Burgum meets with Spirit Lake Nation leaders, continues tribal engagement

Friday, August 25, 2017 - 4:30pm

ST. MICHAEL, N.D. – Gov. Doug Burgum met today with Spirit Lake Nation leaders in St. Michael as part of ongoing engagement with Native American tribes across North Dakota.

The governor, along with more than a dozen cabinet officials and staff members, met with tribal council members and other leaders to identify areas of opportunity for government-to-government collaboration on issues including transportation, the environment, law enforcement, infrastructure, tribal courts, addiction and social services issues.

The daylong meetings included an opening prayer by a Spirit Lake elder and a presentation by the Lake Region Drum Group. The meetings were followed by tours of the Sioux Manufacturing Corp. plant and the Spirit Lake Nation’s new Head Start facility.

“We have an opportunity to listen, learn and engage with tribal leaders on a range of issues that are unique to their economy, geography and culture,” Burgum said. “We look forward to continued engagement to build relationships and move toward increased collaboration based on mutual respect and understanding.”

Burgum has been meeting with tribal leaders in advance of the first meeting of the new interim Tribal Taxation Issues Committee, set for Aug. 31 in Bismarck. The committee is chaired by Burgum and includes state legislative leaders from both parties, as well as Indian Affairs Commission Executive Director Scott Davis, Tax Commissioner Ryan Rauschenberger and Lt. Gov. Brent Sanford. It’s the first time an interim committee on tribal relations has included both legislative leadership and the governor.