Native American Affairs

Programs and Collaboration Opportunities

DoD Programs of Interest to Tribal Nations

The Native American Integrated Product Team facilitates coordination and communication among parts of DoD on tribal issues and helps DoD meet its responsibilities under Federal law and policy related to tribal issues. Its members include representatives of each of the Military Departments and Army Civil Works.

Innovative Readiness Training Program
Innovative Readiness Training (IRT) is a collaborative program that leverages military contributions and community resources to multiply value and cost savings for participants. Communities typically provide materials and basic services (e.g. facilities), while military units contribute personnel and training resources. IRT missions produce mission ready forces, civil-military partnerships, and stronger communities.

Legacy Resource Management Program (LEGACY)
Provides financial assistance efforts to preserve the natural and cultural heritage of the nation. The Legacy program also assists in protecting and enhancing resources while supporting military readiness.

Native American Lands Environmental Mitigation Program (NALEMP)
DoD created the NALEMP program to address environmental impacts on Indian lands and Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA) – conveyed properties from former DoD activities and facilities. DoD is committed to address impacts from weapons testing, practice bombings, field maneuvers, and other activities through government-to-government consultation. DoD works closely with tribes to mitigate environmental impacts with the maximum tribal participation possible.

US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE)
USACE provides premier engineering and management products and services to the Army, Air Force, other federal agencies, and other governments as assigned. The focus of the USACE’s military mission includes:

  • Military Construction – DoD-wide support
  • Environment – Formerly Used Defense Sites Program, munitions response and clean up
  • Civil Works – infrastructure projects
  • Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC)

USACE Districts work one-on-one with tribal governments to plan, develop proposals, and execute environmental mitigation activities for NALEMP-eligible projects in accordance with CAs between the tribe and DoD. Each District also has a tribal liaison who works directly with tribes to build awareness and facilitate dialog among tribes and military leaders.

U.S. Army Historic Preservation and Cultural Resource Management
The Army’s mission is to defend those things most prized by all nations: our people, our land, and our resources. Resources worth defending, are worth protecting. From the Army’s many National Historic Landmarks, to the thousands of historic homes Army families live in, to the archeological sites, sacred sites, and traditional cultural properties important to Native Americans and Native Hawaiians, the Army defends and protects our nation’s cultural heritage.

DoD Office of Small Business Programs

HUB Zone Empowerment Contracting Program
Encourages economic development in historically underutilized business zones “HUB Zones” through the establishment of preferences.

Indian Incentive Program
Provides a 5% rebate to prime contractors on subcontracted work performed by an Indian organization.

Mentor-Protege Program
Assists small businesses to successfully compete for prime contract and subcontract awards by partnering with large companies under individual, project-based agreements.

Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business Program
Provides and improves prime and subcontracting opportunities for veteran and service-disabled veteran small-business concerns.

Woman-Owned Small Business Program
Highlights the DoD efforts to achieve the 5% goal for prime and subcontract awards to small business concerns owned and controlled by women.

Contracting & Surplus Property Programs

DLA Disposition Services (Formerly Defense Reutilization & Marketing Service)
The DLA Disposition Services disposes of excess property received from military services through reutilization and surplus property sales to other federal agencies, state, tribal, and local governments.

  • DoD surplus property sales
  • Disposal of hazardous materials from DoD activities
  • Resource recovery and recycling
  • Demilitarization program

Tribal Organizations

The National Congress of American Indians
The National Congress of American Indians is the oldest, largest and most representative American Indian and Alaska Native organization serving the broad interests of tribal governments and communities. Since 1944, the National Congress of American Indians has been working to inform the public and Congress on the governmental rights of American Indians and Alaska Natives.

Walking Shield
A nonprofit organization, Walking Shield works to improve the lives of American Indian families through programs to provide shelter, health care, community development, and educational assistance. DoD coordinates with the program to provide surplus relocatable military housing units for the tribes’ use.

United South and Eastern Tribes, Inc. (USET)
USET is dedicated to promoting Indian leadership, improving the quality of life for American Indians, and protecting Indian rights and resources on Tribal lands. Although its guiding principle is unity, USET plays a major role in the self-determination of all member Tribes by working to improve the capabilities of Tribal governments. Established in 1969, United South and Eastern Tribes Inc., is a non-profit, intertribal organization that collectively represents its member Tribes at the regional and national level.

Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians (ATNI)
ATNI is a nonprofit organization representing 57 Northwest tribal governments from Oregon, Idaho, Washington, southeast Alaska, Northern California and Western Montana. Through its conferences, forums, networks and alliances, it is the intent of ATNI to represent and advocate for the interests of its member Tribes to national Indian and non-Indian organizations and governments.

Alaska Federation of Natives (AFN)
The Alaska Federation of Natives (AFN) is the largest statewide Native organization in Alaska. Its membership includes 178 villages (both federally-recognized tribes and village corporations), 13 regional Native corporations and 12 regional nonprofit and tribal consortiums that contract and run federal and state programs. The mission of AFN is to enhance and promote the cultural, economic and political voice of the entire Alaska Native community.

Western Regional Partnership
In November 2007, state and tribal executive leadership from the states of Arizona, California, Nevada, New Mexico, and Utah met with senior leaders from DoD and other Federal agencies to establish a regional-senior policy level partnership. The Western Regional Partnership (WRP) was formed to eliminate redundancies in resource management, create a strong working entity to address issues of regional significance and develop solutions for the five-state region.

Midwest Alliance of Sovereign Tribes (MAST)
The Midwest Alliance of Sovereign Tribes, (MAST), founded in 1996, represents the 35 sovereign tribal nations of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Michigan.  Altogether, MAST represents nearly 134,000 American Indian people.  MAST’s mission is to “advance, protect, preserve, and enhance the mutual interests, treaty rights, sovereignty, and cultural way of life of the sovereign nations of the Midwest throughout the 21st century.” The organization coordinates important public policy issues and initiatives at the state, regional and federal levels, promotes unity and cooperation among member tribes and advocates for member tribes.

Other Federal Agency Programs of Interest to Tribal Nations

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
The Administration for Native Americans (ANA) within HHS promotes the self-sufficiency and cultural preservation for Native Americans by providing social and economic development opportunities, language preservation, development of environmental regulations, and family preservation goals of tribes through financial assistance, training, and technical assistance to eligible tribes and Native American communities.

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
The Minority Veterans Program helps ensure that the VA addresses the unique circumstances and special needs of minority veterans. The Veterans Business and Economic Outreach initiative assists minority veterans with business related needs; identifies opportunities and benefits; and provides access to business opportunities and contracts within the federal government and private sector.

Bureau of Indian Affairs
The Bureau of Indian Affairs’ mission is to enhance the quality of life, to promote economic opportunity, and to carry out the responsibility to protect and improve the trust assets of American Indians, Indian tribes and Alaska Natives.

Bureau of Indian Education
The Bureau of Indian Education’s mission is to provide quality education opportunities from early childhood through life in accordance with a tribe’s needs for cultural and economic well-being, in keeping with the wide diversity of Indian tribes and Alaska Native villages as distinct cultural and governmental entities.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
The American Indian Environmental Office (AIEO) at EPA coordinates the agency-wide effort to strengthen public health and environmental protection in Indian Country. The Tribal Solid Waste Interagency Workgroup assists tribes to clean up and close non-compliant solid waste sites and developing alternative disposal options and integrated solid waste management plans.

Advisory Council on Historic Preservation
The ACHP promotes the preservation, enhancement, and productive use of our nation’s historic resources, and advises the President and Congress on national historic preservation policy. The ACHP Native American Program provides technical assistance and outreach on Native American historical matters.