Indianz.Com Video: Tribal consultation and strengthening nation-to-nation relationships
Comments due on Department of Defense tribal consultation policy
Monday, March 8, 2021
Indianz.Com

Written comments are due on the tribal consultation policy at the Department of Defense.

Comments must be submitted by the end of Monday. They can be sent via email to DoD_NativeAffairs@keresnm.com.

“The Department continually strives to ensure we are good stewards and partners with Tribal Nations to preserve vital natural and cultural resources,” Richard G Kidd IV, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Environment and Energy Resilience, wrote in a Dear Tribal Leader letter on February 8. “I welcome your input in preparing a vigorous plan of actions that will ensure we meet the challenges and opportunities of the future.”

“I also look forward to working with Tribal Nations and to continually foster strong nation-to-nation relationships,” Kidd wrote.

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Topics of discussion outlined in the letter include ways the Department of Defense can:

• Enhance its consultation efforts

• Identify procedures to ensure that consultation is regular, meaningful, and robust

• Build awareness among Tribal Leaders of DoD policies on consultation

• Improve Department of Defense Instruction 4710.02: DoD Interactions With Federally Recognized Tribes (available at www.denix.osd.mil/na)

• Enhance the capacity of military installation leaders and staff to engage effectively with tribes and foster stronger nation-to-nation relationships

• Protect Tribal lands, rights, and resources from impacts related to the ongoing operations of military installations and training activities

• Measure the progress of its ongoing efforts to consult and coordinate with Tribes

• Promote the success of DoD-Tribal partnerships and collaborative efforts

• Address legacy pollution of Tribal lands due to past DoD activity

• Recognize the service and sacrifice of Native American veterans

• Communicate with Tribes and Tribal-owned businesses about opportunities to work with the Department

In a bulletin, Indian law practitioners at the Holland & Knight firm suggest submitting comments on the awarding of government contracts through what is known as the 8(a) program.

The firm encourages tribes, Alaska Native corporations and Native Hawaiian organizations to “weigh in with substantial feedback on how DoD can increase 8(a) and other government contracting opportunities, identify and remove barriers that hinder collaboration with DoD, and establish new and creative partnerships to spur economic development in Native American, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian communities.”

On January 26, President Joe Biden signed a memorandum on tribal consultation and strengthening nation-to-nation relationships. He directed all federal agencies to detail how they will implement executive order 13175, which was originally issued in 2000.

“Today, I’m directing the federal agency to reinvigorate the consultation process with Indian tribes,” Biden said in the State Dining Room at the White House.

“Respect for tribal sovereignty will be a cornerstone of our engaging with Native American communities,” Biden said before signing the memo.

lummihealingpolepentagon
Two healing poles created by carvers from the Lummi Nation are blessed during a ceremony at the Pentagon, headquarters of the Department of defense, on September 19, 2004. Photo by Indianz.Com (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0)

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