[Federal Register: May 23, 2007 (Volume 72, Number 99)]
[Notices]               
[Page 28952-28953]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr23my07-42]                         

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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.

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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-
to-count populations.

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: dee.a.alexander@census.gov.

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.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    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 
policy statement.
    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 
difficult-to-count populations.

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

I. Introduction

    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-

[[Page 28953]]

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 
tribal governments.
    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.

II. Definitions

    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 
reserved rights.

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 
populations.
    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 
AIAN areas.
    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 
governments.
    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