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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


Tribal Relations 2014 Accomplishments (PDF, 137KB)


Latest Blogs

  • Sep 28, 2015 NRCS Volunteers Gain Experience and Help Further Conservation Efforts
  • USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and the Indian Nations Conservation Alliance (INCA) have partnered in a pilot project to provide new opportunities for Native American high school students across the west. Morgan Boggs, a high school senior in Browning, Montana, was one of three Montana high school seniors selected by INCA. Through this pilot [...]

  • Sep 09, 2015 Responding to Oak Wilt and Climate Change on the Menominee Nation Forest
  • Standing in a disturbed patch of forest, Menominee forester Jeff Grignon looks around and explains, “My role is to regenerate the forest, maintain the forest, create diversity, and look toward the future.” This task is becoming increasingly challenging as growing forest health issues intersect with additional stressors brought about by climate change in the forests [...]

  • Aug 10, 2015 Opportunities for Native Youth Available through APHIS’ Safeguarding Natural Heritage Program
  • The land and our strong ties to the earth as humans are a source of culture and livelihood throughout Indian Country. Native youth carry the hopes of their ancestors forward, and many tribes have visited with me at the Office of Tribal Relations, interested in learning how their children and grandchildren can discover more about [...]

  • Jul 14, 2015 Cultivating Native Leaders in Conservation
  • Recently, ninety Alaska Native, American Indian, and Native Hawaiian high school students came together at the National Conservation Training Center in Shepherdstown, West Virginia for a week of intensive education and peer-to-peer training about the impact of climate change on tribal communities. Organized by the Inter-Tribal Youth Climate Leaders Congress and supported by a partnership [...]


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