Minnesota Department of Transportation

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Tribes and Transportation

Strengthening government-to-government relations through partnerships

Orange barrels on a highway

Tribal Employment Preference on MnDOT Projects

MnDOT includes special language to encourage Native American employment for construction projects on or near a reservation. Tribal Nations and MnDOT offices use the MnDOT Tribal map application for coordination.

MnDOT policy:

Federal guidance:

Tribal Employment Rights Ordinance (TERO)

TERO requires that employers conducting business on reservations give preference to qualified American Indians. Designated TERO officers or tribal employment office personnel monitor and enforce the requirements of TERO.

MnDOT and several of the Tribal Nations in Minnesota have signed agreements to work cooperatively together to increase employment of Native Americans on transportation projects on or near a reservation.

Civil Rights Programs

MnDOT's Civil Rights Office provides programs to help Tribal Members, women, and minorities to participate in the planning, construction, and management of Minnesota's transportation system. These programs ensure that MnDOT contracts meet legal and policy requirements.

Contact the MnDOT Office of Civil Rights to request a compliance review.


There may be times when you will need to contract with a native-owned business, which can involve a Negotiated Maintenance Contract or other type of contract. Contact Adrien Carretero and Mindy Heinkel for additional information or assistance with NMCs. You can also use the Interactive Tribal MnDOT map to identify native-owned businesses for projects.

Click here for more information about Negotiated Maintenance Contracts

Working at MnDOT

Training Opportunities

There are training opportunities available in Indian Country. Training builds capacity to hire within MnDOT and in the industry. Contact Adrien Carretero for details and to develop new trainings.

Training is available for offices, small groups online or in-person. Contact Adrien Carretero or Levi Brown for more details.

Indigenous Employee Resource Group

The IERG serves as an employment and informational resource for internal and external populations of Indigenous people that also works to value and promote knowledge, understanding and respect for American Indian culture, history and ways of life. The goal is to promote authentic and respectful relationships between MnDOT and American Indian tribal members and allies.


Tribal Affairs provides opportunities for State of Minnesota employees to enroll in Tribal-State Relations Training and e-learning courses.

Click here to access the MnDOT Tribal Map Application


These tutorials provide information and guidance on how to navigate the features of the MnDOT Tribal Map Application.

These videos are provided in partnership by MnDOT's Office of Civil Rights and Office of Environmental Stewardship.

Accessing the MnDOT Tribal Map Application

Tips how to locate and open the map application

Using the MnDOT Tribal Application

Tips for using the features available

Including the Special Provisions Relating to Indian Employment

Tips for help with determining whether to include the Special Provisions Relating to Indian Employment in MnDOT highway contracts