- Associated Press - Wednesday, February 15, 2017

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - A bill to require cultural competency training for state lawmakers has failed in the North Dakota Senate.

The bill prompted passionate testimony from Native Americans and members of other minorities. It would have required legislators to participate in at least four hours of training in working with diverse populations, including American Indians.

The bill was not directly prompted by the Dakota Access Pipeline protests. Sen. Richard Marcellais, a Democrat from Belcourt and member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa, has pushed the idea unsuccessfully before.

But several who testified in support of the training said better cultural understanding could have prevented some of the conflicts that arose during the protests. Opponents said the bill wasn’t necessary.

The Bismarck Tribune reports (https://bit.ly/2kxzuwa ) the bill failed on a 20-to-26 vote Tuesday.


Information from: Bismarck Tribune, https://www.bismarcktribune.com

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