Office of Indian Policy

Primary function

The DHS Executive Team authorizes the Office of Indian Policy to provide guidance in the implementation and coordination of ongoing consultation and program development with tribal governments regarding the delivery of services to American Indians living both on and off the reservation.


To provide American Indian participants who are eligible for public assistance full access to the benefits of DHS programs and will experience the unique protections and health and human services they have been guaranteed as a result of historic federal-tribal relations as well as state laws/policy.


  • • Promoting government-to-government relations
  • • Enhancing tribal infrastructure
  • • Increasing access
  • • Addressing disparities
  • • Designing effective programs (culturally appropriate/specific)
  • • Maximizing fiscal resources
  • Contact

    Director of Indian Policy
    Vern LaPlante, 651-431-2910

    Deputy Director, Office of Indian Policy
    Yvonne Barrett, 651-431-5638

    Indian Policy Specialist
    Alicia Smith, 651-431-2295


  • Office of Indian Policy resources
  • American Indian advisory councils
  • CountyLink – a resource for county and tribal workers
  • Minnesota Indian Affairs Council
  • American Indian Elder Desk
  • Tribal information
  • Commissioner’s Awards Videos

  • Pregnant Native Americans’ Opioid Addiction Services
  • Ain Dah Yung (Our Home) Center
  • Red Lake Alcohol Rehabilitation Prevention Program
  • Conifer Estates
  • White Earth Home Health Agency
  • White Earth Band of Ojibwe Indian Child Welfare Program video
  • Minnesota tribal nations

    Bois Forte Band of Chippewa:
    Fond Du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa:
    Grand Portage:
    Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe:
    Lower Sioux Indian Community:
    Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe:
    Minnesota Chippewa Tribe:
    Prairie Island Indian Community:
    Red Lake Nation:
    Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community:
    Upper Sioux Community:
    White Earth Nation:

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