The Minnesota Legislature strengthened the state’s commitment to consulting with Native Nations, but agencies still need to follow through
On April 5, 2019, Governor Walz issued Executive Order 19-24: “Affirming the Government to Government Relationship between the State of Minnesota and Minnesota Tribal Nations: Providing for Consultation, Coordination, and Cooperation.” It commits the state to “meaningful and timely” consultation.
That’s profound. It means sharing power with Native Nations on issues of mutual concern to make decisions beneficial for both sides.
The executive order states agencies “must consider the input gathered from tribal consultation into their decision-making processes, with the goal of achieving mutually beneficial solutions.”
The Enbridge Line 3 tar sands pipeline provided an early test for the Walz administration’s promise. The administration failed.
A bill passed during special session this year makes another effort to strengthen the state’s commitment to meaningful consultation with Native Nations.
Key to this conversation is being precise about exactly what “meaningful consultation” means and looks like.