Tribal Consultation

How is tribal consultation linked to transportation planning?

The federal government has a special government-to-government relationship with Indian Tribal governments that is affirmed in treaties, Supreme Court decisions, and executive orders. Federal agencies are required to consult with Indian Tribal Governments regarding policy and regulatory matters.

State DOTs consider the needs of Indian Tribal Governments when carrying out transportation planning, and consult with Indian Tribal Governments in development of the long-range statewide transportation plan and the Statewide Transportation Improvement Program.

MPOs also may consider the needs of, and consult with, Indian Tribal Governments in the development of long-range transportation plans and TIPs when the metropolitan planning area includes Indian Tribal Lands.

Outside of the statewide and metropolitan planning processes, state DOTs and MPOs may consult with Indian Tribal Governments when, for example, a project may affect Indian Tribal archeological resources.