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Tribal Consultation

V: Toolbox, Key Points and Checklist

The most successful tribal consultations apply the 3 principles and engage in specific activities.

A figure wears a hard hat and tool belt while holding a wrench in his hand. 1 - Communication

  • Presentations
  • Data Collection
  • Standards and Handbooks
  • Newsletters and Bulletins
  • Mailings and Response Forms
  • Tribal Monitor
  • Training

2 - Coordination

  • Meetings, Summits and Workshops
  • Tribal Consortiums
  • Tribal Liaisons and Coordinators
  • Formal Agreements
  • Regional and State Conferences

3 - Cooperation

  • Planning Organizations
  • Regional Transit Districts and Coalitions
  • Resource Sharing


  • Tribal sovereignty is the basis and reason for tribal consultation.
  • Federal recognition of sovereignty and the obligation to work with tribes on a government-to-government basis is reserved only for federally recognized tribes.
  • FHWA is the lead Federal agency responsible for tribal consultation on transportation projects funded with Federal-aid dollars.
  • Federal, State and regional governments must notify and consult with tribal governments if transportation projects they are undertaking impact tribal lands or properties.
  • The Federal consultation process takes precedence over State and regional processes.State and regional government-to-government consultation activity however is increasing.
  Date Done
Make a copy of the Federal guiding principles from the 1994: Presidential Memorandum: Government-to-Government Relations with Native American Tribal Governments. Keep them handy. They will inform your consultation work.  
Contact the FHWA Division Office in the State or States where the tribe’s resources are located.Request information on how FHWA conducts tribal consultation in the State. Keep this for future reference.
  • Ask if any of your tribe’s properties are listed or eligible for listing in the National Registry of Historic Places. Request a copy of these records. If there are errors, inform your tribe’s leadership so that the records are current and correct.
Contact the State DOT in the State or States where the tribe’s resources are located. How does the State conduct tribal consultations? What is the tribe’s role in the process? Keep this handy as it will assist your consultation work!  
Contact the Metropolitan Planning Organization in your area.How does it conduct Regional-Tribal consultation? Request copies of policies and procedures.Inquire on the role of the tribe. Keep this handy as it will inform your future consultation work!  
When looking to build a relationship with another government, talk to people at the top of the organization. Talking to staff is good, but collaboration at higher levels in the organization makes the relationship really work.  

You have successfully completed the Tribal Consultation training module!

Updated: 6/8/2015
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