U.S. Department of Education Tribal Consultation Announcement for Executive Order 13175
On January 26, 2021, President Biden issued a Presidential Memorandum on Tribal Consultation and Strengthening the Nation-to-Nation Relationships that requires the Department of Education to submit within 90 days a detailed plan for implementing Executive Order 13175, which charges all executive departments and agencies to engage in regular, meaningful, and robust consultation with Tribal officials in the development of federal policies that have Tribal implications.
The United States has a unique political and legal relationship with the 574 federally recognized Indian tribes, as set forth in the Constitution of the United States, treaties, Executive Orders (EOs), and court decisions. The Federal Government’s relationship with Tribes has been guided by a long-standing trust responsibility to protect the unique rights well-being of Tribes, while respecting sovereignty.
On November 4, 2015, the Department released a revised Tribal Consultation Policy. It lays out the Department’s commitment to consult with elected officials of Tribal nations and Tribal officials. The current Department of Education Tribal Consultation Policy is attached.
The Department is seeking your recommendations and feedback on how we can improve the Department’s practices to better engage with Indian Country through meaningful consultation, to inform the plan that we will submit in response to the Presidential Memorandum. Specifically, we invite comment on how we can better implement our Tribal Consultation Policy and better fulfill the directives of Executive Order 13175. Specific questions on which we welcome your feedback, are listed below:
- How do we improve our communication and outreach regarding policy or program changes at the Department of Education that impact Indian Tribes?
- Are there specific Department of Education grant programs or related education issues about which Tribal officials would like more information, or on which they feel they are not getting adequate opportunity to engage in a meaningful way?
- Should we have general sessions on an annual basis, or continue to have program specific consultations?
- What comments or concerns do you have that will help us improve the Department of Education’s process for tribal consultation?