Western Region

Are you new to tribal engagement?

The foundation of tribal engagement is rooted in the unique legal and political relationship between the United States and Native American tribal governments as set forth in the Constitution of the United States, treaties, statutes, and court decisions.

When Europeans first encountered Indian Tribes, they engaged tribes as sovereign governments with whom treaties were made. When tribes ceded lands to the U.S., they retained certain sovereignty over the lands they kept. Tribes guard that sovereignty against encroachments by other sovereign entities such as States.

As NOAA undertakes activities affecting Native American tribal rights or treaty trust resources, such activities must be implemented in a knowledgeable, sensitive manner respectful of tribal sovereignty.

Explore the training links for more in-depth information on tribal engagement and government-to-government consultation.

NOAA Resources

The NOAA Office of Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs provides advice and council on tribal relations, including consultations, communication, and outreach. On November 13, 2013, NOAA announced the Final Tribal Consultation Handbook titled “NOAA Procedures for Government-to-Government Consultation With Federally Recognized Indian Tribes and Alaska Native Corporations.”

This Handbook is intended to improve coordination and consultation with Indian tribal governments.  It will assist NOAA, including its regional and field staff, in conducting effective government-to-government consultations and fulfill NOAA’s obligations under E.O. 13175 and Department Administrative Order 218-8 on Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments, and the Department of Commerce Tribal Consultation and Coordination Policy.

For more information on NOAA tribal relations, contact:

Linda Belton
NOAA Tribal Liaison
Tel: 202-482-5447

Training Links

Working Effectively with Tribal Governments” Online Training Program. This is a free on-line course offered through the Office of Personnel Management. This training curriculum provides federal employees with basic skills and knowledge they can use to work more effectively with tribal governments. Modules include instruction on Key terms and concepts; overview of federal policy and Federal Indian law; tribal and state relations; federal requirements for consultation; and skills for cross-cultural communication. The course also provides extensive resources for additional information and reference.

Tribal Leaders Directory

The Bureau of Indian Affairs, Tribal Leaders Directory provides a tribes’ name, address, phone, and fax number for each of the 566 Federally-recognized Tribes. There may be an email or website address listed for the tribal entity if they have provided it to the BIA.

Regional Intertribal Organizations

National Resources

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