Tribal Nations, Minnesota lawmakers celebrate Sovereignty Day at Capitol

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Monday is Sovereignty Day at the Minnesota Capitol to recognize the 11 federally recognized sovereign tribal nations within the state.

The day is meant for members of Minnesota’s Native American tribes to educate lawmakers on their history, culture and the relationship between federal, state and tribal law.

Among the events held at the Capitol Monday included a drum circle, a brief history of federal policy as well as break-out sessions on various topics such as education, the environment, cannabis, public safety, and gaming.

Tribal leaders addressed state lawmakers, showing more about how the tribe is run and issues on the table facing each tribe.

The Minnesota House held the first Sovereign Day back in 2019. One tribal council member spoke on why the event is so important.

“We have a lot of new legislators this year, so it’s about informing them about native issues, and in a particular instance, there are three issues – nuclear power plant, railroad and flooding by us . Each tribe has its own issues. Just reminding everybody in Minnesota, we are government just like the state and equal footing and a lot of times, people don’t realize that,” said Michael Childs Jr., the treasurer of Prairie Island Indian Community.

Events at the Capitol run until 3 p.m. Monday.