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United States Department of the Interior
Montana State Office
5001 Southgate Drive
Billings, Montana 59101-4669

January 21, 2011

8120 (MT9240.MS) P
Instruction Memorandum No. MT-2011-023
Expires: 9/30/2012
To:             Leadership Advisory Team
                  Cultural Resources Staff
                  Native American Special Emphasis Program Managers
From:         State Director
Subject:     Department of the Interior Tribal Consultation Draft Policy                     DD: 01/27/2011
Program Area: Tribal Consultation.
Purpose:  This Instruction Memorandum (IM) formally transmits for review and comment the recently released Department of the Interior (DOI) Tribal Consultation Draft Policy.
Policy/Action: The intent of this IM is to acquaint Montana/Dakotas BLM managers and relevant staff with the establishment of a DOI department-wide Tribal Consultation Policy, and provide a proposed draft of that policy for review and comment.
Timeframe: The policy has been sent out to bureaus for a 14-day period of employee comment and review ending January 28, 2011. Please provide any comments to the Montana/Dakotas Tribal Coordinator (MT9240), by close of business January 27, 2011. 

Budget Impact: There are no anticipated budget impacts at this time. 

Background: On November 5, 2009, President Obama issued the White House Memorandum on Tribal Consultation, signaling this Administration’s commitment to strengthening the government-to-government relationship between the United States and Indian tribes.  Every Federal department was required to develop a consultation policy to ensure meaningful consultation, respect, tribal sovereignty, and honor the trust relationship between the United States and tribal nations. In response, Secretary Salazar directed DOI officials to assess and improve current tribal consultation practices.

After seven consultation meetings in December 2009 and January 2010 with tribes across the nation, in February 2010, the DOI’s Plan of Action was released.  The plan provided a roadmap for developing a comprehensive, department-wide policy for meaningful consultation with the nation’s 565 federally recognized American Indian and Alaska Native tribes. 

The first step in drafting the policy was to create a joint Federal-tribal consultation team, comprised of 2 tribal representatives from the 12 BIA regions and a DOI representative from each bureau.  Over the course of four in-person meetings, the Federal-tribal team collaborated fully to create the DOI Tribal Consultation Draft Policy, which was reviewed and edited by DOI senior staff, including Deputy Chief of Staff Laura Davis and Solicitor Hillary Tompkins, before a final review by the Federal-tribal team in December 2010.
The draft policy has been sent to tribal leaders for a 60-day review and comment period and to
bureaus for a 14-day period of employee comment and review, ending January 28. The Internet link to the News Release and Draft Consultation Policy is: 
http://www.doi.gov/news/pressreleases/Secretary-Salazar-Assistant-Secretary-Echo-Hawk-Submit-Draft-Consultation-Policy-to-Tribal-Leaders.cfm?renderforprint=1&. All comments will be evaluated and considered. As improvements are made to the current draft policy, the policy will then be published in the Federal Register for a 60-day public comment review period.  After the public review period, final changes may be made and the policy will be distributed for one last internal review.  The final Tribal Consultation Policy will then be signed by Secretary Ken Salazar, before being added to the Departmental Manual.  Each bureau and office will then be required to examine and change their own consultation policies to ensure they are consistent with the final policy, once it is issued.
Manual/Handbook Sections Affected: Bureau of Land Management Manual Guidance 8120-Tribal Consultation Under Cultural Resources, and Handbook H-8120-1, General Procedural Guidance for Native American Consultation.
Coordination: Coordinated with the Leadership Advisory Team and Branch of Land Resources, Montana/State Office.
Contact: Mark Sant, Tribal Coordinator- Montana/Dakotas (MT9240) at Mark_Sant@blm.gov or telephone (406) 896-5263.
Signed by:                                                                 Authenticated by:
Diane M. Friez                                                            Kathy Iszler
(for) Jamie E. Connell                                                 Staff Assistant (MT-9240)
State Director

Last updated: 06-28-2012