Former Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe Commissioner of Natural Resources Bradley Harrington Jr. has been appointed by Gov. Tim Walz as the tribal liaison for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
Chief Executive Melanie Benjamin made the announcement at the State of the Band Address on Tuesday, Jan. 14.
“In a major development for Minnesota tribes, and especially for the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe, it is my honor to announce to you that Bradley Harrington Jr. has just accepted the offer to serve as the new tribal liaison for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources,” said Benjamin. “He will soon begin advising the State DNR. His new supervisor, Commissioner Sarah Strommen, is here today as well. Welcome, Commissioner Strommen. It will be a privilege for the State to have Brad working with you! Please make sure he’s treated well, or I will be coming down there to bring him back!”
She added that Gov. Walz now requires every state agency to have a tribal liaison position. The position was created to advise the DNR on tribal policy.
In a press release, the Band said that Harrington will work closely with Ojibwe and Dakota communities on natural resources and tribal issues to forge stronger relations between the agency and Minnesota’s 11 Native American tribes. Harrington will also provide strategic advice to agency leadership and serve as a resource to staff coordinating with tribal governments. Harrington will work in the Minnesota DNR commissioner’s office.
Sarah Strommen, DNR commissioner, said in a press release, “I’ve known Brad for a number of years, and I’m thrilled he has agreed to join the DNR. Brad brings to us a unique set of experiences and expertise in natural resources management, as well as deep understanding of Minnesota tribal issues.”