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Communication Associate: Public Relations | Lori Melton | | (218) 726-8830

May 13, 2013
Tadd Johnson | Director of Graduate Studies/Professor and Chair Department of American Indian Studies | 218 726-6878 |
Lori Melton | Communication Associate | External Affairs | 218 726-8830 |

Unprecedented: UMD to Commence First Tribal Administration Class

Note to the media: Tadd Johnson, MTAG's program director, will be available for interviews from 6:30 – 6:45 p.m. on Thursday, May 16, directly before the UMD Graduate Commencement Ceremony.

The first Master of Tribal Administration and Governance (MTAG) class will graduate from UMD on Thursday, May 16, 2013 at 7 p.m. in Romano Gymnasium, located in the Sports and Health Center at UMD. The commencement address will be given by Kevin Washburn, Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs in the U.S. Department of the Interior.

UMD's Master of Tribal Administration and Governance (MTAG) is the only graduate degree program in the U.S. that trains people specifically in the best management practices for tribal governments. It focuses on tribal sovereignty, federal Indian law, leadership, ethics, tribal accounting and budgets, and tribal management (strategic, operations, project and human resources.) MTAG was designed for tribes by tribes. The program meets on weekends and online.

The MTAG program began in the fall of 2011, after two years of extensive consultations with tribal administrators, tribal leaders, and tribal organizations at national conferences and throughout the Midwest. These meetings affirmed that there is a need for partnership between tribes and a university to assist in training tribal administrators.

"We did not start out with the ideas for MTAG, they came from Indian Country," said Tadd Johnson, director of graduate studies and chair of the American Indian Studies department at UMD. Brian McInnes, UMD. Brian McInnes, assistant professor in the Department of Education, adds, "I really see this adds, "I really see this program as a good way that UMD has been responsive to the community. It is a product of tribal consultation."

UMD will graduate 22 students are graduating from the MTAG program on Thursday, May 16. It's an accomplished group, consisting of tribal members from throughout the Midwest including three executive directors of Indian tribes, the tribal liaison for the Minnesota Department of Transportation, and several managers running programs on area reservations. Johnson says, "These students are the future leaders of Indian Country."

Admission information for MTAG can be found at,, or by calling (218) 726-7332.

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