Native American Affairs

Regional and Commissioner's Office Support for
Reclamation's Native American Program Activities

Reclamation established the Native American Affairs Office in 1989 to provide leadership for Reclamation’s activities benefiting or otherwise affecting Indian tribes. The office was merged with the International Affairs Office in 2007 to become the Native American and International Affairs Office (NAIAO).  Organizationally, the office is part of Reclamation’s Commissioner’s Office.  The office is headed by a Director in Washington, DC, while staff are located in Washington, D.C. and Denver, Colorado.  The NAIAO endeavors to work closely with Reclamation’s Regional Native American Affairs Program managers, as well as with others in the Regional, Area, and Commissioner’s Offices.

Responsibilities of the NAIAO include:

  • developing and coordinating policy guidance for Reclamation's Native American Program, including Reclamation’s activities pertaining to the Secretary’s Indian  trust responsibility, government-to-government consultation with Federally Recognized Indian Tribes, the Indian Self-Determination and Self-Governance programs, and Indian sacred sites;
  • working closely with Regional Offices to provide technical assistance to tribes through the Native American Affairs Technical Assistance Program;
  • leading Reclamation’s participation in Interior’s Indian water rights settlement program;
  • leading or participating in special initiatives for Reclamation’s Commissioner;
  • coordinating with the Interior Department on intra-Departmental initiatives;
  • coordinating with other governmental offices, bureaus and agencies on matters affecting their respective Indian programs;
  • providing training programs to Reclamation employees to enable them to work more effectively with Tribes;
  • implementing or coordinating other activities aimed at removing barriers to create more effective relationships between Reclamation and the Tribes Reclamation works with.
Contact - NAIAO:





Jeff Morris


(303) 445-3373


Other Commissioner Office Support

Within Reclamation’s Commissioner’s Office, Native American activities are also supported by other units as described below:

Technical Services Center (TSC) - This office, located in Denver, provides a broad range of technical services related to water resources management and development to Reclamation and BIA on a cost-reimbursable basis.   

Current list of TSC Contacts

Security, Safety and Law Enforcement (SSLE) Office - Reclamation's Dam Safety program is located within the SSLE.  The Commissioner of Reclamation has the delegated authority for coordinating and advising Interior's Safety of Dams (SOD) Programs.  Reclamation has provided SOD technical and program assistance to BIA and individual Indian Tribes for the past 25 years.  As of December 2010, there were 137 BIA/Tribal dams classified as high or significant hazard on 40 Indian reservations in the West.  Reclamation performs SOD assistance on a reimbursable basis for the BIA or individual Indian Tribes. 

Reclamation's Dam Safety Office in Denver, Colorado, manages the program and technical assistance for the SOD program, with other offices also providing assistance for the program.  Click here to learn more about this program.

Current list of Dam Safety Contacts

Department of the Interior Reduced Dam Safety Risk Program Manager handles BIA/Tribal dam safety issues.

Last Updated: 10/11/18