University of Wisconsin System President Tommy Thompson

Tommy Thompson is president of the University of Wisconsin System. UW photo

The University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents today approved a new policy to develop strong, collaborative relationships with the sovereign American Indian tribes in Wisconsin.

The Tribal Consultation policy reflects the 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.

“The University of Wisconsin aims to improve lives all across Wisconsin,” UW System President Tommy Thompson said. “By formalizing consultation agreements with sovereign American Indian tribes in Wisconsin, we are building a constructive foundation for collaboration that will benefit us all.”

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.

“Completing this policy is very important,” Regent President Edmund Manydeeds III, an enrolled member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, said. “I appreciate the commitment of the UW System to Native sovereignty, and the recognition that the Wisconsin Idea extends to everyone in Wisconsin.”

It directs chancellors to name a tribal liaison and recommends educating university administrators, staff, faculty and students on expectations for tribal consultation and research.

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