This is President Barack Obama’s last White House Tribal Nations Conference. These meetings have really raised the level of discourse between tribal governments and the federal government. It seems to me this is how government-to-government should have worked all along.
That said: It will be impossible for the White House to be successful unless it comes up with a framework to solve the issues issues raised at Standing Rock (and reading below, it seems someone gets that.)
THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
EMBARGOED UNTIL MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 26, 2016 AT 12:01. AM
FACT SHEET: The 8th Annual White House Tribal Nations Conference
Today, the White House will host the 8th Annual White House Tribal Nations Conference, bringing together leaders from federally recognized tribes to Washington, DC. The President and members of his Cabinet will discuss a range of issues important to tribal leaders, with an emphasis on ways the federal government can continue to strengthen the nation-to-nation relationship and ensure that progress in Indian Country endures for years to come.
The Tribal Nations Conference delivers on a promise the President made during a visit to the Crow Nation in Montana in May 2008, where he pledged to host an annual summit with tribal leaders to ensure that tribal nations have a seat at the table when facing important decisions about their communities. This year’s Conference – the President’s eighth and final of his Presidency – marks the historic progress his Administration has made to strengthen the nation-to-nation relationship and build a more prosperous and resilient Indian Country.
In addition to today’s Conference, the second annual White House Tribal Youth Gathering will be held on September 27, 2016 as part of the Generation Indigenous (Gen-I) initiative. The gathering will bring together approximately 100 Native youth leaders who will participate alongside tribal leaders and senior federal leaders in breakout sessions, panels, and youth-specific programming. Since the President launched Gen-I in 2014, thousands of American Indian and Alaska Native Youth have mobilized to address the most pressing needs facing their communities. Through youth engagement and strategic investments and policies, Gen-I has helped cultivate a new generation of tribal leaders and improve the lives of Native youth.
In recognizing that despite the incredible work completed in Indian Country over the past eight years, challenges still persist for Native Americans, today’s Tribal Nations Conference will bring together tribal leaders and agency officials to identify key issues to address during the next chapter of the nation-to-nation relationship. These conversations will serve as a platform for tribal leaders to develop relationships with the federal government that will serve them in the coming weeks, months, and years. Today, the Administration is pleased to share highlights of the progress made in 2016 and announce new steps forward:
AN ALL-OF-GOVERNMENT APPROACH TO SERVING INDIAN COUNTRY
Public Safety and Justice Subgroup of WHCNAA. The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Department of the Interior (DOI) will co-chair the Public Safety & Justice Subgroup (Subgroup) of the WHCNAA. The Departments formed the Subgroup at the September 6, 2016 WHCNAA principals meeting in response to the needs expressed by tribal leaders for the WHCNAA to concentrate on the unique legal and public safety concerns facing Indian Country such as jurisdictional matters, violence in Indian Country, infrastructure, training and capacity for tribal police and judicial systems, and more. The Subgroup will coordinate with other agencies to address public safety issues from an inter-agency perspective, and will ensure input from tribal representatives.
Interagency Trauma Initiative of the WHCNAA Health Subgroup. The federal government plays an important partnership role with tribal nations in improving the health and well-being of American Indian and Alaska Native communities. An area where this partnership is vital is in addressing traumatic events, some which may have been experienced historically and intergenerationally. The effects of trauma can be long-term and have effects on individuals, families, and communities. A few of the symptoms and effects are psychological distress, poor overall physical and mental health, and unmet medical and psychological needs.
These health impacts can be significant for American Indians and Alaska Natives who may also face disparities related to socioeconomic status, education, employment, access to services, the physical environment, food security, and physical activity, among others. To strengthen efforts focused on improving the well-being of tribal communities, the Health Subgroup is working to improve awareness on the impacts of trauma among executives, senior leaders, and employees; initiating collaborations across programs; and building the capacity for supporting trauma-informed services and practices.
Reinforcing the National Historic Preservation Act and Self Determination. The National Historic Preservation Act includes a provision for the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) to enter into agreements with Indian tribes to substitute a tribe’s historic preservation regulations for the ACHP’s regulations, commonly called the Section 106 process. Under such an arrangement, an Indian tribe has the ability to determine how federal agencies meet the requirements of Section 106 for projects on its lands. In March 2016, the ACHP entered into a substitution agreement with the Seminole Tribe of Florida whereby the tribe will carry out all historic preservation work on its tribal lands, a full expression of its sovereignty and self-determination. The agreement with the Seminole Tribe is only the second agreement the ACHP has entered into. The first was with the Narragansett Tribe in 2000. To both encourage other Indian tribes to consider such arrangements and to help them navigate the decision making process, the ACHP, in consultation with Indian tribes, will issue formal guidance in 2017.
The United States, Canada, and Mexico Commit to Improve Coordination on Violence Against Indigenous Women and Girls. On June 29, 2016 President Obama traveled to Ottawa, Canada for the North American Leaders’ Summit, where he met with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada and President Enrique Peña Nieto of Mexico. The three presidents made a tri-lateral commitment to address the scourge of violence against indigenous women and girls that exists across North America. The commitment encompasses knowledge-sharing on best practices to prevent and respond the needs of indigenous women and girls, including enhancing cooperation between the three nations, improving judicial and social service provision, and strengthening the capacity of government health services to provide culturally sensitive services to all indigenous recipients.
PROVIDING OPPORTUNITIES FOR NATIVE YOUTH
Gathering Gen-I Native Youth. On September 27, the Administration will host the second annual Tribal Youth Gathering. Tomorrow’s gathering builds upon a series of six events hosted by the White House, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), which engaged over 500 youth in providing an understanding of the Generation Indigenous (Gen-I) Native Youth Challenge and providing participating youth the opportunity to share their perspectives on topics including health and wellness, community, education, culture, and leadership with the federal government. These events also included activities to promote youth leadership, skill building, and education all in an effort to provide participating youth with the tools to reach their full potential.
Measuring the Success of our Native Youth Programming. As a part of the Generation Indigenous (Gen-I) initiative, the WHCNAA and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) are working with federal agencies to establish metrics and collect data about challenges and disparities faced by Native youth. These metrics will be used to help track the effectiveness of federal efforts to close opportunity gaps, and will help identify where we are making progress, where we are falling short, and progress that can be made when the federal agencies take a coordinated approach in addressing issues that affect Native youth.
Enhancing Support for Consistent Climate Change Education for Native Youth. In 2015 and 2016, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), the National Park Service (NPS), and other partners hosted the first two Tribal Youth Climate Leadership Congress (Congress) to promote youth engagement and positive community action for climate resilience for 89 native youth. The Congress is supported partly through the BIA’s Tribal Climate Resilience Program to support Tribal youth working on climate change research. Additionally, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is continuing its Tribal Eco-Ambassador Program, which partners with federal scientists and tribal college and university students to address environmental problems, many of which are related to the impact of climate change.
Supporting Education and Community Development through Tribal Colleges and Universities. In 2016, USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture invested $13.9 million in 34 Tribal Land Grant Institutions. The new awards support institutional research, education, and extension outreach capacity through projects that address student educational needs, provide positive tribal youth development experiences, and help to solve other locally identified tribal community, reservation, and regional development issues
Engaging Native Youth. In 2015, the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) adopted the Native Youth Strategic Plan. In 2016, the agency sought input from tribal leaders and historic preservation staff on their priorities and how best to reach out to Native youth. Based on stakeholder input, the ACHP has produced an information packet about historic preservation geared for both Native youth and adults. The information is intended to introduce Native youth to historic preservation, both in general and as a potential career path. A report will also be issued and will include recommendations based on input from Native youth, tribal leaders, and tribal preservation professionals. It will be available at http://www.achp.gov/nap in the summer of 2017.
Increasing Support for Locally-Tailored Education Interventions. The Department of Education recently announced that it will make $17.4 million in new awards for the Native Youth Community Projects (NYCP) grants in FY 2016, which is triple the $5.3 million that was provided in FY 2015. NYCP supports preschool through college-level projects that help American Indian and Alaska Native youth prepare for college and careers. President Obama’s FY 2017 budget request expands NYCP funding to $53 million. Technical assistance has been provided and will support these and the State-Tribal Education Programs STEP programs from pre-application through the implementation of their grants.
Investing in the Future of Youth in Indian Country. In FY 2016, the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), a federal agency that administers AmeriCorps, will invest a record $3.5 million in tribally sponsored AmeriCorps programming and $1.25 million in education scholarships. The majority of the scholarship recipients are from Indian Country – who in exchange for their service will receive the scholarship to help pay for college or to repay student loans. AmeriCorps members will tutor and mentor youth, teach nutrition and physical activity, preserve language and cultural heritage, protect the environment, connect veterans and their families to job opportunities, prepare for disasters, and tackle substance abuse issues.
Training Community Changemakers. In September 2016, 120 Native Youth Ambassadors, ages 14-17, will participate in the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) National Native Youth Summit in Washington, DC, with the goal of developing the next generation of Native community leaders. Youth will explore what community means and the impact homes have on personal health, education, energy conservation, and finances. The youth will design a Local Empowerment Project, such as community beautification, community-based gardens, clean-up programs, mapping sacred spaces, distributing information about energy efficiency in the home, or creating a community youth health club to implement upon their return home.
Promoting Economic and Social Development through Career Technical Education Pathways. The Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) Sherman Indian High School accepted a generous donation from the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians to continue a Career Technical Education Pathways Program that supports students attending the school. The funds support five distinct career technical education clusters. Students learn skills to work in agriculture, construction, health care, culinary arts, hospitality, tourism, and other careers. The program allows students at the boarding school to gain skills in industries promoting economic and social development for American Indian and Alaska Native communities.
“Culture & Meth Don’t Mix” Initiative. DOI’s Office of the Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs in collaboration with BIA’s Office of Justice Services (OJS), BIE, and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), has created a program called “Culture and Meth Don’t Mix” to provide a culturally appropriate approach for meth prevention among Native American youth through community and inter-agency involvement. The program includes a speaker series that will take place in BIE schools. The speakers will consist of speakers from OJS, a health professional recommended by SAMHSA, and one person from the community. There will be a different theme each month educating youth about the dangers of meth, focusing on the fact that Native culture does not have a place for meth use.
Employment Opportunities for Tribal Youth through Conservation Corps. In 2016, the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council began funding Tribal Youth Conservation Corps focused on coastal cleanup, restoration and community construction projects. Part of the Obama Administration’s 21st Century Conservation Service Corps, the Tribal Youth Conservation Corps invests in the next generation of tribal leaders by providing job training skills to enhance these young people’s ability to engage in the long-term Gulf restoration effort to help families, bolster local economies, and lead to a more resilient coast. $500,000 was specifically set aside to engage tribal youth in the region in these opportunities.
STRENGTHENING TRIBAL SOVEREIGNTY
United States to Assume Concurrent Criminal Jurisdiction. In January 2016, DOJ granted a request by the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe for the United States to assume concurrent criminal jurisdiction on the tribe’s reservation in central Minnesota. The decision was the second assumption of jurisdiction granted by the Department of Justice under the landmark Tribal Law and Order Act of 2010, which gave the Department discretion to accept concurrent federal jurisdiction to prosecute violations of the General Crimes Act and the Major Crimes Act within areas of Indian country that are also subject to state criminal jurisdiction under Public Law 280. The decision regarding the Mille Lacs Band will take effect on January 1, 2017
Indian Country Criminal Investigator Training Program. The Indian Country Criminal Investigator Training Program is a joint training collaboration between FBI and BIA-OJS, hosted at FLETC-West in Artesia, New Mexico. The Indian Police Academy staff and the FBI Indian Country Crimes Unit developed a course focused on preparing to work on various crimes on Indian reservations. It includes expert instruction from a forensic pediatrician, a pathologist, and experts on investigations of child abuse and violent crimes under the Major Crimes Act. Students also receive 24 hours of forensic evidence collection; the course concludes with a practical exercise where students process a crime scene and determine investigative steps. The course will be run twice yearly and each session will have up to 24 students.
Tribal Re-entry. On April 29, 2016, President Obama issued a Presidential Memorandum appointing the Federal Interagency Reentry Council, a Cabinet-level working group comprised of more than 20 member agencies, to coordinate and leverage existing federal reentry resources; dispel myths and clarify policies related to reentry; elevate reentry programs and effective policies; and reduce policy barriers to successful reentry. As a part of the broader effort, the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) has developed resources on Tribal Reentry including: BJA Tribal Reentry Fact Sheet; National Reentry Resource Center’s Tribal Affairs Page; American Probation and Parole Association website; and Strategies for Creating Offender Reentry Programs in Indian Country
Consolidating Tribal Lands. Authorized by the Cobell Settlement in 2009, which provided $1.9 billion to purchase fractional interests at fair market value within 10 years, DOI’s Land Buy-Back Program has paid more than $850 million to individual landowners and restored the equivalent of approximately 1.6 million acres of land for tribes. The program has announced the next 105 locations, which includes more than 96 percent of landowners with fractional interests and more than 98 percent of both fractional interests and equivalent acres in program-eligible area.
Supporting Federally-Recognized Tribal Governments to Request a Presidential Emergency or Major Disaster Declaration. The Sandy Recovery Improvement Act of 2013 (SRIA) amended the Stafford Act to provide tribal governments the option to request a Presidential emergency or major disaster declaration. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is working to finalize the Tribal Declarations Pilot Guidance, which describes the process for tribal governments to request Stafford Act declarations and associated disaster assistance while the Agency prepares for and conducts a notice and rulemaking process to implement this provision of SRIA through regulations. FEMA’s 90-day consultation period on the second draft of the Tribal Declarations Pilot Guidance received nearly 800 comments from over 500 tribal officials, representing 178 federally-recognized tribal governments. FEMA aims to publish the guidance this fall to begin the pilot period.
Implementing the Forest Service Trust Responsibility. National Forests and Grasslands often hold a historic connection to America’s first stewards, and USDA is working to align its procedures with this unique relationship. In 2016, the USDA Forest Service published the final Tribal Relations Directives, which provide more consistency and efficacy in consultations with Tribal Nations and helps Forest Service employees understand the requirements, complexities and opportunities of tribal relations. The Directives describe the Forest Service’s responsibility to implement programs and activities consistent with, and respecting, Indian treaty rights and fulfilling the federal government’s trust responsibility with Indian tribes
Strengthening Sovereignty. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx appointed the first-ever Deputy Assistant Secretary for Tribal Government Affairs on May 16, 2016. Located in the Office of the Secretary, this position will serve as the liaison between tribes and tribal governments and the Department of Transportation. The Department also began the process of developing a Tribal Transportation Self-Governance Program (TTSGP). This program will provide tribes with an additional option on how they would like to carry out their transportation programs. DOT initiated the negotiated rulemaking process to propose regulations that would direct the TTSGP. The TTSGP Negotiated Rulemaking Committee, composed of tribal transportation leaders and federal officials, has already begun its work.
Connecting Communities, and Improving Infrastructures. The Tribal Transit Program at the Federal Transit Administration is expanding its technical assistance efforts to tribes receiving funds through the Tribal Transit Technical Assistance Assessments initiative. Through these assessments, FTA collaborates with tribal transit leaders to review processes and identify areas in need of improvement and then assist with solutions to address these needs—all in a supportive and mutually beneficial manner. The FTA has performed 30 assessments and will continue these efforts. The Tribal Transportation Program is the largest program in the Office of Federal Lands Highway at the Federal Highway Administration, which is authorized at $465 million in FY 2016.
Prioritizing Tribal Connectivity. Broadband is essential in the 21st Century, but today too many lack high speed access. The Administration has prioritized increasing broadband capabilities across Indian Country: as part of ConnectED, an initiative designed to connect schools and libraries to the digital age, the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) E-rate program provided broadband, Wi-Fi, and telecommunications funding to 245 tribal schools serving over 60,000 students and 31 tribal libraries last funding year alone; the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s (NTIA) published a planning toolkit for tribal governments to develop a Community Broadband Roadmap for building broadband networks, enhancing public computer centers, expanding broadband to unserved areas, encouraging public-private partnerships, and promoting broadband connectivity to homes, businesses and institutions; and starting December 1st, the enhanced Lifeline program subsidy, which is available to low-income people living on Tribal lands, can be used to help cover the cost of broadband service. Additionally, as a step towards providing tribal communities and entities with the resources they need to deploy broadband infrastructure, today the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Utilities Service is announcing that it will aim to double its annual investment in telecom broadband loans in Indian Country—to $50 million in FY17—and dedicate staff to providing tribes with technical assistance to help unlock existing resources. And because broadband is critical to creating opportunity for Native Youth, the President’s Budget proposed significant investments in education information IT to enhance broadband and digital access for students at BIE-funded schools.
Sponsoring for Clean Energy. During 2016, the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Indian Energy Policy and Programs (Indian Energy) will obligate nearly $15 million in direct support of clean energy deployment by tribes (Indian tribes and their governmental instrumentalities, including Alaska Native villages, Alaska Native Regional Corporations and Village Corporations, and Tribal Energy Resource Development Organizations). On August 17, DOE’s Office of Indian Energy announced the availability of up to $3 million to initiate the first steps toward developing and sustaining renewable energy and energy efficiency on tribal lands.
Improving Access to Data for American Indians and Alaska Natives (AIAN). In 2016, BIA and the Census Bureau signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) as a first step in identifying and addressing AIAN data quality and availability issues. As a result of the MOU, BIA and Census are sharing geospatial data to improve the accuracy of tribal boundaries in time for the 2020 Census; a federal interagency work group was established to promote communication and collaboration; an inventory of existing federal AIAN data collections was developed to identify data gaps and establish a baseline for progress; and a series of workshops to address AIAN data issues is being planned.
Refining, Expanding and Engaging in Tribal Consultation. In FY 2016, HUD published its revised tribal consultation policy, proposed a tribal advisory committee, and completed negotiated rulemaking. HUD issued a Federal Register Notice seeking public comment on a proposed Tribal Intergovernmental Advisory Committee to further facilitate communication between HUD and Federally-recognized Indian tribes on all HUD programs. In January, HUD completed negotiated rulemaking with tribal representatives on the Indian Housing Block Grant funding formula.
Tracking Federal Initiatives to Build Resilience in Indian Country. The White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) and the White House Council on Native American Affairs Environment, Climate, and Natural Resources Subgroup, have developed a progress report on the Tribal Supplemental Recommendations of the State, Local, and Tribal Leaders Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience. The report identifies programs and policies that Federal agencies have developed or updated in response to the Tribal Supplemental Recommendations, which focus on the specific and unique perspectives of Native communities to build resilience to the impacts of climate change. Read more about it here.
HEALTHY COMMUNITIES & ENVIRONMENTS IN INDIAN COUNTRY
Supporting the Delivery of Traditional Foods in Indian Country. The 2014 Farm Bill provided additional flexibility for USDA to incorporate traditional foods into the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR) program managed by the USDA Food and Nutrition Service. In 2016, USDA increased the quantity and variety of traditional foods being distributed to low-income families and the elderly through FDPIR through the purchase of 120,000 pounds of bison, 216,000 pounds of frozen wild salmon, 55,000 pounds of wild rice, and 646,000 pounds of blue cornmeal, much of it supplied by Native American-owned businesses.
Partnering to Build Resilience in Tribal Communities. Two new partnerships will enable 160 AmeriCorps VISTA members to serve in Tribal communities over the next three years. The Resilience AmeriCorps program will place AmeriCorps VISTA members at 55 tribal locations to boost their capacity to prepare for severe weather. This expansion includes Conservation Legacy, American Indian Higher Education Consortium, Enterprise Community Partners, Tribal Colleges and Universities and Tribal Housing Authorities. Building on the Let’s Move in Indian Country and Seeds of Native Health initiatives, AmeriCorps VISTA is also joining with the University of Arkansas Law School’s Indigenous Food and Agriculture Institute and the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Tribe to place AmeriCorps VISTA members in 10 tribes to help develop agricultural opportunities and nutritional priorities to benefit Tribal members
Combating Climate Change in Tribal Nations: Climate Resilience Toolkit. In 2015, the Administration expanded the Climate Resilience Toolkit to include a new “Tribal Nations” theme, comprised of more than 40 resources—with more to be added in the future—to assist Tribal nations in climate change planning, adaptation, and mitigation. Resources include a comprehensive Tribal Climate Change Adaptation Planning Toolkit, and a set of guidelines for considering traditional knowledge in climate change initiatives. In July 2016, NOAA, in collaboration with the U.S. Global Change Research Program and a number of agencies, released new capabilities through the Climate Resilience Toolkit; these included county-scale climate projections for the continental United States, making climate information more locally relevant.
Engaging Communities and Connecting with Technical Experts and Resources through Community-based Data Collection. In 2015, EPA’s Indian Environmental General Assistance Program provided a grant to the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC), to support the release of a Local Environmental Observer (LEO) App. Expanding on the successful computer-based tool, the App allows observers to share photos and text from the field, complete with GPS locations. The LEO Network provides a model for engaging communities and connecting with technical experts and resources to allow communities to monitor, respond to, and adapt to new impacts and health effects. LEO experts apply local and traditional knowledge, western science and modern technology to record and share observations and to raise awareness about the conditions in the circumpolar north. Due to the success of the program, EPA and ANTHC are working to expand LEO internationally and in the Lower 48.
Building Knowledge and Connection for Environment, Climate Change, and Natural Resources. In May 2016, the Environment, Climate Change, and Natural Resources Subgroup—part of the White House Council on Native American Affairs—hosted a convening for Tribal leaders and Administration leadership to discuss the impacts of climate change on their Tribal communities. The Subgroup launched the Federal Tribal Climate Change Resource Guide-an online portal that creates a centralized place for Tribal government professionals to locate available resources from the federal government. This guide enables Tribal governments to identify resources, tools and expert advice from multiple agencies.
SUPPORTING NATIVE AMERICAN CULTURE & HERITAGE
Supporting Resiliency through Native Language and Culture. The Administration for Native Americans recently awarded nearly $3 million in funds under two new grant programs to support Native youth. The Native Language Community Coordination Demonstration Projects is a five-year demonstration project that will enable communities to increase their capacity to address gaps in providing continuous Native language instruction from childhood through post-secondary education. The Native Youth Initiative for Leadership, Empowerment, and Development (I-LEAD) funding will support community programs that promote Native American youth resiliency and foster protective factors such as connections with Native American languages and elders, positive peer groups, models of safe sanctuary, and more.
Protecting Confidential Information. The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) has issued a “Frequently Asked Questions” guidance document on protecting sensitive information about historic properties under Section 304 of the National Historic Preservation Act. Federal agency officials, State and Tribal Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO/THPO), Indian tribes, Native Hawaiian organizations, and other stakeholders in the Section 106 process often ask ACHP staff how sensitive information about historic properties can be protected from public disclosure. This new guidance, available here, builds upon the successful Section 304 Webinar the ACHP offers about how Section 304 works to protect such information and thereby prevent harm to historic properties. In developing this guidance, the ACHP coordinated closely with the NPS’ Keeper of the National Register of Historic Places program to ensure these FAQs identify the most commonly asked questions and provide helpful guidance to Section 106 practitioners as well as members of the public regarding what information may be withheld from disclosure, under what circumstances, and for what reasons.
Preserving Tribal Culture and Values by Supporting Efforts to Repatriate Cultural Items from Abroad. DOJ has launched an interagency group on cultural property with DOI, the Department of State, and DHS, with a focus on international repatriation. Next steps include strengthening interagency cooperation, responding to Congressional requests for information and comments on legislation, and holding government-to-government consultations on international repatriation, which will be launched at the 2016 Tribal Nations Conference.
Working with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The ACHP issued new guidance about the linkages between the U.N. Declaration and tribal and Native Hawaiian preservation issues in the Section 106 . The guidance helps federal agencies understand the right of indigenous peoples to participate in decision makiwhen their rights would be affected, including with respect to the destruction of historic properties or sacred places ofreligious or cultural significance. The ACHP has extensively promoted the Declaration within the historic preservation community and issued initial guidance regarding Section 106 consultation and the Declaration.
Sacred Sites MOU Executive Committee Announces New Training. As part of the deliverables of the Sacred Sites MOU, the Executive Committee of the Sacred Sites MOU is announcing the release of “Native American Sacred Sites and the Federal Government, A Training for Federal Employees and Contract Staff Developed under the Sacred Sites Memorandum of Understanding,” a comprehensive online training module for federal employees and contractors, which is also available for free to the public. The Sacred Sites MOU was signed by DOD, USDA, DOI, DOE, and ACHP to improve the protection of and tribal access to Indian sacred sites on federally managed land.