Many Native Americans live near and use areas where BOEM activities are proposed. It is important for the Bureau to understand and listen to the views and recommendations from tribes. BOEM is committed to maintaining open and transparent communications with Tribal governments, Alaska Native Organizations, Native Hawaiian Organizations and other indigenous communities.
In March 2013, the BOEM Director called for the creation of a Tribal Consultation Policy Working Group to develop recommendations for a BOEM Tribal Consultation Policy. The Group convened with the assistance of a facilitator for three days in December 2013. Representatives from each region and program office participated, developing recommendations for the development of BOEM’s Tribal Consultation Guidance memo. Drawing from those recommendations and other sources, the Bureau Chief Environmental Officer (CEO), William Y. Brown, issued Bureau Tribal Consultation Guidance on May 5, 2015, in a memorandum through BOEM Acting Director Walter Cruickshank. The Guidance adopts and augments the Department’s Tribal Consultation Policy, which calls for regular and meaningful consultation and collaboration with Federally recognized tribes.
Gaining knowledge of how Bureau activities may affect traditional ways, subsistence, and indigenous cultural resources is essential to the Bureau’s decision-making, along with government-to-government consultations, community meetings, public hearings, and other special activities. Engaging, prior to Federal actions through environmental programs by partnering on environmental studies has been an ongoing effort.