Native American Affairs

Native American Program - Great Plains Region

The Great Plains (GP) Region includes all or part of the states of Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Colorado, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas. There are 65 federally recognized tribes in these 9 states. Severe water quantity and quality problems exist on many Reservations in the GP Region . To address these problems requires an aggressive outreach by Reclamation staff in the six area offices. Working with tribes directly and with Tribal coalitions has proven to be an effective way to provide technical assistance to rural Indian communities in the Great Plains Region. The GP Region's Native American Affairs Office (GP-NAAO) is working toward a stronger level of participation in coordinating and funding projects designed to remediate water problems and benefit Indian communities with other federal agencies.

The GP-NAAO's principal objective is to help Tribes in the Great Plains build their capability to become self-sufficient. Overall Native American Program goals in this region include:

  • Provide technical assistance to Tribes 
  • Make Reclamation's programs available to Tribes
  • Improve on-the-ground water infrastructure to promote Tribal economic development and municipal and industrial water development 
  • Develop and use innovative methods or systems to serve the water needs of small communities and villages
    Assist Tribes in the protection, management, and development of their water and related resources
    Reclamation supports activities with Indian Tribes, including:
  • Provide policy and technical support for Indian water rights settlements 
  • Carry out Reclamation policies and procedures upholding the Secretary's Indian Trust responsibility 
  • Make Reclamation resources available to Indian Country to assist Tribal governments to protect, manage, and develop water and related resources 
  • Coordinate and implement a technical assistance program to Tribes in accordance with applicable section of Reclamation's implementation plan 
  • Support the Indian Self-Governance and Self-Determination programs 
  • Train Reclamation employees and members of federally recognized tribes in water resources related areas
These activities are consistent with the President's policy described in his memorandum for the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies, titled "Government-to-Government Relations With Native American Tribal Governments," dated April 1994.

Great Plains Homepage

Last Updated: 9/22/16