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On October 13, 2015, the Institute participated in the Minnesota Tribes and Transportation Conference, held in Morton, Minnesota. The theme of this year’s conference, which drew more than 150 attendees representing tribal, state, and federal agencies, was “Technology and Innovation in Tribal Transportation.” Among those attendees, nine of the eleven federally recognized tribes were represented.

RSI Program Director Stephanie Malinoff provided an overview of the Institute’s education and workforce development initiatives intended to engage the next generation of the transportation workforce. “The conference offered the opportunity to foster connections with tribal transportation leaders from throughout the state, which will help us grow the initiatives we’ve put in place so far, especially the summer camps and programs for tribal youth,” Malinoff says.

RSI researchers Kathy Quick, Guillermo Narváez, and Tom Horan presented on their research aimed at better understanding transportation safety risks on tribal lands through collaboration with American Indian communities in Minnesota. Quick and Narváez are reviewing crash data, collaborating with the Advocacy Council on Tribal Transportation, and conducting interviews with key stakeholders. “This is producing rich data about what local experts know about the sources of risk, how they manage those risks, and what they recommend to improve data,” Quick said. Horan gave an overview of a set of new GIS applications that could assist tribes with transportation safety planning. During the presentation, audience members gave feedback on the prototype applications’ potential usefeulness and benefits to tribal safety.

The Institute was also a sponsor of this year’s event.

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