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Michigan Tribal governments urge your support for the Tribal Labor Sovereignty Act (TLSA). Only two or three more votes are needed to enact a law that treats tribes as sovereigns, consistent with the U.S. Constitution, Article I, Section 8, paragraph 3 “with foreign nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian tribes.” Please contact your US Senator today.

The TLSA legislation is currently a part of a collection of tribal technical amendments and seeks to remedy an inequity that arose from an abrupt 2004 change to the interpretation of the National Labor Relations Act of 1935 (NLRA). Michigan tribes unanimously support the TLSA.

The NLRA establishes the framework for labor organizations and bargaining in private industry. Federal, state, and local governments are expressly excluded from the scope of the NLRA. For 70 years, tribes were treated in the same manner as other governments. In 2004, the National Labor Relations Board unexpectedly switched gears and ruled that tribes would not be treated as governments under the NLRA, which created the inequity in the treatment of tribes as corporations rather than as sovereign governments. Tribal sovereignty is recognized in the U.S. Constitution and has been consistently re-affirmed in numerous U.S. Supreme Court cases, treaties and federal law and policy.

Congressional support of Indian country programs and budgets has been laudable, respecting our sovereignty demands standing up for our sovereignty even when it is inconvenient. Now we need our representatives to support the Tribal Labor Sovereignty Act. Please call your representatives and ask them to support the TLSA.

Please contact your Senator(s) today. Type in your zip code at https://whoismyrepresentative.com for contact information.

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Photo by Ken Bosma / CC BY