Paul Wellstone: Working for American Indians  

Paul with dancers at the Mille Lacs Pow-wow
“I am committed to improving the social, educational and economic opportunities for American Indians, both on and off the reservation. It is essential that this country does its utmost to recognize the importance of fostering improved opportunities for all American Indians.” Senator Paul Wellstone

Member of the United States Senate Indian Affairs Committee

Senator Wellstone has served on the Senate Indian Affairs Committee since 1991.This committee deals with issues such as Indian education, economic development, land management, trust responsibilities, health care, and claims against the federal government.

Working for Tribal Sovereignty and Self Determination

Senator Wellstone has been a strong ally of American Indian people. He supports treaty rights and tribal sovereignty and has worked to promote and strengthen healthy tribal governments. Wellstone believes that tribes must have the right to self-determination in order to continue their successful policies of economic development. With sovereignty, tribal governments have been able to implement policies on Minnesota reservations that have created jobs in areas of high unemployment and generated revenues that have been invested back into the community.

Working on behalf of Indians in Minnesota

  • In 2002, as part of the farm bill, Senator Wellstone successfully added White Earth Tribal and Community College to the list of Land Grant Institutions.
  • Senator Wellstone led the effort to secure $10 million for the construction of a regional Mille Lacs Wastewater Treatment plant. This plant will replace the existing unreliable septic tanks and the Reservation’s lagoon system and will provide critical protection for drinking water.
  • Wellstone worked to allocate $100,000 in federal funds to a partnership between Bemidji State University, tribal leaders, private partners and the state in the construction of the American Indian Resource Center.
  • Paul has been a strong supporter of Walking Shield American Indian Society. He worked to secure $400,000 for from HUD for The Walking Shield Village that will provide 58 new housing units at Red Lake.
  • In the Violence Against Women Act of 2000, Senator Wellstone helped increase by 5%the allocation of Services and Training for Officers and Prosecutors (STOP) grants for Indian tribes.
  • In 2000 Senator Wellstone helped secure $1 million for the construction of an adolescent primary residential treatment facility, Mash-ka-wisen Treatment Center, serving the Bemidji area.
  • In 2000, Senator Wellstone enacted legislation that authorized the Lower Sioux Community to sell non-trust lands without getting Congressional approval for each specific sale.


Prepared and paid for by Wellstone for Senate, Rick Kahn, Treasurer.
© 2002 Wellstone for Senate, 2341 University Ave West, Saint Paul, MN 55114 phone: 651-310-9831, fax: 651-646-8602, e-mail: paul@wellstone.org