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Minnesota State Park Access for All Tribal Members


As of January 1st, 2022, American Indians who are members of federally recognized Tribes within Minnesota’s borders can access each of Minnesota’s 75 state parks and recreation areas free or charge. This ensures Tribal members’ access to ancestral lands, and acknowledges the importance for continued community visitation to culturally significant places. The Minnesota DNR successfully worked with the Governor’s office and the State Legislature to change the law so Tribal members can obtain a state park vehicle permit at no cost. 

When the law changed, the Minnesota DNR coordinated with Tribal government representatives to ensure a welcoming and effective approach. Each of the eleven federally recognized Tribes participated in coordination meetings with DNR staff to determine how Tribal membership is defined, and the kind of identification needed for members to receive a permit. 

To receive a state park vehicle permit, Tribal members must present one of the following at the park office: 

  • Tribal identification card
  • a certificate of Indian blood
  • an 1854 Treaty Authority Window Cling
  • 1854 Treaty Authority ID card
  • Tribal license plates displayed on a vehicle


If the office is closed, self-payment envelopes can be used at the park entrance with “Tribal Permit” written over the payment section (shown below). Check with your Tribal government if systems are in place to obtain permits through them.  Additional information on Minnesota state park vehicle permits can be found HERE

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