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Native American input needed

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The State of Indiana's Native American Indian Affairs Commission, which is charged with - among other duties - distributing the proceeds from the "Land of the Indians" license plates, has been stuck in neutral since five Native American commissioners resigned, citing several points of contention with the administration of then-Gov. Mitch Daniels.

Crystalynne Boyer, director of boards and commissioners for Gov. Mike Pence, oversees more than 200 of the state's various board and commissions. Boyer said in a Tuesday interview that she intends to have all boards staffed by the end of the year. So far, she said she has two recommendations for the Native American commission and she plans to reach out to local organizations with Native American ties to seek out additional candidates.

The statute, which created the commission in 2005, requires the governor to appoint eight Native American members from different geographic regions and different tribal affiliations, at least two of whom must have to have knowledge in tradition and spiritual issues.

"If you know anyone who would like to contribute recommendations to the commission, please reach out," Boyer said.

The governor's website features an online application for potential candidates. The commission can be found under the history and culture link.

For those without online access, Boyer requested that recommendations be sent to her attention care of the Governor's Office, State House, Room 206 200 W. Washington St. Indianapolis, Ind., 46204-2797.

As of Nov. 19, the balance on the state's Native American license plate fund stood at $276,360, according the Indiana State Auditor's Office.

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