Native American Affairs

Technical Assistance Program

Reclamation has various programs which provide technical assistance to a broad range of entities, such as the Drought Assistance, Wetlands, and Water Recycling Programs.  Indian tribes are eligible for most of these programs, and through them much assistance has been provided to tribes.  One program is available only to federally recognized Indian tribes:  the Native American Affairs (NAA) Technical Assistance Program (TAP).

Reclamation's NAA TAP provides technical assistance to assist Indian Tribes to develop, manage, and protect their water and related resources. The NAA TAP has supported a broad range of activities in each year since its inception in the early 1990’s.  Such activities have included water needs assessments, improved water management studies, water quality data collection and assessments, and water measurement studies.

Work under the NAA TAP may be carried out in different ways.  Sometimes the work is performed by Reclamation under cooperative working relationships with the Tribes, which provide the Tribes with opportunities to benefit from Reclamation's technical expertise and resources.   At other times, the work is carried out by the Tribes under P.L. 93-638.  Alternatively, assistance may be provided in the form of training to enhance tribal members’ knowledge and expertise in the use, protection and development of water resources. Work may also be carried out in partnership with other governmental or non-governmental entities, thereby enabling the assistance to be provided to Tribes with greater efficiency.

While program direction and leadership for the NAA TAP is provided by the Commissioner’s Office, the TAP is implemented through the Regional and Area Offices.  The Area Office Native American Affairs Program coordinators work with tribes and their Reclamation Regional Program Managers to develop project proposals, which are submitted for consideration for funding.  Budgetary constraints limit the number of projects which can be funded each year. 

Each technical assistance activity considered for the TAP must satisfy NAA TAP program criteria.



Last Updated: 9/24/15