Tribal leaders met state leaders in Madison Thursday. The annual State of Tribe address brought lawmakers and other state officials together with representatives of the state's eleven sovereign tribal governments . Patricia DePerry, chair of the Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa (Ojibwe), reminded the leaders of Wisconsin of the importance of sovereignty. "It's not up for negotiation. It is not up for discussion," said DePerry. "It's the law." DePerry challenged state leaders to foster real dialogue with the tribes. But she also pointed out problems in relations between the tribes, noting that not all have benefited equally from casino gaming. "God bless each and every one of you that have made it in gaming," she said. "At the same time, there are those of us who have never made it." In addition to leading her Red Cliff tribe, DePerry is also chair of the Great Lakes Inter-Tribal Council ; she's the first woman in the organization's history to hold that post.
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