Serving New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands and Eight Tribal Nations
Training on Working Effectively with
Indian Nations and Indigenous Peoples
- Indian Program Home
- American Indian Environmental Office
- EPA Policy for the Administration of Environmental Programs on Indian Reservations [PDF 200 KB, 4 pp]
- Cayuga Nation
- Oneida Indian Nation
- Onondaga Nation
- St. Regis Mohawk Tribe
- Seneca Nation of Indians
- Shinnecock Indian Nation
- Tonawanda Band of Senecas
- Tuscarora Nation
For more information contact:
The Hiawatha Belt
The Hiawatha Belt symbolizes the five original nations from west to east in their respective territories across New York state - Seneca (People of the Great Hill), Cayuga (People of the Swamp), Onondaga (Keepers of the Fire), Oneida (People of the Standing Stone), and Mohawk (People of the Flint).
Region 2 has designed a training program in recognition and support of the Administrator’s emphasis on the importance of providing EPA employees with the necessary knowledge and skills to assist them in working with Indian Nations and indigenous people, and to implement the Agency’s Indian Policy.
Region 2 works closely with the American Indian Environmental Office (AIEO) in Headquarters, as well as the Indian Nations, to develop the Region’s training plans and offer courses. The AIEO has distributed final training materials which provide advice and recommendations on training delivery options. For information see the AIEO Training Module Web site.
The Region’s strategy involves developing and conducting three levels of training for Regional staff and managers consistent with their roles and responsibilities regarding the Nations: 1) a basic introductory course for all employees (including New Employees); 2) an intermediate training course for employees who have some responsibilities for the Indian program or whose program work is on or impacts Indian Nation lands; and 3) an advanced training course for those whose role entails significant interaction with the Indian Nations (e.g., Regional Indian Workgroup members, staff with major role for Indian Nation program activities).
The Region has responded to the Tribal Operation Committee’s suggestion that EPA place more emphasis on training all new employees about the trust responsibility, the Indian Nations and government-to-government working relationships. New employees in Region 2 are provided with an introduction to the federal-Indian Nation relationship and the 1984 EPA Indian Policy as part of the New Employees Orientation course. The basic introductory course provided all Regional staff and managers with an introduction to the federal - Indian Nation relationship and familiarity with the 1984 EPA Indian Policy.
The intermediate course provided in-depth training to all Regional staff and managers who have responsibilities to implement the EPA Indian Policy or who interact with the Indian Nations in Region 2. This in-depth training is intended to ensure that EPA managers and staff gain the necessary sensitivity and understanding of Native affairs to facilitate a stronger Indian Nation/EPA partnership for environmental protection. The advanced course provided in-depth, hands on training for those employees whose role entails significant interaction with the Indian Nations.
The Region will also continue to build awareness in two other important ways. The Region's development of this Indian Program website, with links to both Headquarters and Indian Nation/Indigenous Peoples websites is both informative and educational. In addition, cultural activities and presentations by Native Americans are offered each November during “Native American Heritage Month” through coordination with the Special Emphasis Program. In cooperation with the Special Emphasis Program, the Region worked with GSA, the IRS, as well as the Smithsonian Museum of the American Indian and the American Indian Community House, to organize events. The Sustainability series panel discussion Working More Effectively With Indigenous Nations toward a more Sustainable Future was well attended and well received. Haudenosaunee panel speakers included Jim Ransom, then-HETF Director, Neil Patterson and Rene Rickard, Tuscarora Environment Program, Clint Halftown, Cayuga Environment Program and Linda Logan, Tonawanda Seneca Environment Program. Display panels were also put up in the lobby, filled with pictures and articles about Haudenosaunee history and culture. A musical performance by Ulali packed the lobby with appreciative people who enjoyed the acapella group, consisting of Pura Fe, Jennifer and Soni. A lobby exhibit of artwork by Haudenosaunee children was a hit, people requested it remain in the lobby through December.