The Master of Tribal Administration and Governance (MTAG) is a degree program beginning in Fall 2011 through the UMD American Indian Studies Department. UMD faculty and staff spent over two years consulting with Indian tribes throughout the Midwest in order to create the curriculum. Tadd Johnson, UMD American Indian Studies Department Head, will direct the graduate program.
MTAG is unique in nature because it is defined by its focus on developing tribal administrators. The degree is designed for students to develop the knowledge and skills needed to work as an official in a tribal government. Whether it is a formal or informal setting, the curriculum is based on the roles that tribal administrators, leaders and professionals engage in on a daily basis.
Throughout the course work, students acquire academic knowledge and practical skills: a graduate of MTAG will be able to ascertain the mission, the budget needed, and the personnel necessary to complete a project. With a versatile mix of online classes and in-class instruction, the curriculum allows for students to continue working while pursuing their degree.
The partnership between the tribal governments and the UMD campus is a key component to the future of the program. According to Tadd Johnson, "this program, developed completely through tribal consultation, is unique in North America. The elected leaders of tribal governments frequently come from the ranks of the tribal administrators. Hence, UMD may be training…the next generation of tribal leaders."
The university is recruiting students for the first cohort to begin August 2011. Students interested in the new program should contact Tadd Johnson. The deadline for applications is April 1, 2011. Late applications will be accepted through June 15, 2011.
About the Program Director
Tadd Johnson, an enrolled member of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, Bois Forte Band is a 1985 graduate of the University of Minnesota Law School. He has served as a tribal administrator, a tribal attorney, a tribal court judge, and has taught numerous courses on Federal Indian Law and American Indian History. From 1990-1995, he served as counsel and staff director to the United States House of Representatives Committee on Natural Resources in the Office of Indian Affairs and the Subcommittee on Native American Affairs. During the Clinton Administration, Professor Johnson was appointed by the President to chair the National Indian Gaming Commission. He has served as a faculty member of the National Judicial College, has served on the Board of the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce, and is co-producer and co-host of the PBS program "Native Report."