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Institutionalizing the Government-to-Government Relationship in Preparation for the New Millennium

The work of the 1999 Tribal and State Leaders' Summit will be the foundation upon which our children will build. A stronger foundation for tribal/state relations is needed to enable us to work together to preserve and protect our natural resources and to provide economic vitality, educational opportunities, social services and law enforcement that allow the governments to protect, serve and enhance their communities.

The undersigned leaders of American Indian Nations and the State of Washington, being united in Leavenworth, WA on November 1, 2 and 3, 1999 in the spirit of understanding and mutual respect of the 1989 Centennial Accord and the government-to-government relationship established in that Accord, and desiring to strengthen our relationships and our cooperation on issues of mutual concern, commit to the following:

  • Strengthening our commitment to government-to-government relationships and working to increase the understanding of tribes' legal and political status as governments;
  • Continuing cooperation in the future by developing enduring channels of communication and institutionalizing government-to-government processes that will promote timely and effective resolution of issues of mutual concern;
  • Developing a consultation process, protocols and action plans that will move us forward on the Centennial Accord's promise that, "The parties will continue to strive for complete institutionalization of the government-to-government relationship by seeking an accord among all the tribes and all elements of state government."
  • Enhancing communication and coordination through the Governor's commitment to strengthen his Office of Indian Affairs and the member tribes' commitment to strengthen the Association of Washington Tribes;
  • Encouraging the Washington Legislature to establish a structure to address issues of mutual concern to the state and tribes;
  • Educating the citizens of our state, particularly the youth who are our future leaders, about tribal history, culture, treaty rights, contemporary tribal and state government institutions and relations and the contribution of Indian Nations to the State of Washington to move us forward on the Centennial Accord's promise that, "The parties recognize that implementation of this Accord will require a comprehensive educational effort to promote understanding of the government-to-government relationship within their own governmental organizations and with the public.";
  • Working in collaboration to engender mutual understanding and respect and to fight discrimination and racial prejudice; and,
  • Striving to coordinate and cooperate as we seek to enhance economic and infrastructure opportunities, protect natural resources and provide the educational opportunities and social and community services that meet the needs of all our citizens.

We affirm these principles and resolve to move forward into the new millennium with positive and constructive tribal/state relations.