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State of New Jersey
Executive Order #24

Governor Jon S. Corzine

WHEREAS, in response to a recent shooting incident in Bergen County, State officials met with representatives of the Ramapough Lenape Nation who identified areas of concern that warrant further examination; and

WHEREAS, it is imperative that all citizens be treated fairly and have equal opportunity and access to State government and services, and that the rights of all citizens be protected; and

WHEREAS, in light of concerns highlighted by representatives of the Ramapough Lenape Nation in this regard, it is important to engage in a thorough examination of certain aspects of the current status of the Ramapough Lenape Nation as well as the greater Native American community in New Jersey; and

WHEREAS, this examination is an important component in ensuring that the rights of New Jersey citizens of the Native American community are protected; and

WHEREAS, an examination of the areas of education, employment, civil rights, fair housing, environmental protection, health care, infrastructure, and equal opportunity for Native Americans shall be the primary focus of this review; and

WHEREAS, a study of this nature will benefit from the input of individuals drawn from a wide variety of walks of life who possess the expertise, experience, cultural sensitivity, and skills necessary to evaluate the status of the Native American community in New Jersey as described herein;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, JON S. CORZINE, Governor of the State of New Jersey, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and by the Statutes of this State, do hereby ORDER and DIRECT:

  1. There is hereby established the New Jersey Committee on Native American Community Affairs, pursuant to Art. V, Sec. IV, par. 1 of the New Jersey Constitution.

  2. This Committee shall evaluate the current social and economic condition of Native Americans in New Jersey, namely civil rights issues and the community's access to education, fair housing, infrastructure, employment, and health care.

  3. In the execution of its duties to undertake this study, the Committee shall:

    1. Conduct public hearings and take testimony from community groups and others regarding the concerns and grievances of the Native American community;

    2. Identify those areas requiring further study and investigation based upon the testimony provided during the hearings; and

    3. Issue a report to the Governor detailing the hearings, the Committee's findings, and its recommendations of ways the State may assist in furthering fair treatment and equal opportunity to the Native American community.

  4. The Committee shall be composed of six (6) individuals with expertise in the following areas: civil rights, health, the environment, tribal affairs, housing, labor, education, and law enforcement. In addition, the Secretary of State or her designee and the Chair of the New Jersey Commission on American Indian Affairs or his designee shall serve as non-voting, ex-officio members of the Committee.

  5. All members of the Committee shall be appointed by the Governor and shall serve at his pleasure. The Governor shall select a chair who will serve at the Governor's pleasure.

  6. The Committee is authorized to call upon any department, office, or agency of State government to provide such information, resources, or other assistance deemed necessary to discharge its responsibilities under this Order. Each department, officer, division, and agency of this State is hereby required to cooperate with the Committee and to furnish it with such information, personnel and assistance as is necessary to accomplish the purposes of this Order.

    In particular, the Office of the Governor, the Department of Community Affairs, the Department of Environmental Protection, the Department of Education, the Department of Health and Senior Services, the Department of Law and Public Safety, and the New Jersey Commission on American Indian Affairs shall be available to the Committee upon request.

  7. The Committee shall organize and meet as soon as practicable after the appointment of a majority of its members.

  8. The Committee may consult with experts or other knowledgeable individuals in the public or private sector on any aspect of its mission.

  9. The Committee shall establish a schedule of meetings and report periodically to the Governor on its activities and recommendations. An initial report to the Governor shall be submitted within six months from the date of the first meeting and a final report as soon as practicable thereafter.

  10. The Committee shall expire 30 days from the issuance of its final report and recommendations to the Governor.

  11. This Order shall take effect immediately.

GIVEN, under my hand and seal this 4th day
of August, Two Thousand and Six, and of the
Independence of the United States, the Two
Hundred and Thirty-First.

/s/ Jon S. Corzine

Governor

[seal]

Attest:

/s/ Stuart Rabner

Chief Counsel to the Governor

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