Governor, Tribal Leaders Sign Accord on Coordinating Economic Development Resources

    LANSING, MI —  Governor Jennifer M. Granholm and the leaders of Michigan’s 12 federally acknowledged Indian tribes today signed an intergovernmental accord affirming their joint commitment to expanding the economic strength of both the state and the 12 tribes.  The accord will encourage coordination of economic development programs and incentives to create diverse economic opportunities, enterprises, and jobs.
     "Tribal leaders in Michigan and state government have a common goal of building strong, productive communities for our citizens," Granholm said.  "We all benefit from a robust economy and more jobs.  I am pleased to be working with the 12 Indian tribes in Michigan to maximize our ability to foster an environment that welcomes new business and growth."
     Under the accord, the Governor’s representatives and those of the tribal leaders will meet twice each year to review their progress in developing joint economic opportunities, to develop strategies for future joint economic development activities, and to improve the coordination of economic development programs and resources among state, local, and tribal government officials.
     The goal of coordinating efforts is to diversify tribal economies by developing new, non-gaming enterprises that can benefit not only the tribes but the surrounding communities and the state as a whole.  A principle focus of this effort will be on finding ways to coordinate economic development initiatives currently available through the state with those available through the tribes in order to attract investment and create jobs that might otherwise locate outside of Michigan.
     In addition to Granholm, accord signers included:Frank Ettawageshik, tribal chairman, Little Traverse Bay Band of Odawa Indians; Jeffrey D. Parker, president, Bay Mills Indian Community; David K. Sprague, tribal chairman, Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Potawatomi Indians; Robert Kewaygoshkum, tribal chairman, Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians; Laura Spurr, tribal chairperson, Nottawaseppi Huron Band of Potawatomi Indians; Kenneth Meshigaud, chairperson, Hannahville Indian Community;
    John Miller, tribal chairman, Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians; Susan LaFernier, tribal council president, Keweenaw Bay Indian Community; Audrey Falcon, tribal chief, Saginaw Chippewa Indian tribe of Michigan; James Williams, Jr., tribal chairman, Lac Vieux Desert Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians; Aaron Payment, tribal chairman, Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians; and, Lee Sprague, ogema, Little River Band of Ottawa Indians.
     "It is vital that we continue to have these conversations and partnerships with the 12 nations in the years to come," Granholm said.  "The tribal communities across Michigan have made significant contributions to our history and our culture, and they will continue to play a vital role in the future of our state"