Policy Alert: Secretary Haaland Announces Members of the First-Ever Secretary’s Tribal Advisory Committee

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On Wednesday, Secretary of Interior Halland announced the names of the first-ever Secretary’s Tribal Advisory Committee (STAC). The STAC includes 24 representatives, two for each of the BIA’s twelve regions; ten of which are tribal leaders from NAFOA Member Tribes from seven different regions. 

 

The STAC will ensure Tribal leaders have direct and consistent communication with current and future Department officials. The STAC will exist to facilitate robust discussions on intergovernmental responsibilities, exchange views, share information, and providing advice and recommendations regarding Departmental programs and funding that impact Tribal Nations.

“Tribes deserve a seat at the decision-making table before policies are made that impact their communities. Tribal members who are joining the first-ever Secretary’s Tribal Advisory Committee will be integral to ensuring Tribal leaders can engage at the highest levels of the Department on the issues that matter most to their people,” said Secretary Haaland. “I look forward to continued engagement and ensuring that the Department honors and strengthens our nation-to-nation relationships with Tribes.”

 

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According to the November STAC Charter, the duties of the Committee are to:

  • Identify evolving issues and barriers to access, coverage, and delivery of services to American Indians and Alaska Natives related to DOI programs.
  • Identify evolving issues relating to trust assets; lands, waters, and treaty/subsistence resources; cultural resources; and governmental interests of federally recognized Indian Tribes.
  • Propose clarifications and other recommendations and solutions to address issues raised at Tribal, regional, and national levels.
  • Serve as a forum for Tribes and DOI to discuss these issues and proposals for changes to DOI regulations, policies, and procedures.
  • Identify priorities and provide advice on appropriate strategies for Tribal consultation on issues at the Tribal, regional, and/or national levels.
  • Ensure that pertinent concerns are brought to the attention of Tribes in a timely manner, so that timely Tribal feedback can be obtained.
  • Coordinate with DOI Regional Offices on Tribal consultation initiatives. 

The STAC is composed of a primary Tribal representative from each of the 12 Bureau of Indian Affairs Regions (BIA), and one alternate member from each region. The members are appointed on a staggered term for up to two years. The Secretary, in consultation with the Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs, will designate one member of the STAC to serve as chairperson. 

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