displayed outside of the Governor's Office in Memorial Hall.
  • A memorandum of understanding between the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and state Game and Fish Department to regulate an elk hunting season within the reservation.

In addition, the governor has expressed to Congress his support for restoring criminal justice jurisdiction over misdemeanors at Spirit Lake Nation and establishing a Bureau of Indian Affairs law enforcement training center in North Dakota.

Burgum also announced the dates for the third annual Strengthening Government-to-Government Partnerships and Relationships Conference, Jan. 15-16 in Bismarck. The first two conferences drew hundreds of tribal members and leaders, state agency leaders and staff, legislators and federal partners.

Burgum also invited attendees to the Native American Hall of Honor induction ceremony at 5 p.m. Thursday at the North Dakota Heritage Center.

The three-day Tribal Leaders Summit runs through Thursday and typically attracts about 700 people representing tribal leadership and federal and state partners from throughout the Great Plains and Indian Country. UTTC students attend as part of their college curriculum to gain exposure to future career opportunities.

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