CHICAGO – The Illinois Department of Central Management Services (CMS) today announced the new Native American Employment Plan Advisory Council, developed to increase employment and promotion opportunities for Native Americans in Illinois. The council held its first meeting this week and will examine the prevalence and impact of Native Americans employed by State government and the barriers faced by Native Americans who seek employment or promotional opportunities in State government.

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“Native American men and women have had an integral role in building Illinois and their contributions continue to strengthen our state today, said CMS Director Janel L. Forde. “CMS is proud to work alongside Native American leaders and experts on the newly appointed council to increase Native American representation at all levels of state government.”

In August 2019, Governor JB Pritzker signed the Native American Employment Plan Act, establishing the 10-member Native American Employment Plan Advisory Council and proclaiming November as Native American Heritage Month in Illinois.

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The following Native American community leaders and subject matter experts were appointed to the council to examine issues, barriers, and incentives regarding Native American access to State government:

Andrew Johnson – DuPage County
Heather Miller – Cook County
Matthew Beaudet – Cook County
Pamela Silas – Cook County
Nichole Boyd – Champaign County
Susan Stanley – Cook County
Peter Poirot – Clinton County
Tim Blanks – Cook County
Kim Vigue – Cook County
Wendy White Eagle – Kane County

The Native American Employment Plan Advisory Council receives administrative support from CMS and will meet on a quarterly basis.

Illinois currently has the sixth largest Urban Indian population in the United States, with over 100 Tribal Nations, according to a University of Illinois at Chicago’s Institute for Research on Race and Public Policy June 2019 report

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