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Tribal-Federal Collaborations


Tribal Consultation Policies

2009 Presidential Memorandum on Tribal Consultation

In a recent memorandum, President Obama declared his commitment to fulfilling the consultation requirements of Executive Order 13175, a directive originally issued by President Clinton on November 6, 2000. Executive Order 13175 calls for regular, meaningful consultation and collaboration with Tribal officials in the development of Federal policy. President Obama supports implementation of this policy and has called on federal agencies to submit their detailed plans for implementation within 90 days from the issuance of his memorandum.

 The National Congress of American Indians has a very helpful listing of Consultation Policies by agency


Collaborations by Agency

Office of Tribal Justice

The Office of Tribal Justice (OTJ) was established to provide a single point of contact within the Justice Department for meeting the broad and complex federal responsibilities owed to Indian tribes. The Office facilitates coordination between Departmental components working on Indian issues, and provides a permanent channel of communication for Indian tribal governments with the Department of Justice. OTJ represents the Department in its dealing with Indian tribes, federal agencies, Congress, state and local governments, professional associations, and public interest groups. Because Indian issues cut across so many entities within the Executive Branch, OTJ, in cooperation with the Bureau of Indian Affairs, serves to unify the federal response.

Tracy Toulou, Director
Office of Tribal Justice
(202) 514-8812


Bureau of Indian Affairs

Programs administered through the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) include social services, natural resources management on trust lands representing 55 million surface acres and 57 million acres of subsurface minerals estates, economic development programs in some of the most isolated and economically depressed areas of the United States, law enforcement and detention services, administration of tribal courts, implementation of land and water claim settlements, housing improvement, disaster relief, replacement and repair of schools, repair and maintenance of roads and bridges, and the repair of structural deficiencies on high hazard dams, the BIA operates a series irrigation systems and provides electricity to a rural parts of Arizona.

Of note:  Kevin Gover's Apology (in his role at the time as Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs Department of the Interior) to Native Americans for the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) at the ceremony acknowledging the 175th anniversary of the establishment of the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) on September 8, 2000. (Text of Speech)

Larry Echo Hawk, Assistant Secretary, Indian Affairs
Indian Affairs
1849 C Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20240
Telephone: (202) 208-7163
Fax: (202) 208-5320


Bureau of Justice Assistance

The Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) is committed to preventing and controlling crime, violence, and substance abuse and improving the functioning of criminal justice systems in American Indian and Alaska Native communities. BJA works with tribes providing leadership, good management, and quality services in grant administration and policy development, and coordinates with other U.S. Department of Justice components and other agencies and organizations to ensure that limited federal funds are used to achieve the maximum possible benefit.

Bureau of Prisons

The Tribal Law and Order Act created a pilot program that authorizes the Bureau of Prisons (Bureau or BOP) to house (for a period of four years) a limited number of certain offenders sentenced in Tribal Courts. The pilot program allows any federally recognized tribe to request that the Bureau incarcerate a tribe member convicted under the terms of section 234 of the Act. By statute, the Bureau will began to accept referrals on November 26, 2010, and the pilot will conclude on November 26, 2014.

Civil Rights Division

The Civil Rights Division Indian Working Group (IWG) is a part of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division and is comprised of members from throughout the Civil Rights Division. The mission and purpose of the IWG is to assist the Civil Rights Division in its law enforcement duties and responsibilities toward Native Americans. The IWG works to identify issues that affect Native Americans and to refer, coordinate, support and monitor enforcement and outreach activities involving Native Americans. The IWG has entered into an MOU with the Navajo Nation

Environmental Protection Agency

The EPA Tribal Portal was created as a gateway to EPA environmental information specifically related to tribal governments, such as environmental policies, practices and laws. The American Indian Environmental Office leads EPA's efforts to protect human health and the environment of federally recognized Tribes by supporting implementation of federal environmental laws consistent with the federal trust responsibility, the government-to-government relationship, and EPA's 1984 Indian Policy.

Federal Bureau of Investigations

Located within the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division, the Indian Country Crimes Unit (ICCU) is responsible for developing and implementing strategies, programs, and policies to address identified crime problems in Indian Country (IC) for which the FBI has responsibility.


Office of Justice Programs

American Indian & Alaska Native Affairs.  The Department created the Coordinated Tribal Assistance Solicitation (CTAS) to respond to Tribal leaders' requests to improve the grant-making process, and to strengthen tribal capacity for strategic community-based justice system planning. For more information, please follow the link to the Tribal Justice and Safety website.

Eugenia Tyner-Dawson, Senior Advisor for Tribal Affairs & Executive Director

Justice Programs Council on Native American Affairs
Telephone:  (202) 353-3442


Office for Victms of Crime

The Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) helps victims in Indian Country by providing much-needed resources, improving and increasing services, identifying promising practices, and adapting and replicating successful programs in tribal communities throughout the Nation. In addition, OVC collaborates with other federal agencies to fund demonstration programs that help tribes and tribal organizations serve victims more efficiently.


Office on Violence Against Women

The Justice Department’s Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) has awarded four tribes in Nebraska, New Mexico, Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota cooperative agreements to cross-designate tribal prosecutors to pursue violence against women cases in both tribal and federal courts. The Tribal SAUSA Pilot Project was largely driven by input gathered from the Justice Department’s 2009 Tribal Nation Listening Session on Public Safety and Law Enforcement, and its annual tribal consultation on violence against women. The Tribal SAUSA initiative is another step in the Justice Department’s on-going efforts to increase engagement, coordination and action on public safety in tribal communities, and represents a partnership between OVW, the Executive Office of US Attorney’s and the US Attorney’s Offices in Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota and South Dakota.

The recipients of these awards are:

  • Pueblo of Laguna in New Mexico
  • Fort Belknap Tribe in Montana
  • Winnebago Tribe in Nebraska
  • Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, in North Dakota and South Dakota


Resources for Tribal-Federal Collaborations

The U.S. Departments of Justice (DOJ) and Interior (DOI) has released the congressionally-mandated Long Term Plan to Build and Enhance Tribal Justice Systems (Tribal Justice Plan), which responds to sections 211, 241, and 244 of the Tribal Law and Order Act.Long Term Plan to Build and Enhance Tribal Justice Systems

The National Congress of American Indians hosts a Tribal Law and Order Act page:

The American Indian Development Associates has developed a guide for consultation with American Indian Tribes:

Improving the Relationship between the Federal Government, State Government and Tribes

A Federal  Committment to Tribal Justice Systems by Janet Reno:



Helpful Links

Tribal Participation in Fusion Centers:

Law Enforcement Online:

Office for Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering and Tracking (SMART):

Native American Affairs Advisory Council, within the Administration for Children and Families:

The Office of the United States Attorneys has an Indian country specific page: