Governor Gary Locke’s Remarks
SPIPA Tribal TANF Signing Ceremony
September 10, 2004

Good afternoon. I am honored to be here.

We are here to sign an agreement between sovereigns: the State of Washington, and the Nisqually, Skokomish, and Squaxin Island Tribes

The 1989 Centennial Accord established the framework for government-to-government dealings. The memorandum of Agreement we sign today is a working example of the success of the Centennial Accord.

Washington State’s Indian tribes are unique partners in our WorkFirst program. I am very enthusiastic about this opportunity to work together on such an important endeavor. We have an opportunity to reform welfare in ways that work best to serve the unique and culturally diverse needs of tribal members.

I am proud of our state’s leadership in establishing successful working relationships with tribal communities who are administering their own tribal TANF programs. DSHS has worked diligently to develop a positive state/tribal relationship. With the help of the tribes, we have made significant strides.

This memorandum of understanding proves that we are committed to this government-to-government relationship, and that we can be successful. Through this agreement, we agree to work cooperatively to achieve the goals of welfare reform. We agree to work together to support families out of poverty and onto the road to self-sufficiency. The successful path out of poverty can vary depending on the population affected. Working with the tribes in developing a program that will support their people along this important road is an important and appropriate role for the state of Washington.

We recognize that there are issues and concerns for both the state and the tribes in welfare reform. We firmly believe that continued collaboration and coordination between the tribes and the states is the solution.

I look forward to a longstanding positive partnership with these three tribes working through South Puget Sound Intertribal Planning Agency.

Congratulations and thank you to everyone who worked hard and contributed to this successful endeavor.

And now, I would like to introduce the leaders of the SPIPA tribes:

Honorable Dorian Sanchez, Chairman, Nisqually Indian Tribe
Honorable Gordon James, Chairman, Skokomish Indian Tribe
Honorable Dave Lopeman, Chairman, Squaxin Island Indian Tribe
Honorable Dan Gleason, Chairman, SPIPA Board Chairman

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