I am honored and humbled to receive the Native American Leadership
NCAI. I accept it in memory of my father, Marvin Manypenny,
Niizho Bineshii, who taught us, "The right to govern ourselves
is completely and indisputably ours."
[ST. PAUL, MN] Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan today was
awarded the Native American Leadership Award by the National Congress
of American Indians (NCAI) in Washington, D.C. The highest-ranking
Native woman elected to executive office in the history of the United
States, Lieutenant Governor Flanagan was recognized for her work raising
awareness of issues affecting Native communities, increasing civic
engagement, improving lives in Indian Country, and transforming tribal-state
relations in Minnesota.
"I'm honored to receive this distinguished award on behalf of all
our people," said Lieutenant Governor Flanagan. "For generations,
policy has been done to us and not with us. That is why I've dedicated
my career to ensuring Indigenous people have a seat at the table.
I'm proud of the work we've done to lift up Native voices, and I
won't stop fighting until our people are seen, heard and valued
at every level of government."
"Lieutenant Governor Flanagan is a tireless advocate for children,
families, Indigenous people, and marginalized communities," said
Governor Walz. "She has made history in her work to strengthen government-to-government
relations between the state and tribal nations, and elevate and
support the robust urban Indian community in Minnesota. I can't
think of anyone more deserving of this award than my partner in
justice in the Governor's office."
During their first year in office, Governor Walz and Lieutenant
Governor Flanagan worked with the legislature to pass a budget that
invests in Native American communities. This includes the creation
of the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Task Force, expanding
the Department of Transportation's Government-to-Government Tribal-State
Relations Training within the department and other state agencies,
equalizing funding for students enrolled in Bureau of Indian Education
schools, and establishing the American Indian Early Intervention
Program to help American Indian families living on reservations
and urban areas access culturally appropriate early intervention
services. Governor Walz also signed a historic executive order to
expand tribal-state relations in the state of Minnesota and affirm
tribal rights to self-govern and self-determination; which was created
in consultation with both state agencies and tribal governments.
About the Native American Leadership Award
The Native American Leadership Award recognizes a Native individual
who has helped transform Indian Country through their efforts and
long term commitment and whose leadership and work benefits and
influences at the national level.
About the National Congress of American Indians
Founded in 1944, the National Congress of American Indians is
the oldest, largest and most representative American Indian and
Alaska Native organization in the country. NCAI advocates on behalf
of tribal governments and communities, promoting strong tribal-federal
government-to-government policies, and promoting a better understanding
among the general public regarding American Indian and Alaska Native
governments, people and rights.