The University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents recently approved a new policy to develop strong, collaborative relationships with the sovereign American Indian tribes in Wisconsin.
UW-Madison Director of Tribal Relations Aaron Bird Bear credits Dr. Sasanehsaeh Jennings with launching this effort in 2019. Mr. Bird Bear thanks Dr. Jennings, former UW System President Ray Cross and UW System Vice President Anny Morrobell-Sosa for bringing it to life.
The Tribal Consultation policy reflects the UW System’s commitment to government-to-government relationships with the tribes, including regular communication related to research, agreements, initiatives, and policies that have an impact on the tribes and individual members.
Under the policy, the UW System will consult with tribes on numerous issues affecting Native people, including:
- The recruitment, enrollment, and retention of American Indian students.
- Research and other activity on land controlled by a tribe.
- Educational programs intended for tribal students or employees.
The policy calls for an annual meeting between the UW System President and tribal leaders along with chancellors or other university employees. It directs chancellors to name a tribal liaison and recommends educating university administrators, staff, faculty, and students on expectations for tribal consultation and research.
The Native Nations_UW Working Group is led by Jessie Conaway of the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies and Annie Jones, UW-Extension Organization Development, Tribal Nations Specialist. Working group members representing the UW School of Medicine and Public Health are Native American Center for Health Professions (NACHP) Director Danielle Yancey in the area of ‘health’ as well as Liz Petty, Melissa Metoxen, and Sarah Esmond.
CCHE is excited by this development and so grateful for the efforts of our Founding Director, Dr. Alexandra Adams, via her partnerships with Wisconsin tribal communities! Dr. Adams now leads the Center for American Indian and Rural Health Equity (CAIRHE) at Montana State University. She shared:
I am very pleased to hear about the UW’s commitment to formalize important collaborations with the tribal communities in Wisconsin. When I was at UW DFMCH and CCHE, we had many excellent collaborative research partnerships with tribes in Wisconsin and worked hard to ensure tribal sovereignty during those partnerships. The Tribal Consultation policy will be a great support to ensure continued mutually beneficial initiatives in future.
UW System confirmed that the December Board of Regents meeting materials PDF document includes the approved version of the new tribal consultation policy on pages 5-13.