The National Conference of State Legislatures has a long history of work on state-tribal relations. Over the last few years, this work has evolved and expanded in scope. It has brought attention to the government-to-government relationship that exists between the tribes and the states and, at the personal level, highlights the unique leader-to-leader relationships that exist between tribal leaders and state legislators.
Tribal governments across the United States are exercising their self-governing powers and taking more control over program administration and the provision of services within their communities. As a result, there is an increasing need for state policymakers to learn to interact with tribes as sovereign governments, instead of viewing them as special interests or minority groups contained within a few states.