WHEREAS, the state of Washington recognizes its responsibility toward our state's first citizens, the American Indians; and
WHEREAS, the state of Washington recognizes a need to work with tribal governments and carry out its responsibilities for and on behalf of Indian citizens; and
WHEREAS, disputes, both legal and moral, have existed for years regarding questions of legal jurisdiction over Indians and Indian lands in the state of Washington; and
WHEREAS, it is the desire of this administration to work with Indian tribes to establish a relationship involving tribal, local, state and federal governments that will be conducive to improving communications and facilitating joint problem solving efforts; and
WHEREAS, because of the complexity of today's issues, the Governor's Indian Advisory Council, previously assigned responsibility for dealing with Indian areas of concern, no longer is the most effective method of addressing Indian interests.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Dixy Lee Ray, Governor of the state of Washington, by virtue of the power vested in me, hereby direct as follows:
1. There shall be established a Governor's Office of Indian Affairs, which shall replace the Governor's Indian Advisory Council.
2. The Office of Indian Affairs shall have the following responsibilities:
a. Assist the Governor in the development of effective policies and recommend legislation which will guide the state of Washington, Indian tribal governments and Indian organizations.
b. Advise state agencies and departments concerning issues relative to the Indian tribes and organizations of Washington State.
c. Act as the Governor's liaison between the state of Washington, Indian tribal governments and Indian organizations.
d. Act as liaison and advisor to the Governor and state agencies on federal legislation and policies in Indian affairs.
e. Provide assistance to Indian citizens in their efforts to work with state government to resolve mutual problems and concerns.
f. Advise the Governor on the appropriate and effective role of state government in inter-governmental mechanisms that involve the participation of Indian tribal governments to better federal, local, state and tribal relations.
All of the provisions of Executive Order 72-11 (signed October 30, 1972) are hereby rescinded and revoked.