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Tribal Government Services and Policy

Tribal Government Services and Policy is a new Division created within the MDHHS Director’s office effective October 1, 2022.  It is currently staffed by Lorna Elliott-Egan, Director of Tribal Government Services and Policy plus Analyst Isabelle Welsh.  This office acts as the primary point of access for all tribal governments and Native American individuals seeking information or assistance about or from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

The primary function of this division is to provide guidance to the Department Director, Senior Deputies, and staff across the department to make sure that all are in compliance with treaty and legal obligations to Michigan’s 12 federally recognized tribal governments.  Additionally, services to Native American individuals needing assistance navigating MDHHS services or administrations will be provided.   Mandatory annual training is developed and deployed to all MDHHS employees by this division in compliance with Executive Directive 2019-17.

For more information or assistance:

Tribal Consultation

Federal and state governments are required by various Tribal Treaties and laws to consult with federally recognized tribal governments within their jurisdictions related to the provision for tribal citizens’ health education and welfare.   In compliance with Executive Directive 2019-17, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services policy for formal Tribal Consultation was published in July, 2020.  This policy was developed with assistance and feedback from individuals representing federally recognized Michigan tribes in response to an invitation to help create the department’s new policy.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Tribal Consultation Policy guides how executive-level consultation between federally recognized tribal governments and the MDHHS Director or their designated representatives shall conduct a formal consultation with one or more tribes or federally recognized Urban Indian Organization.  While the department works on a day-to-day basis in partnership with tribal governments and the staff that work for them to identify and solve problems together, from time to time issues arise where compromise is not reached.   On those occasions, a consultation between tribal leaders and the department Director or their designee may be invoked by either party.

When a federally recognized Michigan Tribe or American Indian Health and Family Services that wishes to initiate a formal Tribal Consultation or discuss issues of concern, they should email as well as the Director of Tribal Government Services & Policy at

The current MDHHS Tribal Consultation Policy can be viewed here:

Current MDHHS Consultation Policy