Tribes Meet with USDA at Midwest Summit

May 15th, 1997 | By | Category: 9-1: Honoring Our Native Knowledge, Tribal College News

Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College jointed with the Intertribal Agricultural Council and four U.S. Department of Agriculture agencies to sponsor a summit in April to discuss national farm policy and its impacts on tribes and Indian people. Congress designated the tribal colleges as land grant institutions in 1994. Discussion focused around the 1990 and 1996 Farm Bills and the government-to-government relationship between Indian nations and the United States government.

Specific topics included changes in laws and administrative rules that will affect tribal voting membership on USDA committees, participation in USDA programs through the formation of “conservation districts,” and tribal community development opportunities through rural development programs. The summit was designed to provide an ongoing forum for tribal and USDA leaders, to improve the consultation processes, and to identify barriers to tribal participation.

Thirty tribes participated as well as USDA agency representatives from Iowa, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. The presidents of five tribal colleges spoke at the summit: Jack Briggs of Fond du Lac, Larry Aitken of Leech Lake Tribal College, Dr. Verna Fowler of the College of the Menominee Nation, Martha McLeod of Bay Mills Community College, and Dr. Jasjit Minhas of Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwa Community College.

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