Effective Communication Plans for Engagement with Tribal Nations

Focus Area

Tribal Consultation


Environmental Process






1-2 years

Research Idea Scope

Tribal consultation is an integral part of the environmental review process under NEPA. Successful consultation begins with an effective communication strategy. However, the nature of working with diverse tribal nations on a multitude of infrastructure projects requires that such plans be flexible, dynamic, and responsive to unique circumstances. This research will examine best management practices across a spectrum of transportation projects to assist DOTs with creating communication plans tailored to the tribal nations with which they consult. Special emphasis will be given to tribal engagement in the public involvement process, environmental justice for tribal communities, engagement in planning efforts (LRTP, STIP, etc.), and active tribal participation in the Section 106 process.

This proposal is developed by TRB AME60 and recommended by the AASHTO Tribal Liaisons Community of Practice.

Urgency and Payoff

Given the renewed focus on effective tribal consultation as part of the “Presidential Memorandum on Tribal Consultation and Strengthening Nation-to-Nation Relationships” and diversity and inclusion efforts, this project is especially timely. The result could yield more effective, and thereby efficient engagement with tribal nations.

Suggested By

Rhonda Fair

[email protected]