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Tribal emergency preparedness law
  • Published Date:
    March 2, 2017
  • Language:
Filetype[PDF-335.47 KB]

  • Corporate Authors:
    Public Health Law Program (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (U.S.)) ; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (U.S.). Office for State, Tribal, Local and Territorial Support. ;
  • Description:
    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.3 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.4

    As sovereign nations, tribes have inherent authority to protect the public health and welfare of their citizens.5 Thus, in the context of emergency preparedness, tribes have the authority to engage in preparedness and response activities using methods most appropriate for their communities.6

    This issue brief introduces tribal emergency preparedness law. First, it outlines tribal emergency preparedness authorities and gives examples of these authorities across tribal law. Next, it discusses federal Indian law and the principles governing the relationships among tribes, states, and the federal government in the context of emergency preparedness. The brief concludes by discussing cross-jurisdictional coordination between tribes and other jurisdictions


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