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Office of Tribal Relations

Secretary Vilsack is committed to a Department of Agriculture (USDA) that serves Tribal governments and individual American Indians and Alaska Natives. The Office of Tribal Relations (OTR) serves as a single point of contact for Tribal issues and works to ensure that relevant programs and policies are efficient, easy to understand, accessible, and developed in consultation with the American Indians and Alaskan Native constituents they impact.

OTR continues to refine the consultation process to ensure strong partnerships that will preserve Tribal sovereignty and is responsible for:

  • Government-to-government relations between USDA and tribal governments;
  • Advising Secretary Vilsack on Tribal issues and concerns;
  • Tribal Consultation;
  • Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA);
  • Issues impacting Tribal members; and
  • Working cooperatively and collaboratively across USDA to build a an integrated approach to issues, programs, and services addressing the needs of American Indians and Alaskan Natives.
  • The Council on Native American Farming and Ranching


Secretary Vilsack Appoints Members to the Council for Native American Farming and Ranching


Latest Blogs

  • Nov 07, 2014 Smooth Sailing to Grand Canyon West with the Hualapai Tribe
  • There were many things to celebrate about the newly paved nine-mile stretch of the Diamond Bar Road in Western Arizona, a road that links state and county roads to Grand Canyon West on the Hualapai Reservation. At the ribbon cutting celebration for the completed road, Tribal, state and federal officials all noted the obvious benefit [...]

  • Nov 03, 2014 USDA Works With Remote Utah Tribe to Prevent Future Flooding
  • A massive wildfire followed by heavy rains greatly damaged the landscape of a Utah valley, home to the Skull Valley Band of the Goshute Indian Tribe. The natural disasters broke water delivery systems and disrupted vital community infrastructure. Recently, the band’s leadership met with USDA officials to find solutions on how they could recover and [...]

  • Oct 06, 2014 A Tour of Development in Downeast Maine
  • Recently, Tony Hernandez, USDA Rural Development’s Housing and Community Facilities Administrator visited Maine to see firsthand how Rural Development can support the growing seafood processing industry in Downeast Maine. Tony also met with leaders from the Penobscot Indian Nation to discuss USDA Rural Development’s ongoing support of housing and community development on the Tribal lands. [...]

  • Sep 26, 2014 Tribal Youth Celebrate New, Safe Place to Learn
  • “In the Dakota language, there is no word for ‘child’ or ‘children.’ Instead, there is ‘wakanyeja,’ which means ‘sacred little ones,’” reported a local newspaper. The importance of that future generation was evident on the Spirit Lake Indian Reservation in North Dakota as we broke ground for a new Head Start facility. This was a [...]


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