Office of Tribal Relations Seeks Comments from Tribes on Consultation Plan
WASHINGTON, Feb. 28, 2011 — USDA's Office of Tribal Relations is continuing to solicit comments on a draft department-wide policy that will guide future consultation and collaboration efforts. The policy will guide all USDA agencies as they work with the Tribes.
"President Obama has personally demonstrated his commitment to the Tribes, and the draft consultation policy underscores our intention to work hand in hand with tribal members on a government-to-government basis," said Janie Hipp, Senior Advisor to the Secretary for Tribal Affairs. "We shared the draft document with the Tribes earlier this year and are asking that all comments be provided to us by March 25th, so that we can finalize this critical document."
In a letter to tribal leaders dated January 25th, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack stated that his "focus is to create a policy that moves USDA toward better practices regarding future consultations and to promote policy development within the Department that includes collaboration and consultation from Tribes." The letter notes that while the Department has received input from the Tribes as a result of outreach, additional input is welcome.
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