Native American Affairs
Native American Program - Upper Colorado Region Contacts
The Upper Colorado (UC) Region's Native American Program is designed to help Tribes benefit from Reclamation programs. The Upper Colorado Region's Native American Affairs Office (UC-NAAO) provides a liaison between Tribes and the Regional Office in coordinating Reclamation Programs and Consultations that affect Tribes. A major focus of this office is to assist Tribes in developing and managing water resources in accordance with their desires and Reclamation's stated trust responsibilities.
The UC Region serves Tribes and Pueblos located in Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, and Texas. Note that the Navajo Nation Reservation lies within the boundaries of both the Upper and Lower Colorado Regions. The UC-NAAO manages 23 technical assistance programs and supports 3 water rights negotiations and 2 water rights implementation teams.
Funding for the UC-NAAO and activities comes from the Washington NAAO. The UC-NAAO:
- Provides contact and liaison with all Tribes involved in UC Regional programs and ensures that funding and assistance requests are properly focused and considered.
- Functions as principal contact to Tribes and ensures coordination of their programs with Regional divisions, Area Offices, and Regional Management.
- Participates on Federal water rights settlement negotiation teams and on Federal water rights settlement implementation teams. UC-NAAO involvement on these teams includes participating in negotiation and implementation sessions to ensure that the trust responsibilities of the Secretary of the Interior and Commissioner of Reclamation are implemented, to coordinate technical assistance from Reclamation as needed, and to represent the Region.
- Prepares periodic briefings on the status of settlement negotiations for the Commissioner, the Assistant Secretary for Water and Science, and the Working Group on Indian Water Rights.
- Provides the necessary liaison with Washington and Denver Offices for technical functions and activities affecting the Native American Affairs Program.
- Provides the Director, NAAO with necessary special study capability.
- Serves as the NAAO program representative at meetings and conferences to provide status reports on specific projects and issues.
- Is designated as the Indian Trust Coordinator for the UC Region to ensure that ITAs in the areas of Regional activities are identified and impacts avoided or mitigated.
- Sponsors cultural awareness workshops for Reclamation staff to enhance cultural sensitivity.
- Sponsors outreach programs, such as technical assistance and training workshops for the NAP, drawing upon the expertise from the Regional, Area, and/or Denver Offices.