Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Two State Commissioners Visit with Red Lake Leaders

Employment & Economic Development and Public Safety


November 18, 2019

John Harrington, Commissioner of MN Public Safety (MPS) and Tribal Liaison Nigel Perrote

Two Minnesota State Commissioners visited with the Red Lake Tribal Council at their regularly scheduled monthly meeting on Tuesday, November 12, 2019.

Commissioner Steve Grove Minnesota's Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) and Minnesota Public Safety (MPS) Commissioner John Harrington were the latest agency heads to visit with the Red Lake tribal leaders.

Appearing separately, Commissioner Grove addressed the council first followed by Commissioner Harrington. The Commissioners talked about and listened to issues that were of mutual concern to both the State and Red Lake Nation.

During Grove's time on the agenda, the issue of employment was a chief topic. Council members pointed out that increasing skills for Red Lake members is vitally important. The Council and Commissioner Grove agreed to work together to incorporate ideas that focus on job and economic development for the future. This would include education for the workforce. DEED staff and Red Lake Tribal College and Oshkiimajitahdah, (New Beginnings) were among the programs that will be working together.

Harrington, of Public Safety was up next. Law enforcement jurisdiction on and off reservation was the main topic. Red Lake is a closed reservation. The land is held in common by its members, its lands were never ceded to the US, and it did not participate in the Dawes Act of 1887 which broke up reservations, Red Lake Nation is unique in Indian Country. This means the state and county have no authority on the reservation, and conversely Red Lake law enforcement has no authority off the reservation.

Steve Grove, Commissioner of MN Dept of Employment & Economic Development (DEED) and Tribal Liaison Kirk Crowshoe

But worse, Red Lake can't really enforce laws broken by non-members even on the reservation. Red Lake can detain or ticket violators but has no authority to prosecute. Semi-truck drivers in particular speed, often dangerously, through reservation neighborhoods on state roads knowing they cannot be arrested. Harrington and the Council agreed their respective authorities will begin exploring ways that all can work together for a safer Reservation and a safer Minnesota.

Accompanying both commissioners were the individual department's Tribal Liaison staff, Kirk Crowshoe from DEED, and Nigel Perrote from MPS.

Meetings from the Minnesota agencies are ongoing and considered an important step in keeping good working relationships between the State and the Red Lake Nation.

For more information on MN DEED or MPS, please visit the Minnesota State Agencies website at


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