Dakota Download Governor Burgum's Weekly Update - September 8, 2019

Background (L-R): Monte Fox, Casey Family Programs; Chairman Mark Fox, Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation; Chairwoman Peggy Cavanaugh, Spirit Lake Nation; North Dakota Department of Human Services Executive Director Chris Jones; Chairman Mike Faith, Standing Rock Sioux Tribe; Chairman Jamie Azure, Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians; Gov. Doug Burgum; Scott Davis, Executive Director of the North Dakota Indian Affairs Commission. Above: Azure signs the agreement with Jones.

State, tribal nations sign agreements enhancing child welfare services for Native American children and families

Gov. Doug Burgum joined tribal leaders, staff, the North Dakota Department of Human Services, North Dakota Indian Affairs Commission and other stakeholders to sign updated comprehensive agreements to enhance child welfare services for Native American children and families.

Under the agreements, the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation, the Spirit Lake Nation, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa will receive federal Title IV-E funds through the state to support an enhanced array of child welfare services, expanded subsidized adoption services and the subsidized guardianship program.

“There is no greater responsibility than raising the next generation of North Dakotans,” Burgum said. “This historic action to update these agreements shows strong commitment by the state and tribes to improve outcomes for children and families and continue our collaborative partnership built on understanding and mutual respect.”

The last time Title IV-E agreements were signed between the state and the four tribal nations that share geography with North Dakota was in 1983.

Highlights from the ceremony are featured in the latest episode of Work Worth Doing, which can be heard at this link.

Listen to the highlights of the ceremony on Gov. Burgum's new podcast episode, "Working Together to Improve Child Welfare Services." You can find it at governor.nd.gov/podcast

Following the signing of the Title IV-E agreements, Gov. Burgum and Chairman Faith signed an updated version of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on elk hunting between Standing Rock and the state of North Dakota.

The agreement, which was first signed in August 2017, creates a shared approach to elk herd management between the North Dakota Game and Fish Department and the Standing Rock Game and Fish Department. Terry Steinwand and Jeff Kelly, directors of the respective agencies, signed the updated MOU and praised it as a collaborative effort to strengthen North Dakota's long history of hunting.

Officials posed for a photo to celebrate the continuation of an elk hunting season memorandum of understanding.
Burgum speaks with Chairman Donovan White of the Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate.

At Tribal Leaders Summit, Burgum highlights progress, opportunities for further state-tribal collaboration

Gov. Burgum highlighted recent progress made in state-tribal relations, as well as opportunities for further collaboration, during the 23rd annual Tribal Leaders Summit and Tradeshow hosted by United Tribes Technical College (UTTC) at the Bismarck Event Center.

“True government-to-government partnership requires time, intentionality and a commitment to collaboration, and we’ve seen all of this from the tribal leaders, whether we’re working on education or economic development or tax agreements,” Burgum said, also inviting the UTTC students in attendance to work on solving problems for the next generation. “Collaboration and partnership aren’t just words to us. We’re not going into meetings and holding summits to check a box. We’re there to do the work with you, all of you, to build on these relationships and partnerships.”

Burgum also announced the dates for the third annual Strengthening Government-to-Government Partnerships and Relationships Conference, Jan. 15-16 in Bismarck. The first two conferences drew hundreds of tribal members and leaders, state agency leaders and staff, legislators and federal partners.

The three-day Tribal Leaders Summit typically attracts about 700 people representing tribal leadership and federal and state partners from throughout the Great Plains and Indian Country. UTTC students attend as part of their college curriculum to gain exposure to future career opportunities.

Gov. Burgum addresses the crowd while Undersecretary for Memorial Affairs Randy Reeves of the Department of Veterans Affairs, U.S. Sen. John Hoeven and U.S. Rep. Kelly Armstrong look on.

Burgum helps dedicate Fargo National Cemetery, building on ND’s history of honoring military service

Gov. Burgum helped dedicate the new Fargo National Cemetery near Harwood on Saturday, noting it continues North Dakota’s long history of honoring veterans for their military service.

“For the second time in our state’s history, we dedicate an eternal resting place as a tribute to the military veterans who have defended our freedom and upheld our most sacred values,” Burgum said. “Fifty-six thousand veterans call North Dakota home, and it’s our responsibility to honor their service and sacrifice – for some, the ultimate sacrifice. We are deeply grateful to the National Cemetery Administration, our congressional delegation and all others who worked to establish the Fargo National Cemetery, which along with the North Dakota Veterans Cemetery in Mandan will give our veterans the respect and final resting place close to home that they so richly deserve.”

With more than 3,000 gravesites, the Fargo National Cemetery is the first Department of Veterans Affairs national cemetery built in North Dakota. It is part of the VA National Cemetery Administration’s Rural Initiative to provide access to VA burial benefits for veterans who live in rural areas and haven’t previously had reasonable access to a national or state veterans cemetery.

Burgum and the state Legislature took several actions this year to support veterans and make North Dakota an even more military-friendly state, including:

  • Exempting military retirement benefits from state income tax for retired military personnel and their spouses.
  • Providing funds to defray the cost of burying the spouses and dependents of military veterans at the state Veterans Cemetery with their loved ones, where they belong.
  • Providing occupational license reciprocity for eligible trailing spouses of military personnel to help keep military families together and address the state’s workforce shortage.
Members of the United Patriotic Bodies honor guard performed a rifle salute to commemorate the occasion.

State leaders gather for JEL meeting, discuss higher education and process improvement

State leaders gathered for the seventh Judicial, Executive and Legislative (JEL) Leadership meeting last week. The quarterly meetings provide an opportunity for leaders from across the three branches of government to come together and discuss ways for agencies to collaborate across shared priorities.

North Dakota University System Chancellor Mark Hagerott hosted the meeting and offered an overview of the opportunities facing the state's institutions of higher education. Hagerott highlighted North Dakota's relatively strong position among other states and reiterated the need to enhance online education options.

Chief Information Officer Shawn Riley led a cross-agency panel on business process improvement and the systems the Information Technology Department uses to streamline common practices. Lise Kruse, commissioner of the Department of Financial Institutions, told the group how a new approach to processing common applications drastically cut down on workload and gave her team the opportunity to focus on other initiatives.

Other panelists included Dorman Bazzell, ITD; Tim Schenfisch, Workforce Safety and Insurance; Dimuthu Jundt, ITD; and Kim Weis, ITD.

New class inducted into Native American Hall of Honor

Gov. Burgum and First Lady Kathryn Burgum welcomed attendees at a ceremony for the new class of inductees into the Native American Hall of Honor, a partnership of the Indian Affairs Commission, State Historical Society and State Historical Society Foundation.

The Hall of Honor’s first members were inducted in 2016; this was the fourth induction ceremony.

A full list of this year's honorees is below.

  • Culture/Arts: Keith Bear, Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation; Wallace “Butch” Thunder Hawk Jr., Standing Rock Sioux Tribe
  • Leadership: Martin T. Cross, Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation; Charles W. Murphy, Standing Rock Sioux Tribe
  • Legendary: Chief Little Shell III, Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa
  • Military/Veteran: Sgt. John W. Smith, Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation; Seven Vietnam War Veterans, Standing Rock Sioux Tribe
  • Sports/Athletics: 1970–71 Turtle Mountain Community High School Wrestling Team, Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa

The Native American Hall of Honor is located in the North Dakota Heritage Center and State Museum on the Capitol grounds in Bismarck. Visitors can view the exhibition between the Innovation Gallery: Early Peoples and the Inspiration Gallery: Yesterday and Today.

Olympic gold medalist to share recovery story at ‘Recovery Reinvented’; registration now open

Olympic gold medalist Riley Salmon will share his story of addiction and recovery with the governor and first lady at the third annual “Recovery Reinvented.” Registration is now open for the Nov. 12 event in Bismarck, which will include opportunities for the public to share personal videos of addiction and recovery and connect with recovery resources and services.

In addition to the recently announced keynote speakers, the governor and first lady will host a fireside chat during the event with Salmon – currently the University of Jamestown men’s volleyball head coach – about his addiction and recovery journey. A native of League City, Texas, Salmon was a gold medalist for the U.S. men’s Olympic volleyball team at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China.

“My journey illustrates that the disease of addiction does not discriminate,” Salmon said. “I represented our nation at the highest level of competitive athletics but continually struggled with alcohol and opioid addiction throughout my professional career. Now I am walking the path to recovery and want to share with others that recovery is possible.”

The governor and first lady are inviting the general public, Native American communities, business and community leaders, behavioral health providers, university and college representatives, health care providers and administrators, addiction recovery advocates, faith-based communities, first responders, law enforcement, families and more to attend the event, held in partnership with the North Dakota Department of Human Services’ Behavioral Health Division.

“In talking with communities across North Dakota about addiction, a central location to engage with resources is something that people are always asking for," First Lady Burgum said. "This is about our community and service providers coming together to reduce barriers and empower recovery in others.”

Recovery Reinvented is free and open to the public. Tickets are limited and registration is required. Volunteer opportunities are available for the event. For more information, to register or to volunteer, visit recoveryreinvented.com/2019/.

The Behavioral Health Conference will be held the following days on Nov. 13-15, also at the Bismarck Event Center. For more information on how to get involved, click the link below or visit recoveryreinvented.com.

Gov. Burgum congratulates Brig. Gen. Robert J. Becklund, the retiring North Dakota National Guard Joint Force Headquarters chief of staff for Air, as Brig. Gen. Robert Schulte looks on Saturday following a retirement ceremony for Becklund and promotion ceremony for Schulte. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Chief Master Sgt. David H. Lipp/released)

Schulte promoted to brigadier general; Becklund retires after 37 years of service to ND National Guard

Brig. Gen. Robert A. Schulte became the newest North Dakota National Guard general officer during a promotion ceremony on Saturday at the Air National Guard Base in Fargo. Schulte will assume the duties of the North Dakota National Guard Joint Force Headquarters chief of staff for Air.

Following Schulte's promotion ceremony, Brig. Gen. Robert J. Becklund was honored with a retirement ceremony following his 37 years of service to the National Guard. During the ceremony, Maj. Gen. Alan Dohrmann, the state's adjutant general, presented Becklund with the Distinguished Service Medal in recognition of his military achievements.

"I can't believe that nearly 38 years has gone by so fast. I have one simple message, and that is a message of thanks," Becklund told the audience of Guard members, family and friends. "There isn't a person in this room that hasn't had an impact on me, from my mentors to the youngest Airmen. No one gets here on their own and I am very grateful for the opportunity to serve these outstanding Airmen in the 119th Wing."

Congratulations to Brig. Gen. Schulte and Brig. Gen. (Ret.) Becklund!