Western Region


Executive orders are official documents, numbered consecutively, through which the President of the United States manages the operations of the Federal Government. NOAA employees that work with Indian tribes are advised to have awareness of the following Executive Orders:

  • Executive Order 13647. Establishing the White House Council on Native American Affairs (June 2013)
  • Executive Order 13592. Improving American Indian and Alaska Native Educational Opportunities and Strengthening Tribal Colleges and Universities (December 2011)
  • Executive Order 13175. Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments (November 2000)
  • Executive Order 12898. Federal actions to address environmental justice in minority populations and low-income populations (February 1994)

Information about Executive Orders may be obtained through the Disposition Tables maintained by the National Archives, Office of the Federal Register editors.

President Barack Obama’s 2009 Indian Policy reaffirms the government-to-government relationship between the federal government and tribal governments.

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) serves the President of the United States in overseeing the administration of Executive Branch agencies. OMB provides agency guidance in implementing Executive Orders:

  • M-10-33 Memorandum for the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies, and Independent Regulatory Agencies:  Guidance for Implementing E.O. 13175, “Consultation and coordination with Indian Tribal Governments”.


The Department of Commerce Native American Affairs Office develops policy and provides advice to all operating bureaus on tribal coordination and consultation. In 2013, the Department of Commerce finalized its Tribal Consultation and Coordination Policy.

Department of Commerce Administrative Orders (DAO) are used to document policies, standards requirements, and procedures prescribed by the Office of the Secretary. The DAOs cover substantive program matters as well as administrative management, legal, or special staff functions. As a bureau of the Department of Commerce, NOAA is expected to comply with all DAOs. DAO 218-8 prescribes Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments.

On occasion, the Secretary of Commerce may also issue Secretarial Orders to clarify and provide guidance on the implementation of existing law. Secretarial Order 3206, jointly issued in June 1997 by the Secretary of Commerce and Interior Secretary, clarifies the responsibilities when actions taken under authority of the Endangered Species Act and associated implementing regulations affect, or may affect, Indian lands, tribal trust resources, or the exercise of American Indian tribal rights. The Order acknowledges the trust responsibility and treaty obligations of the United States toward Indian tribes and tribal members and its government-to- government relationship in dealing with tribes.

There are numerous laws and regulations that establish or directly relate to NOAA programs. Some of these laws and regulations may be of interest to tribes, or may contain statutory requirements for tribal engagement and consultation that NOAA is expected to comply with. Given the complexity and changing nature of the legal landscape, it is advised that specific questions concerning law and regulation be directed to NOAA’s Office of General Counsel.

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