The Department of the Army American Indian Alaska Native Policy, signed by the Secretary of the Army on 24 October 2012, is a milestone for the Department of Defense. It is the first American Indian and Alaska Native policy signed by the Secretary of a military department. It institutionalizes principles for the Army’s interactions with Federally-recognized Tribes.
The policy recognizes the Army’s responsibilities to Federally-recognized Tribes derived from the federal trust doctrine, treaties, statute, and agreements. It commits the Army to build stable and enduring government-to-government relations with Federally-recognized Tribes, and to communicate with Federally-recognized Tribes on a government-to-government basis in recognition of their sovereignty.
The policy recognizes, respects, and takes into consideration the significance that Federally-recognized Tribes ascribe to protected tribal resources on Army managed lands, and recognizes the importance of understanding and addressing the concerns of Federally-recognized Tribes prior to reaching decisions on matters that may affect tribal rights, tribal lands, or protected tribal resources. The policy and the subsequent implementing guidance commits to fully integrate these principles at all organizational levels in the Army.
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