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Mount Pleasant – Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is ordering Michigan agencies to step up collaboration with Native American tribes in the state.

Whitmer signed an executive directive Thursday affirming commitment to the sovereignty and right of self-governance of Michigan’s federally recognized tribes.

The document outlines a process for communication between tribes and state departments and agencies on matters of mutual concern.

It also makes a first-time requirement of training on tribal-state relations for all state employees who work on matters with direct implications for tribes.

Whitmer issued the directive during a meeting with Michigan’s tribal leaders in Mount Pleasant.

She previously appointed Wenona Singel of the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians as her advisor on tribal-state affairs, the first tribal citizen in Michigan history to hold that position.

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