[Federal Register: May 23, 2007 (Volume 72, Number 99)]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE
Bureau of the Census
[Docket Number: 070404074-7075-01]
American Indian and Alaska Native Policy Statement
AGENCY: Bureau of the Census, Department of Commerce.
ACTION: Notice and request for comments.
SUMMARY: In preparation for the 2010 Census, the Bureau of the Census
(Census Bureau) has drafted an American Indian and Alaska Native (AIAN)
policy statement and is requesting public comment on it. This proposed
policy outlines the principles to be followed in all Census Bureau
interactions with federally-recognized American Indian and Alaska
Native tribal governments. The policy reaffirms the unique government-
to-government relationship that exists between American Indian and
Alaska Native tribal governments and the Census Bureau and is
consistent with the AIAN policy statement adopted by the Department of
Commerce (DOC) on March 30, 1995. The Census Bureau believes that the
adoption of the proposed AIAN policy would satisfy a long-standing
request from AIAN populations and would encourage and facilitate
greater cooperation from these populations during decennial censuses
and help us to better communicate with and enumerate these difficult-
DATES: Written comments must be submitted on or before July 23, 2007.
ADDRESSES: Direct all written comments to Dee Alexander, Program
Analyst, Decennial Management Division, Outreach and Promotions Branch,
U.S. Census Bureau, Room 3H166, 4600 Silver Hill Road, Stop 7100,
Washington, DC 20233-7100. Written comments may also be submitted via
fax at (301) 763-8327, or e-mail to: email@example.com.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Requests for additional information or
copies of the proposed policy should be directed to Dee Alexander,
Program Analyst, Decennial Management Division, Outreach and Promotions
Branch, U.S. Census Bureau, Room 3H166, 4600 Silver Hill Road, Stop
7100, Washington, DC 20233-7100, telephone (301) 763-9335.
The government-to-government relations with Native American tribal
governments policy (adopted by previous administrations) was reaffirmed
by President George W. Bush in a White House Memorandum dated September
23, 2004. Among other things, this memorandum directs the heads of
executive agencies to continue to ensure that, to the greatest extent
practicable and permitted by U.S. law, the agency's working
relationship with federally-recognized tribal governments fully respect
the rights of self-government and self-determination due tribal
governments. Pursuant to an earlier White House Memorandum of April 29,
1994, DOC adopted an AIAN policy statement on March 30, 1995. The
Census Bureau proposes to adopt an AIAN policy statement that is
consistent with the previously cited Presidential Memoranda and the DOC
The proposed policy statement is intended only for internal
management purposes and does not create any right, benefit, or trust
responsibility enforceable against the United States, its agencies,
entities, or instrumentalities, its officers or employees, or any other
person. The Census Bureau believes that the proposed policy statement
will contribute to the accuracy of the 2010 decennial census by
improving communications and encouraging greater cooperation with
Request for Comments
Comments are invited on: (a) The policy's nine principles that
provide guidance to the agency and its employees when communicating
with federally recognized tribes on a government-to-government basis in
recognition of their sovereignty; (b) the policy as it relates to
protected tribal resources, tribal rights, and Indian lands.
Executive Order 12866
This notice has been determined to be not significant under
Executive Order 12866.
May 17, 2007.
Charles Louis Kincannon,
Director, Bureau of the Census.
Proposed American Indian and Alaska Native Policy Statement for the
U.S. Census Bureau
The Census Bureau hereby proclaims its American Indian and Alaska
Native policy. This policy outlines the principles to be followed in
all Census Bureau interactions with federally recognized AIAN tribal
governments. It reaffirms the unique government-to-
government relationship that exists between AIAN tribal governments and
the Census Bureau.
This relationship is based on the U.S. Constitution, federal
treaties, policy, law, court decisions, and the ongoing political
relationship among tribes and the federal government. The relationship
results in a federal trust responsibility to federally-recognized
The foundation for this policy statement is the White House
Memorandum of September 23, 2004, ``Government-to-Government Relations
with Native American Tribal Governments'' and the AIAN policy of the
DOC of March 30, 1995. This policy is for internal management only and
does not grant or vest any right to any party in respect to any federal
action, not otherwise granted or vested by existing law or regulations.
Federally recognized Indian Tribe: Any AIAN, Band, Nation, Pueblo,
or other organized group or community, including any Alaska Native
village, as defined or established pursuant to the Alaska Native Claims
Settlement Act (Title 43, United States Code (U.S.C.), Chapter 33,
Section 1601 et seq.), acknowledged by the federal government to
constitute a tribe with a government-to-government relationship with
the United States and eligible for the programs, services, and other
relationships established by the United States for indigenous people
because of their status as American Indian and Alaska Native tribes,
Bands, Nations, Pueblos, or communities.
American Indian or Alaska Native Tribal Government: The recognized
government of an Indian tribe and any affiliated or component band
government of such tribe that has been determined eligible for specific
services by Congress or officially recognized by the U.S. Department of
the Interior in a Notice (``Indian Entities Recognized and Eligible to
Receive Services from the United States Bureau of Indian Affairs'')
published in the Federal Register on November 25, 2005 (70 FR 71194).
Trust Responsibility: Includes, but is not limited to: promotion
and protection of tribal treaty rights, federally-recognized reserved
rights, and other federally recognized interests of the beneficiary
American Indian and Alaska Native governments; determining,
documenting, notifying, and interacting with tribal governments with
regard to the impact of Census Bureau programs, policies and
regulations to protect American Indian and Alaska Native traditional
and cultural life ways, treaty, and other federally recognized and
III. Policy Principles
The following policy statements provide general guidelines to
Census Bureau employees for actions dealing with AIAN governments.
1. The Census Bureau recognizes the unique government-to-government
relationship between the United States and federally recognized AIAN
tribal governments, as affirmed by the September 23, 2004, White House
Memorandum for the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies, and the
American Indian and Alaska Native Policy of the DOC.
2. The Census Bureau recognizes each tribal government as a
functioning governing body that the Census Bureau will work with to
count and collect data as accurately as possible, of all residents
living in AIAN areas.
3. The Census Bureau recognizes and invites tribal governments'
involvement in the Census Bureau planning process for censuses and
surveys toward ensuring the most accurate counts and data for the AIAN
4. The Census Bureau's procedures for outreach, notice, and
consultation will ensure involvement of AIAN tribal governments, to the
extent practicable and permitted by law, before making decisions or
implementing policies, rules, or programs that affect federally
recognized tribal governments.
5. The Census Bureau will continue its partnerships with tribal
governments to enhance awareness of all censuses, surveys, and
geography programs--particularly those including residents living in
6. The Census Bureau recognizes that there are distinct cultural
practices, religious beliefs, traditions, climate conditions, as well
as a tribe's authority over its land areas that must be considered and
abided by when conducting any censuses or survey in AIAN areas.
7. The Census Bureau recognizes the importance of effective and
efficient coordination with other federal agencies in the planning
process of any censuses or surveys that will include AIAN tribal
8. The Census Bureau acknowledges its responsibility to provide
accurate demographic and economic data on AIAN populations and their
businesses. The Census Bureau will work with tribal governments and
other partners to encourage the participation of every resident.
9. The Census Bureau will consult with AIAN tribal governments
before making decisions or implementing programs that may affect tribes
to ensure that tribal rights and concerns are addressed. Consultation
will provide, but is not limited to, mutually agreed upon protocols for
timely communication, coordination, cooperation, and collaboration.
Therefore, the Director of the Census Bureau hereby directs all
directorates and their components (divisions, branches, and offices) to
implement this policy by incorporating all of the above principles in
their interactions with federally recognized AIAN tribal governments.
[FR Doc. E7-9893 Filed 5-22-07; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-07-P