Tribal consultation : selected readings and resources
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Tribal consultation : selected readings and resources

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      American Indian and Alaska Native tribes are sovereign nations that maintain a government-to- government relationship with the United States. There are currently 567 federally recognized tribes throughout the contiguous United States and Alaska. In addition to exercising political sovereignty, tribes exercise cultural sovereignty through traditions and religious practices unique to each tribe’s history and culture. Cultural sovereignty “encompasses the spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical aspects” of Native people’s lives and is a foundation to tribal exercise of political sovereignty. Tribes have inherent authority as sovereign nations to protect the public health and welfare of their citizens, using methods most relevant for their communities. The United States maintains a moral and legal trust responsibility toward tribes. This trust responsibility includes a “fiduciary obligation . . . to protect tribal treaty rights, lands, assets, and resources, as well as a duty to carry out the mandates of federal Indian law.” One major component of the trust responsibility is tribal consultation, which has been supported by both treaties and federal law. Consultation refers to formal process in which government agencies, “prior to taking actions that affect federally recognized tribal governments,” consult with tribes to ensure that “all interested parties may evaluate for themselves the potential impact of relevant proposals.” In 1994, President Bill Clinton issued a memorandum to the heads of executive departments, requiring executive departments and agencies to consult with tribes. The principle of tribal consultation was reaffirmed by President Clinton through Executive Orders 13084 and 13175. In 2009, President Barack Obama issued a memorandum requiring each executive department and agency to develop a tribal consultation plan to assist in the implementation of tribal consultation. Some federal laws, such as the Native American Graves Repatriation Act, also mandate consultation with tribes in certain instances. In addition to federal government consultation, some states mandate tribal consultation, under certain circumstances, through agreements and through state law and policy. The following readings and resources describe and offer commentary on tribal consultation. These resources were collected between October and December 2015, using online databases. tribalconsultation-resources.pdf
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