From the pre-Revolutionary War conflicts to present-day missions around the world, American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians have and continue to play a vital role in the United States Armed Forces, serving at a higher rate in proportion to their population than any other ethnic group.
Through the Department of Defense (DoD) American Indian and Alaska Native instructions and policies, the Department is committed to respecting the sovereignty of Indian nations, the rights of self-determination and self-governance, government-to-government relations, and fulfilling federal trust responsibilities. Similar principles also extend to Native Hawaiians through DoD policies on consultation with Native Hawaiians. DoD personnel, native communities, and the general public can find these policies and many other tools and resources here to assist with our common missions.
The Senior Advisor and Liaison for Native American Affairs (SALNAA) works within the Office of the Secretary of Defense and reports to the Deputy Assistant Secretary (Environment and Energy Resilience).The SALNAA advises the Department on matters concerning DoD interactions with federally recognized tribes and acts as a liaison between the Department and native communities. Specific duties include administering the Native American Lands Environmental Mitigation Program (NALEMP), facilitating cultural communications and consultation training courses for military and DoD civilian personnel across the nation, and conducting Native American outreach activities on behalf of the Office of the Secretary of Defense.
News and Events of Interest
- Presidential Memorandum on Uniformed Standards for Tribal Consultation (2022) [198 KB]
In November 2021, the Administration announced that 17 federal agencies signed the Memorandum of Understanding Regarding Interagency Coordination and Collaboration for the Protection of Tribal Treaty and Reserved Rights (MOU). In the MOU, the agencies committed to enhance efforts to integrate consideration of Tribal treaty and reserved rights early into agency decision-making and regulatory processes, and to strengthen consultation policies in this regard. These new standards for Tribal consultation are outlined in this memorandum.
- Best Practices for Identifying and Protecting Tribal Treaty and Reserved Rights (2022) [368 KB]
In November 2022, the Administration announced a new Presidential Memorandum on Uniform Standards for Tribal Consultation. These new standards for Tribal consultation are incorporated into this Best Practices document.
- Guidance on Indigenous Knowledge (2022) [1.19 MB]
The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) issued this guidance to assist Federal Departments and Agencies in understanding Indigenous Knowledge.
- Consultation Best Practices Flow Chart for Tribal Treaty and Reserved Rights (2022) [887 KB]
Consultation Best Practices Flow Chart created by the Working Group of the Memorandum of Understanding Regarding Interagency Coordination and Collaboration for the Protection of Tribal Treaty and Reserved Rights.
- August 18, 2022 Dear Tribal Leader Letter [229 KB]
Invitation to Federally Recognized Tribes to participate in virtual Tribal Consultations in September to discuss the Department of Defense Instruction 4710.02: DoD Interactions with Federally Recognized Tribes. Deadline for written comments extended to December 31, 2022.
- Building Resilience to Climate Change Through Off-Base Natural Infrastructure Solutions
A guide for installations and partners developed by the DoD Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration Program (REPI).
- 2021 DoD Plan of Action on Tribal Consultation
In response to the Presidential Memorandum of January 26, 2021, Tribal Consultation and Strengthening Nation-to-Nation Relationships, this document outlines the Department's commitment to improving implementation of the Executive Order 13175, Consultation and Coordination With Indian Tribal Governments.