Tribal Consultation 'Basics' Training Course Development

Focus Area

Tribal Consultation


Community & Cultural Concerns






2-3 years

Research Idea Scope

TERI Database Administrator Notes: Not recommended at present time by 2009 Subcommittee on Cultural Resources.

Develop a three-day course that would cover the basics of Tribal Consultation, including a step-by-step process to follow, definitions, sample agreements (MOAs and PAs), dispute resolution, and case studies of exemplary tribal consultation.  This course would be designed via a collaborative effort to include all stakeholders’ perspectives, such as THPOs and Indian tribes, SHPOs, SDOTs, DOT, and other Federal agencies involved in transportation, such as BIA. Tasks would include:  (1) Interviewing, surveying, and convening focus groups of identified stakeholders to determine their definitions, expectations, and assumptions of what Tribal Consultation entails; (2) Compiling information into one table to compare and contrast the responses to identify commonalities and areas requiring additional exploration; and (3) Facilitating a meeting of all stakeholders to outline what a three-day course on Tribal Consultation would include and how it would be presented and who would teach certain components; (4) Finalizing a three-day course that would include the various perspectives and offer it to a new group of stakeholders; and (5) Evaluating the three-day course and refining, if necessary, improving and making available for the next set of stakeholders.

Urgency and Payoff

Tribal consultation is of great concern for Indian tribes and state and Federal government agencies throughout the United States, but yet it is still not easily understood or implemented.  In NATHPO’s 2005 report, “Tribal Consultation:  Best Practices in Historic Preservation,” it was found that successful consultation begins in the planning stages, and is predicated on each party being knowledgeable about the project and the priorities and desires of the other parties, and that though not without cost, successful consultation results in better and lasting final agreements.  That report was the product of a study to determine the attributes of a successful consultation between Indian tribes and Federal agencies in order to assist consulting parties achieve successful results by identifying and promoting meaningful consultation practices.  NATHPO proposes to develop a three-day course that would use the lessons learned from the 2005 study, integrate the perspectives of the stakeholders, and include any new information on the topic.  It is anticipated that the benefits of the research would include efficient coordination of all stakeholders, which cannot be underestimated in the current economic environment.  It is expected that the American Economic Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds will translate to more transportation projects and thus, interaction and work with Indian tribes will be increased.

Suggested By

D. Bambi Kraus, President, Nat'l Assoc of Tribal Historic Preservation Officers