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December 18, 2009
In Reply Refer To:
8100 (240) P         
Instruction Memorandum No. 2010-037 
Expires: 09/30/2011   
To:                 All State Directors
From:             Director
Subject:         Tribal Consultation Outreach Update and Next Steps           DD: 1/15/10
Program Area:  Tribal Consultation under Cultural Resource Authorities
Purpose: This Instruction Memorandum (IM) provides an update on the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) tribal outreach initiative and thanks the field for past support of this effort.  The IM also requests further field assistance on a strategy for revision of the national Programmatic Agreement (PA) that the BLM maintains with the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) and National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers (NCSHPO).

Policy/Action: This IM emphasizes the importance of tribal relations and partnerships for the BLM and the Department of the Interior. On February 12, 2009, at a hearing before the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs on the Priorities for Indian Affairs, Secretary of the Interior     Ken Salazar made clear the Department’s intent to fully engage Native Americans:

During his campaign for the Presidency, President Obama spoke out in support of empowering Indian people in the development of the national agenda.  As President, he recognizes that federally recognized Indian tribes are sovereign, self-governing political entities that enjoy a government-to-government relationship with the United States government, as expressly recognized in the U.S. Constitution.  I, too, am a strong supporter of the principle of tribal self-determination and will work to fully enable tribal self-governance.  As Secretary of the Interior, I will work hard to empower America’s Native American communities by helping address economic development, education, and law enforcement and other major challenges faced in Indian country. There are many challenges facing our Native American communities.  I believe that together, we can create many opportunities for these communities to thrive and flourish.  I am committed to restoring the integrity of the government-to-government relationship with Indian tribes.  Together, through consultation and with a spirit of mutual respect and understanding, we can address these challenges and can create stronger economies and safer Native American communities.

The Director’s Office wants to heartily thank the state management teams and staff for their support of our tribal outreach initiative and, in particular, the series of eight listening sessions you have held over the past year. These have been constructive and instructive, but perhaps most important, they have helped to strengthen the relationships between BLM line managers and tribes. These sessions would not have been possible without your commitment to make them happen and to make them a priority on your own schedules and those of your senior management and staff. 
The BLM is about to launch the next step in this outreach effort through government-to-government consultation on a revision to the PA with the ACHP and the NCSHPO. We have prepared a mailing to tribal leaders that announces the initiation of government-to-government consultation on the revision of the PA, provides the listening session summary reports, and includes a proposed roadmap or strategy for revising the PA. We have attached a copy of that mailing to this IM. 
We need your help in following up with tribes to confirm their receipt of the mailing and inviting them to meet with your district or field office managers to discuss the proposed revision in more detail. We understand that some tribes are more likely than others to be interested or affected by actions authorized in your state. We recommend that follow-up calls and meetings be prioritized to ensure that tribes most likely to be affected by BLM activities are given the opportunity to talk with managers on this subject.  A template for documenting those follow-up calls and meetings is attached for your use and transmittal to this office.
We will be preparing a draft PA by February 4, 2010, based on responses to the strategy document and in coordination with the BLM Preservation Board, the ACHP, and the NCSHPO. We will send the draft PA to tribes and will again request your assistance with follow-up calls and meetings. 
Our office will also be preparing a report on the overall outreach effort, including recommendations that relate to our policies and activities beyond the PA. We will provide that report at a later date. It is clear from our preliminary review of the outreach initiative results that tribes want BLM management to consult early and often with tribal leaders on a government-to-government basis with respect to any undertakings impacting their tribes and with the goal of resolving disagreements.  Preliminary review also reveals some specific good practices that state and field offices should consider:
  • BLM state offices should continue to hold Tribal Listening Sessions.
  • Tribes and BLM field offices should collaborate on cultural awareness training to increase understanding and improve communication.
  • BLM state offices should establish points of contact for tribes.
Timeframe: Reports on follow-up outreach efforts to tribes, including calls and meetings should be sent to:  WO-240, Division of Cultural, Paleontological Resources and Tribal Consultation by January 15, 2010.
Budget Impact: There will be some budget impact in carrying out support activities associated with this initiative. 
Background: Just over a year ago, on August 21, 2008, the BLM initiated a tribal consultation outreach effort. We sent copies of our tribal consultation policies and the national PA to over 610 tribal leaders and invited questions, comments, or concerns about the BLM’s tribal consultation procedures and policies, and most importantly, suggestions for making our consultation with tribes more effective. 
On September 16, 2008, we issued IM 2008-200 in which we emphasized the importance of tribal relationships and asked for your help in contacting each tribal leader who received the August 21, 2008, letter to confirm receipt and encourage them to respond. We also asked that you designate a point of contact to work with our Preservation Officer, Robin Burgess, and Tribal Coordinator, Jerry Cordova, to schedule and host a series of listening sessions. 
Thanks to your strong support and that of your management teams and cultural resources and other staff, the BLM has now completed eight regional listening sessions, as shown below:
  • Anchorage, Alaska (October 22, 2008)
  • Phoenix, Arizona (April 8, 2009)
  • Billings, Montana (April 24, 2009)
  • Albuquerque, New Mexico (April 24, 2009)
  • Boise, Idaho (May 6, 2009)
  • Reno, Nevada (May 19, 2009)
  • Palm Springs, California (May 20, 2009)
  • Salt Lake City, Utah (July 27, 2009) 
We know that you have been working proactively to respond to specific questions, suggestions, and requests from tribes since we began this initiative. Thank you for placing a priority on these important relationships.
Following each 2009 listening session, your staffs prepared summary reports and worked with attendees for their review and comments. We have consolidated these summaries to send to tribal leaders at the same time we are transmitting this IM. Our letter to tribal leaders includes a draft strategy for revising the BLM PA. It also initiates government-to-government consultation on that revision. We need your support and the support of your field staff to complete that consultation.  

We will be preparing a more comprehensive report, including recommendations, on the overall outreach effort, covering a wide range of interests and programs.  We will provide that report at a later date.

Manual/Handbook Sections Affected: This IM reinforces the existing BLM Manual Section 8120 and BLM Handbook H-8120-1, as revised in December 2004, guidance on tribal consultation under cultural resource authorities.  Some changes to existing manual and handbook guidance may occur in response to the results of the overall tribal outreach initiative.
Coordination: This IM was coordinated with the BLM Preservation Board, including Deputy Preservation Officers from each BLM state office. 
Contact: State Directors may direct any questions or concerns to Edwin L. Roberson, Assistant Director, Renewable Resources and Planning, at 202-208-4896 or at ed_roberson@blm.gov. Staff may contact Robin Burgess, Ph.D., Preservation Officer, at 202-912-7241 or robin_burgess@blm.gov or Jerry Cordova, Tribal Liaison, at 202-912-7245 or jerry_cordova@blm.gov.
Signed by:                                                                 Authenticated by:
Robert V. Abbey                                                         Paulette Sanford
Director                                                                      Division of IRM Governance,WO-560
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Last updated: 12-28-2009