Information on Minnesota State Agencies, Boards, Task Forces, and Commissions
Compiled by the Minnesota Legislative Reference Library
Indian Affairs Commission
Also known as:
Minnesota Indian Affairs Commission (MIAC)
State Commission on Indian Affairs
To protect the sovereignty of the eleven Minnesota tribes and ensure the well being of all American Indian citizens throughout the state of Minnesota. To coordinate and cooperate with the many governmental and private agencies providing services to Indian people on the local, state, and national level.
The commission shall make an annual report to the governor on its activities, its findings, and its recommendations, and a full report to each regular session of the legislature as early in the legislative session as possible.
Prior to the creation of the Minnesota Indian Affairs Commission in 1963, the special problems of Minnesota·s Native American population was a matter of concern to elected public officials. Most observers trace much of this interest back to the administration of Governor Luther Youngdahl (1947-51). He was solely responsible for advocating and initiating a meeting of state governors for the purpose of discussing the needs of Native Americans within their states. A primary result of that meeting was the creation of the Governors· Interstate Indian Council. This Council was the forerunner of the state Indian Affairs Commissions. Minnesota, according to available research, was the first state to establish such an agency by act of the Legislature. Following the leadership and intuitiveness of Minnesota, other states proceeded to enact legislation (using the Minnesota statutes as a model in most cases) to create their own commissions. (Source: "Report of the Minnesota Indian Affairs Commission, 1974" - see below)
The Indian Affairs Commission was established in 1963, but was renamed the Indian Affairs Intertribal Board in 1976 through 1983, and then became the Indian Affairs Council in 1983. It is the oldest council of its kind in the nation and serves as a liaison of the Indian tribes and the state of Minnesota.
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