MADISON, Wis.—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,” said UW System President Tommy Thompson. “By formalizing consultation agreements with sovereign American Indian tribes in Wisconsin, we are building a constructive foundation for collaboration that will benefit us all.”

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

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 University of Wisconsin System serves approximately 165,000 students. Awarding nearly 37,000 degrees annually, the UW System is Wisconsin’s talent pipeline, putting graduates in position to increase their earning power, contribute to their communities, and make Wisconsin a better place to live. Nearly 90 percent of in-state UW System graduates stay in Wisconsin five years after earning a degree – with a median salary of more than $66,000. The UW System provides a 23:1 return on state investment. UW System universities also contribute to the richness of Wisconsin’s culture and economy with groundbreaking research, new companies and patents, and boundless creative intellectual energy.

Media Contact

Mark Pitsch UW System (608) 265-3419