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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

Tribal Consultation

In addition to working with state and local leaders, the Office of the Special Representative for Global Intergovernmental Affairs work to engage tribal leaders on a variety of issues including climate change, border issues, conservation, and land and water use.

Also, in conjunction with the U.S. Government review of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People, our office serves as the coordinating bureau organizing government-to-government tribal consultations between U.S. Government agencies and federally recognized tribes.  Consultation with tribal governments are an essential component of this review and the Department of State is dedicated to conducting a thoughtful, comprehensive review of the Declaration.

Executive Order 13175: Consultation and Coordination With Indian Tribal Governments

President’s Memorandum for Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies:


Letter to Tribal Leaders
Hillary Rodham Clinton, Secretary of State
Washington, DC
January 7, 2010

Dear Tribal Leader:

At the White House Tribal Nations Conference on November 5, 2009, President Obama signed a Presidential Memorandum on Tribal Consultation, reiterating his support for regular and meaningful consultation and collaboration with tribal officials, including through implementation of Executive Order 13175, Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments. The President directed all federal agencies to develop an action plan to implement this Executive Order by February 3, 2010.

As the Department of State begins to develop an implementation policy that respects tribal sovereignty and self-governance and optimizes tribal contributions and coordination, we invite you to participate by providing us with your written suggestions. To meet the President’s deadline, we request your comments be emailed to by January 22, 2010. Your tribe’s ideas and suggestions will be essential to us as we craft this plan.

Comments could include but are not limited to:

  • What actions or events should trigger consultation?
  • How far in advance should the Department give notice of consultation?
  • Who should participate in consultation?
  • What procedures will ensure productive consultation?
  • How should consultation be documented?
  • What procedures should the Department use to follow up with your tribe after consultation?
  • What, if any, alternatives might be employed - such as conferences, workshop sessions, social media, or a task force - to improve communication and coordination with your tribe?

We look forward to receiving your ideas as we implement this important Presidential initiative and strengthen our partnership with you. If you have any questions, please contact the Department's Office of Management Policy, Rightsizing, and Innovation by phone at (202) 647-3796 or by email at

Sincerely yours,

Hillary Rodham Clinton


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