Native American Affairs Program

Program Support—Upper Colorado Basin
(Interior Region 7)

Formerly the Upper Colorado Region

The Upper Colorado Basin Region encompasses all or part of the States of Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming.  There are approximately 29 federally recognized Indian tribes in this region.  The Navajo Nation Reservation lies within the boundaries of both the Upper and Lower Colorado Basin Regions.  The region's Native American Affairs Office provides a liaison between the region's Regional Office and Indian tribes to coordinate Reclamation programs and consultations that affect the tribes.  A major focus of the region's Native American Affairs Office is to assist Indian tribes in developing and managing water resources in accordance with their desires and Reclamation's stated trust responsibilities.

The principal objective of this region's Native American Affairs Office is to help tribes benefit from Reclamation programs.  Overall goals and responsibilities in this region include:

  • Providing contact and liaison with all Indian tribes involved in regional programs and ensuring that funding and assistance requests are properly focused and considered.
  • Functioning as the principal contact for Indian tribes and ensuring coordination of their programs with Regional and Area Offices.
  • Participating on Federal Indian Water Rights Settlements negotiation and implementation teams. The region's Native American Affairs Office 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, coordinating technical assistance from Reclamation as needed, and representing the region.
  • Preparing periodic briefings on the status of settlement negotiations for the Commissioner, Assistant Secretary for Water and Science, and the Working Group on Indian Water Rights.
  • Providing contact and liaison with Washington and Denver Offices for technical functions and activities affecting the Native American Affairs Program.
  • Providing the Program Manager, Native American and International Affairs Office, with necessary special study capability.
  • Serving as the Native American Affairs Program representative at meetings and conferences to provide status reports on specific projects and issues.
  • Serving as the Indian Trust Coordinator for the region to ensure that Indian trust assets in the areas of regional activities are identified and impacts avoided or mitigated.
  • Sponsoring cultural awareness workshops for Reclamation staff to enhance cultural sensitivity.
  • Sponsoring outreach programs, such as technical assistance and training workshops for the Native American Affairs Program.

Contact Information
Name, Title Office Telephone Number Email
Ernie Rheaume
Regional Native American Affairs Program Manager
Regional Office
125 State Street
Salt Lake City UT  84138
(970) 317-1487
Brett Griffin
Native American Affairs Coordinator
Western Colorado Area Office
185 Suttle Street, Suite #2
Durango CO  81303
(970) 385-6531
Justin Record
Supervisory Engineer
Provo Area Office
302 East Lakeview Parkway
Provo UT  84606
(801) 379-1072
Becky Begay
Navajo Outreach Coordinator
Four Corners Construction Office
1235 La Plata Highway
Farmington NM  87413
(505) 324-5044
Tracey Heller
Native American Affairs Coordinator
Albuquerque Area Office
555 Broadway Blvd NE, Suite #100
Albuquerque NM  87102-2352
(505) 462-3657
Tribes in the Region (Adobe PDF)
Last Updated: 2/7/21