State-Tribal partnerships the focus of transportation conference
December 19, 2012
"New Horizons: Enhancing Partnerships and Creating Opportunities" the theme
Representatives of Wisconsin's 11 tribes joined the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) and participants from federal, state and local organizations on December 11 and 12 at the sixth annual Tribal Transportation Conference.
The conference, hosted by WisDOT and the College of the Menominee Nation at the Lake of the Torches Resort in Lac du Flambeau, provided a forum on collective efforts to promote economic growth and enhance safety.
"We are coming into our eighth year of this unique state, federal and tribal partnership," said WisDOT Secretary Mark Gottlieb, who spoke along with Lac du Flambeau President Tom Maulson, Bureau of Indian Affairs Regional Deputy Director Todd Kennedy, and WisDOT State Tribal Liaison Kelly Jackson. "Since then we have built numerous programs and partnerships enhancing tribal transportation projects, planning and safety, economic and jobs growth, and historic and environmental preservation."
In 2005, WisDOT, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the 11 federally recognized tribes of Wisconsin entered into a partnership agreement recognizing the unique government-to-government relationship between the state of Wisconsin, the federal government and tribal governments.
Highlighted at the conference was the new federal transportation bill, "Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century" or MAP-21. Also discussed was the importance of ongoing partnerships - including through WisDOT's Tribal Task Force.
Breakout sessions included best management practices in the construction industry, business and procurement networking with Disadvantaged Business Enterprise prime and sub-prime contractors and vendors, the real estate process, cultural understanding, and motorcycle safety education.
On December 11, conference participants toured the George W. Brown, Jr. Ojibwe Museum and Cultural Center. Additionally, an Awards Dinner Banquet was featured, honoring 2012 awardees for their contributions and service to building and enhancing partnerships with WisDOT and Wisconsin tribal communities: Samantha Skenandore; Lori Moen and Mike Byrnes; Dan Eckstrom; Karl Lusis; Kevin Chesnik; Mississippi Valley Archaeology Center; Oneida Nation Planning Department; Danielle Block; Melinda Young; and Russell Barber.
A seventh annual Tribal Transportation Conference is being planned for 2013.
Also coming up in February is a tribal historic preservation project annual listening session entitled, "Trails to Tomorrow." For more information, visit the WisDOT Web site.
For more information, contact:
Liaison Kelly Jackson, WisDOT Tribal Affairs
(608) 266-3761, email@example.com
Kathleen Scholl, WisDOT Office of Public Affairs
(608) 266-6752, firstname.lastname@example.org