Cultural & Environmental Laws: Policy & Advocacy Strategies for Tribal Leaders 11/30 – 12/2
11/30 – 12/2 Las Vegas
Why I Should Attend?
Tribal historic and cultural heritage and natural resources are often affected risk by economic and community development on tribal lands. The federal government, as trustee for tribal nations, is required by federal laws to consult with tribes on potential impacts to tribal cultural heritage, historic properties, and natural resources. The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requires the federal trustee to document and analyze potential social and environmental impacts on tribal resources. The National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) and the Archaeological Resources Protection Act (ARPA) are intended to protect and preserve historic and cultural sites. Federal agencies are required to conduct full and meaningful consultations with tribes, and to do so in accord with government-to-government principles and tribes’ preferences. Because of federal agency failures to follow federal laws and policies, tribal nations are often obliged to develop and adopt appropriate laws to show, rather than tell, federal and state agencies how to manage consultations and conduct full and context-sensitive environmental and cultural assessments. Once these laws are in place, agencies are obliged to follow them, and all parties can appreciate the tribe-specific values, interests, and preferences for taking care of the land, water, air, and cultural heritage threatened by proposed actions.
About 200 Indian tribes now operate Tribal Historic Preservation Offices (THPOs), and many more maintain other duly designated cultural representatives to protect tribal cultural heritage and historic properties. The Indian Self-Determination & Education Assistance Act, Public Law 93-638, allows tribal nations to assume direct operation of federal programs serving tribes, including Historic Preservation Programs. The National Park Service (NPS) provides discretionary funding to tribes for Tribal Historic Preservation Programs and funding for tribal heritage grants and Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) projects. Most tribal nations do not take full advantage of the benefits of operating these programs under the Indian Self-Determination Act and related authorities.
Who Should Attend?
Tribal council members, tribal environmental and natural resources staff, federal and state environmental professionals, tribal courts staff, tribal attorneys, federal line officials