Granholm, Indian Tribes Agree to Work Together to Combat Global Warming

Contact: Liz Boyd 517-335-6397

June 11, 2009

LANSING - Governor Jennifer M. Granholm and leaders of the 12 federally recognized Indian tribes in Michigan today signed an intergovernmental accord stating their commitment to combat global warming through the reduction of greenhouse gases.

"Native Americans in Michigan are the state's original environmentalists and understand that climate change is not confined to geographic boundaries," Granholm said.  "I am pleased that the 12 tribes are working with us to reduce the threat that greenhouse emissions pose to our environment, economy and quality of life."

As part of the accord, a Tribal-State Climate Change Forum comprised of representatives of the governor and the Indian tribes will meet at least twice each year to share information, develop analyses, and propose action plans to address global warming.  Those action plans may include pollution control, alternative clean-energy technologies, and conservation.

"Sault Tribe is pleased to host this event crucial to our children and our children's children - the climate of our Mother Earth.  As an Anishinaabe Nation, Sault Tribe works to conserve and respect our resources and find and develop cleaner energy sources.  We pledge to work with the tribes and the state of Michigan toward a clean tomorrow," said Sault Tribe Chairman Darwin "Joe" McCoy.

In addition to Granholm, the accord was also signed by leaders of the following tribes:

  •  Bay Mills Indian Community
  •  Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians
  •  Hannahville Indian Community
  •  Keweenaw Bay Indian Community
  •  Lac Vieux Desert Band of Lake Superior Chippewa
  •  Little River Band of Ottawa Indians
  •  Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians
  •  Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians
  •  Nottawaseppi Huron Band of Potawatomi Indians
  •  Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians
  •  Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe
  •  Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians

Today's tribal summit fulfills a commitment called for in a tribal state accord signed in December 2002.  That accord called for annual meetings between the governor and the tribal chairs of Michigan's 12 federally acknowledged Indian tribes, and Granholm has pledged to honor the accord.

"Our tribal community is an important part of our history and our culture, as well as our future," Granholm said.  "The state is committed to continuing to strengthen our relationship and understanding with the 12 nations."

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