CASS LAKE -- Cass County Commissioner Jim Demgen drew tribal and county support for his call for a follow-up meeting to the statewide effort last year to improve Indian and non-Indian communications at a meeting in Garrison.
"Why has there been no follow-up?" he asked.
Auditor-Treasurer Sharon Anderson reported the county is still committed to seeking state legislation to permit tribal members to use band enrollment photo identification cards to register to vote.
That measure was defeated in this year's legislative session only because it was paired with another more controversial bill, Anderson said.
Acting Tribal Council Chair Richard Robinson Jr. questioned why Leech Lake Band enrollment cards also cannot be used to obtain state fishing licenses.
Anderson said she would consider adding that to the voter registration request for state authority.
Leech Lake Public Safety Director Rocky Papasodora said Canadian people recognize tribal registration cards more than American government officials.
He said he made a purchase from a McDonald's restaurant in British Columbia on a recent trip. The clerk asked him if he was Indian. When he said he was and showed his enrollment card, he did not have to pay sales tax there.
Anderson reported county redistricting following the 2000 census will mean all five county commissioners will have to run for re-election next year.
She also encouraged tribal representatives to attend a 1 to 3 p.m. state legislative redistricting public hearing Oct. 11 at Bemidji City Hall.
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