Tribal Consultation

Tribal members listen to alternativesElected Tribal Governments have an important voice in the NEPA process. Both the State of Alaska and the United States governments have adopted Administrative Orders that recognize the role of tribal governments in the NEPA process. Specifically, both the State of Alaska and the United States governments will sit down with your tribal governments to discuss issues or concerns that your tribe may have about the proposed development. The goal of these discussions, or tribal consultations, is to resolve issues raised by the tribe by working to propose reasonable modifications to the proposed project that will work for the all concerned.

Some federal agencies will initiate tribal consultation with a letter to your tribal leader asking if he or she wishes to conduct a tribal consultation. It is important that the tribe respond to this correspondence if you wish to meet. Some agencies consider a lack of response from the tribe to the initial letter of invitation as a lack of interest in tribal consultation; in some communities the tribes rely on the local City Council to represent the local public interest. If this is not necessarily the case in your community, be sure to respond to correspondence from the regulatory agencies and schedule a tribal consultation to begin this important communication process.