Transition report cites many recommendations advocated by the RGC

The Rural Governance Commission (RGC) applauds the Walker-Mallott Transition Team, particularly the Intergovernmental Relations Team, for crafting a policy blueprint aimed at improving the quality and reach of rural governance.

The Transition team listed formal tribal recognition as its top priority, an imperative articulated in two critical reports on rural governance:  the 1999 Report to the Governor by the Rural Governance and Empowerment Commission, and the 2013 reconvened RGC report.  (The transition team and Rural Governance Commission reports, as well as additional information, are available at www.ruralgov.org).  Special thanks go to Elizabeth Medicine Crow, chair of the Intergovernmental Relations Transition Team, and to First Alaskans Institute, who facilitated the 2013 reconvening that brought together more than 50 Alaskans from across the state to address the unfinished business of rural governance.

Veronica Slajer, staff to the 1999 commission, North Star Group president, and co-convener of the 2013 meeting, said, “Governor Walker’s state of the budget address underscored the urgent need to bring all available resources to the table.  We know that working with tribes fosters community well-being in Alaska, and that tribal recognition can also help the state through the current difficult fiscal situation.  Tribal recognition brings the possibility of increased federal funds, and intergovernmental cooperation between the State of Alaska and tribes can result in more savings and efficiencies.”

As a co-chair of the 1998-99 Rural Governance and Empowerment Commission and as an organizer of the 2013 Reconvening, Lt. Governor Mallott has been a leader on rural governance will be a vital participant in the state’s efforts to tackle the “unfinished business” of rural governance.

While the Walker-Mallott administration has so far initiated more action on rural governance than any administration in the past 15 years, much remains to be done. The self-identified Rural Governance Commission will continue to monitor the issues relating to state-tribal recognition. For more information, refer to www.ruralgov.org.