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Tribal Treaty Rights

EPA Policy on Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribes: Guidance for Discussing Tribal Treaty Rights

EPA’s first-ever Tribal Treaty Rights Guidance outlines a process to help navigate treaty rights discussions with tribes during tribal consultations. It is an initial step in EPA’s efforts to improve the methods and processes in place to meet the commitment to honor and respect tribal treaty rights and resources protected by treaties. The Guidance is the first of its kind for any federal agency.

EPA developed the EPA Policy on Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribes: Guidance for Discussing Tribal Treaty Rights after nationwide tribal consultation. This Guidance complements the EPA Policy on Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribes by providing affirmative steps for the Agency to take during tribal consultations when an EPA action occurs in a specific geographic location and a resource-based treaty right, or an environmental condition necessary to support the resource, may be affected by EPA's action.

To assist in understanding this important effort, EPA developed an Overview document and the EPA Responses to Comments on the Guidance.

Memorandum of Understanding Regarding Interagency Coordination and Collaboration for the Protection of Tribal Treaty Rights

EPA is a signatory with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Department of Commerce, the U.S. Department of the Interior, the U.S. Department of Justice and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation on a Memorandum of Understanding Regarding Interagency Coordination and Collaboration for the Protection of Tribal Treaty Rights to advance protection of tribal treaty and similar rights related to natural resources affected by federal decisions. This MOU stems in part from EPA’s recent “EPA Policy on Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribes: Guidance for Discussing Tribal Treaty Rights,” an effort to encourage consideration of treaty rights in the agency’s consultation policy. The memorandum is available for signature by additional federal agencies on a rolling basis.