Michigan governor meets with tribal leaders, orders better collaboration

Tribal nations flags in Michigan. (State of Michigan photo)

Associated Press

Wenona Singel is the governor's advisor on tribal-state issues

MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. (AP) — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is ordering Michigan agencies to step up collaboration with tribes in the state.

Whitmer signed an executive directive Thursday affirming commitment to the sovereignty and right of self-governance of Michigan's 12 federally recognized tribes.

The document outlines a process for communication between tribes and state departments and agencies on matters of mutual concern.

It also makes a first-time requirement of training on tribal-state relations for all state employees who work on matters with direct implications for tribes.

Whitmer issued the directive during a meeting with Michigan's tribal leaders in Mount Pleasant.

She previously appointed Wenona Singel of the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians as her advisor on tribal-state affairs, the first tribal citizen in Michigan history to hold that position.