Tribal Relations

As a University, we recognize the land on which we live, learn and work is the traditional, ancestral and contemporary lands of Indigenous peoples. We must build upon this acknowledgment and work to improve and strengthen our relations with the 11 sovereign Tribal Nations of Minnesota.

University leadership continues to meet with the Minnesota Indian Affairs Council, tribal leaders, and community members to learn more about how the University can better support Native American students, faculty, staff, and community members within and beyond Minnesota.

Initial discussions have resulted in the development of goals and measures in the MPact 2025 systemwide strategic plan. The University is focused on establishing collaborative relations and increasing engagement with Tribal Nations, not just in the work rolled into our strategic planning, but in our work throughout the University system. Through these efforts and partnerships, we will foster a welcoming University community that is dedicated to the success and advancement of Native American students, faculty, and staff. 

In February 2023, the University announced an initial plan to move forward collaboratively — with the Fond du Lac, the University and the State of Minnesota — to return to the Band the approximately 3,400 acres that house the Cloquet Forestry Center.  You can find more information about this announcement here 

We are committed to the hard work of rebuilding trust and forming mutually beneficial partnerships, research, policies and practices that respect tribal traditions, languages and systems of governance. University leaders look forward to the actions we will take in the weeks and months ahead that can address that past and work toward a shared, successful future.

Starting in Fall 2022, the University will provide free or reduced tuition on any of its five campuses statewide to first-year undergraduate students and Tribal college transfer students who are also enrolled citizens in one of the state’s 11 federally recognized Tribal Nations. The University of Minnesota Native American Promise Tuition Program expands upon a full tuition waiver program on the University’s Morris campus, which has long been in place through Minnesota statute given the campus property’s history with Native American boarding schools previous to its time as a U of M campus.