Duluth campus
 
Duluth Campus

Tribal Administration and Governance M.T.A.G.

American Indian Studies
College of Liberal Arts
Link to a list of faculty for this program.
Contact Information
Department of American Indian Studies, University of Minnesota Duluth, Cina Hall 106, 1123 University Drive, Duluth, MN 55812 (218-726-7332)
  • Program Type: Master's
  • Requirements for this program are current for Fall 2017
  • Length of program in credits: 38
  • This program does not require summer semesters for timely completion.
  • Degree: Master of Tribal Admin and Governance
Along with the program-specific requirements listed below, please read the General Information section of this website for requirements that apply to all major fields.
The master's of tribal administration and governance (MTAG) is an applied professional development degree designed to develop the knowledge and skills needed to work as an administrator in a tribal government. Students in the program may already serve as tribal administrators, council members, or tribal leaders. Students who currently work or aspire to work professionally in tribal governments or management positions will benefit from this program, which emphasizes both the acquisition of academic knowledge and the application of practical skills. The curriculum is based on the roles that tribal administrators, leaders, and professionals play in formal and informal situations that support tribal sovereignty and self-determination. Program delivery is designed to accommodate working professionals and support existing commitments to families and home communities. A combination of online delivery and several weekend meetings per semester provides face-to-face interaction with experts in each area of the curriculum including faculty, staff, special guests, and students. Weekend sessions meet four times per semester on Friday evenings and all day Saturday, or students may choose to participate entirely by remote connection.
Program Delivery
  • completely online (all program coursework can be completed online)
  • partially online (between 50% to 80% of instruction is online)
Prerequisites for Admission
The preferred undergraduate GPA for admittance to the program is 3.00.
A bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution in the US or a comparable degree from an officially recognized college or university outside the US may apply for admission.
Special Application Requirements:
Each cohort capacity is 20 students. The program is open until filled, with an August 15th deadline. Unofficial transcripts or academic records, two letters of recommendation, and a personal statement must be uploaded directly to the online application. The personal statement should include what the student intends to get out of the MTAG program and accomplish in tribal administration and governance. Official transcripts or academic records will be required only if the applicant is admitted to the program.
International applicants must submit score(s) from one of the following tests:
  • TOEFL
    • Internet Based - Total Score: 79
    • Internet Based - Writing Score: 21
    • Internet Based - Reading Score: 19
    • Paper Based - Total Score: 550
  • IELTS
    • Total Score: 6.5
  • MELAB
    • Final score: 80
Key to test abbreviations (TOEFL, IELTS, MELAB).
For an online application or for more information about graduate education admissions, see the General Information section of this website.
Program Requirements
Plan C: Plan C requires 38 major credits and 0 credits outside the major. There is no final exam.
This program may not be completed with a minor.
Use of 4xxx courses towards program requirements is not permitted.
A minimum GPA of 2.80 is required for students to remain in good standing.
Semester One (Fall, Year One 9 cr)
MTAG 5110 - Principles of Tribal Sovereignty I (3.0 cr)
MTAG 5210 - Administration Governance I (Strategic) (3.0 cr)
MTAG 5310 - Foundations of Leadership and Ethics in Indigenous Community Life and Organizations (3.0 cr)
Semester Two (Spring, Year One 9 cr)
MTAG 5120 - Principles of Tribal Sovereignty II (3.0 cr)
MTAG 5220 - Administration and Governance II (Operations) (3.0 cr)
MTAG 5320 - Applied Leadership and Ethics in an Indigenous Organizational Context (3.0 cr)
Semester Three (Fall, Year Two 11 cr)
MTAG 5230 - Advanced Tribal Administration and Governance I (Human Resources) (3.0 cr)
MTAG 5430 - Tribal Finance, Accounting and Budgets I (3.0 cr)
MTAG 5530 - Federal Indian Law I (3.0 cr)
MTAG 5997 - Tribal Administration and Governance Directed Project (2.0 cr)
Semester Four (Spring, Year Two 9 cr)
MTAG 5240 - Advanced Tribal Administration and Governance II (Project) (3.0 cr)
MTAG 5440 - Tribal Finance, Accounting and Budgets II (3.0 cr)
MTAG 5540 - Federal Indian Law II (3.0 cr)
 
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MTAG 5110 - Principles of Tribal Sovereignty I
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall
This course provides students with a general background of the history, development, structure, and politics associated with indigenous governments. We will examine North American indigenous governance from pre-colonial times to the present, focusing on both the evolution and alteration of these governments as well as the difficult political decisions indigenous peoples faced when confronted by the colonizing forces of European states, the U.S., and individual states, and the modifications developed by indigenous nations in their efforts to retain and exercise their sovereign powers. prereq: MTAG student or instructor consent
MTAG 5210 - Administration Governance I (Strategic)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall
This course will provide an overview of the integration and application of strategic management principles in tribal governments. Topics will include the development of mission statements, goals, strategies, and approaches to implementation. The course will focus on tribal strategic plans and issues specific to tribes, such as the federal-tribal relationship, tribal constitutions, and tribal ordinances and regulations. Also, the role of federal and state government policymakers as they interrelate with administrators in strategic management decisions will be studied. prereq: MTAG student or instructor consent
MTAG 5310 - Foundations of Leadership and Ethics in Indigenous Community Life and Organizations
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall
This course will develop a general understanding of leadership and ethics. Content will include a survey of basic philosophies, models, figures, and applications to community-based scenarios and institutions. Western scholarship will be contrasted with Indigenous perspectives and lived experience as a means of exploring cultural difference. The role of traditional values and beliefs, internalized oppression, and contemporary community institutional dynamics are core course topics. prereq: MTAG student or instructor consent
MTAG 5120 - Principles of Tribal Sovereignty II
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Spring
This course examines the challenges facing tribal governments as they exercise their sovereignty and involves political, economic, and intergovernmental perspectives. Part one examines tribal resource management, analyzing historical use of land, land loss, and contemporary efforts to develop sustainable environmental plans for water, timber, wildlife, and subsurface resources. Part two focuses on the various means tribal governments have devised to exercise sovereignty, such as gaming, small business development, tourism, and joint ventures with partners. Part three concentrates attention at the sub-national level and pays close attention to the political, legal, and economics relationships that have developed between Native nations, state governments, county governments, and municipal entities. prereq: 5110 or instructor consent
MTAG 5220 - Administration and Governance II (Operations)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Spring
This course will provide an overview of organizational management theories with an emphasis on tribal governments. It will focus on the various types of tribal governments, the role of tribal managers, tribal management functions, communications processes, and management information systems design and development. It will also explore different models of delivering services on reservations, including the direct federal service model, the 638 contact model, and the self-governance compact. Also, the role of federal and state government policymakers as they interrelate with administrators in operations management decisions will be studied. prereq: 5210 or instructor consent
MTAG 5320 - Applied Leadership and Ethics in an Indigenous Organizational Context
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Spring
This course explores leadership and ethics in an applied context. Students will explore what it means to be an effective ethical leader from a personal and community-based perspective. This involves a critical study of organizational culture and systems-based change processes. Case studies will be used to facilitate exploration and analysis. Reflecting on theories and philosophies of ethics and leadership, students will identify a personal leadership style, and determine what it means to be a decolonized leader in contemporary community life. prereq: 5310 or instructor consent
MTAG 5230 - Advanced Tribal Administration and Governance I (Human Resources)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Prerequisites: 5220 or instructor consent
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall
This course will focus on the theoretical and practical aspects of solving problems, the activity that takes up the majority of a tribal manager's day. Human resource management will be emphasized. The use of tribal hypothetical and real-life situations will be heavily relied upon. Case studies of reservations and tribal organizations will be utilized to define problems, collect and analyze data, and seek creative solutions. The use of analogy, brainstorming, the scientific method, systems analysis, and graphic representations will be studied, as well as the role of federal and state government policymakers as they interact with administrators on human resources matters. prereq: 5220 or instructor consent
MTAG 5430 - Tribal Finance, Accounting and Budgets I
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall
This course will provide an overview of financial terms, processes, agencies, and laws as they apply to tribal governments. It will focus on overseeing budgeting, bookkeeping, accounting, and purchasing functions; interpreting financial statements; conducting due diligence; and negotiating indirect cost rates with the federal government. Emphasis will be placed on the role of the federal government in tribal financial management, the role of tribal sovereign immunity in financial transactions, and the roles of tribal accountants and auditors. prereq: MTAG 5120, MTAG student or instructor consent
MTAG 5530 - Federal Indian Law I
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall
This course examines the formulation, implementation, and evolution of Indian policy from pre-colonial times to the self-governance era. This course provides a chronological framework and theoretical context in which policies, programs, and events can be seen interacting with each other to produce the cumulative body of treaties, statutes, and court decisions. Students analyze major federal Indian policies that define indigenous/federal political relationship, examining the views and attitudes of policy-makers and gauging the reactions of indigenous nations to those policies. prereq: MTAG 5320, MTAG student or instructor consent
MTAG 5997 - Tribal Administration and Governance Directed Project
Credits: 2.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: S-N only
Typically offered: Every Summer
The Tribal Administration and Governance Directed Project is designed to give MTAG students practical experience in the field while assisting a tribe with a project that meets their own identified priorities. prereq: 12 credits in MTAG or instructor consent
MTAG 5240 - Advanced Tribal Administration and Governance II (Project)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Prerequisites: 5230 or instructor consent
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Spring
This course will focus on the theory and implementation of project management and managing personnel engaged in project management. It will provide an overview of project management principles and concepts. Each student will select an actual reservation project and an aspect of tribal management (e.g., health care, natural resources, housing, or other area) for his or her final research paper. Each student will describe the project from beginning to end through the lense of management theory, as well as critique the implementation of the project. Also, the role of federal and state government policymakers as they interact with administrators on project management matters will be studied. prereq: 5230 or instructor consent
MTAG 5440 - Tribal Finance, Accounting and Budgets II
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Spring
This course will focus on the federal laws and regulations that tribal managers are required to comply with annually. These laws and regulations include the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, Title 31, the Single Audit Act, and auditing rules under the Tribal Self-Determination Act. The course will also focus on compliance with federal grants, the preparation of year-end financial statements, and the role of circulars from the federal Office of Management and Budget. The general standards for accountants and the penalties for non-compliance will be studied. The role of federal auditors and investigators will be compared to the role of tribes' internal auditors. prereq: 5430 or instructor consent
MTAG 5540 - Federal Indian Law II
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Spring
Federal Indian law has had profound affect on the lives, liberties, and properties of indigenous peoples. At times, U.S. policy and Supreme Court rulings have worked to protect aboriginal rights; at other times, these policies and decisions have had devastating consequences. This course examines the role and practice of the U.S. Supreme Court as a policy-making institution in their dealings with Indigenous nations. This examination requires us to think historically and theoretically; to question the origins and exercise of federal judicial power; and examine the application of federal law to indigenous peoples and Indian citizens. prereq: 5530 or instructor consent