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Governor Reaffirms Relationship with Tribal Governments

Gov. Chris Gregoire told participants in the 22nd annual Centennial Accord meeting in Shelton, Washington on June 9 that the accord has helped strengthen the working relationship between the state and federally recognized tribal governments.

“For more than 20 years, the accord has provided a framework we have used to improve education, protect the environment and create jobs,” she said. “I am honored to have been a part of the 22nd annual Centennial Accord meeting and remain committed to strengthening Washington’s partnership with the tribes.”

Gregoire, who has announced she will not seek a third term in 2012, was joined by cabinet members and leaders from corrections, education, financial management, health care, Indian affairs, liquor control, social services, and transportation. They and tribal government leaders discussed issues of mutual interest and what their partnership has achieved.

Gregoire helped then-Gov. Booth Gardner write the accord in 1989 – Washington state’s centennial – when she was assistant attorney general, to foster a positive, government-to-government partnership between the state and tribal governments.

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In September, Gregoire’s public lands commissioner said the state Department of Natural Resources will expand its efforts to communicate and work with tribal governments on resource management issues that affect them and the state lands they use. Commissioner Peter Goldmark signed an order confirming his department’s recognition of tribal governments’ authority and rights, and committed to another statewide Natural Resources Tribal Summit in 2011.