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Selected Policies, Guidance, and Procedures
for working with Federally Recognized Indian Tribes:

Protocol, Consultation, and the
Government-to-Government Relationship

Note for Reclamation personnel with limited knowledge of these subjects who are trying to decide where to start, the 2009 Presidential Memorandum, Departmental Policy, and Reclamation Protocol Guidance are suggested. Additionally, the Interagency Working Group on Indian Affairs documents provide basic guidance on consultation principles and practices.

Executive Orders

Executive Order 13175 - Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments (November 6, 2000)  [Note:  Revokes and supersedes Executive Order No. 13084 of May 14, 1998, which also addressed Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments.]

Presidential Memoranda and Other Presidential Documents:

Memorandum issued by the President on Tribal Consultation (November 5, 2009) – Concerns implementation of Executive Order 13175 (Obama administration)

Memorandum issued by the President on "Government-to-Government Relationship with Tribal Governments" (September 23, 2004) (Bush II administration)

Memorandum issued by the President on “Government-to-Government Relations with Native American Tribal Governments” (April 29, 1994) (Clinton administration)

Note:  Other Presidential statements of Indian policy from previous administrations may be found on the website of the Environmental Protection Agency at:
http://www.epa.gov/tribalportal/basicinfo/presidential-docs.html

Department of Interior Documents:

Department of the Interior Policy on Consultation with Indian Tribes (December 1, 2011)

Secretarial Order 3317 -- Department of the Interior Policy on Consultation with Indian Tribes (December 1, 2011)

Secretarial Order 3317 -- Department of the Interior Policy on Consultation with Indian Tribes -- Amendment 1 (December 31, 2012)

Bureau of Reclamation Documents:

Reclamation’s Protocol Guidelines:  Consulting with Indian Tribal Governments February 3, 1998 (Revised February 9, 2001)   Reissued September 21, 2012

Reclamation Action Plan for Implementing Government-to-Government Relationship with Indian Tribes (June 14, 1996, memo from the Commissioner)

Bureau of Reclamation Implementation Plan for Federal-Tribal Government-to Government Policy (dated June 4, 1996)

Note:  Reclamation is in the process of reviewing and updating its policies for compliance in accordance with the new Departmental policy and order on consultation.  In the meantime, current Reclamation policy and guidance provisions remain in effect to the extent they are not contradicted by the new Departmental policy and order.

Interagency Working Group on Indian Affairs (IWGIA):

Tribal Consultation Principles (March 2010)

 •Holding Regional Consultation Meetings with Tribal Leaders (November 2009)

• Other documents generated by the IWGIA may be found on the website of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation at:  http://www.achp.gov/nap.html.
 

Note on the IWGIA:  This informal working group includes representatives from a number of Departments and bureaus throughout the government, including Reclamation.  These references are included here as the products generated by the group include much useful information.  However, it should also be noted that the products vary in the amount of legal review and input, so it may be appropriate to exercise caution before relying on these for any legally-sensitive information.   

 

 

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Content Update: 12/19/11; General update: 12/19/11