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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


September 30th Deadline for Livestock Forage Disaster Assistance Program

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

Forest Service Seeks Comments on Proposal for Noncommercial Forest Products for Traditional and Cultural Purposes


Latest Blogs

  • 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 [...]

  • Sep 12, 2014 New State-of-the-Art School Complex on the Warm Springs Reservation Celebrates Traditions, Nurtures Young Learners
  • As young learners of the Warm Springs Indian Reservation of Oregon walk through the doors of their new school this month, they will become part of a new history of education ideals and community collaboration that will ensure their future success and well-being. The new Warm Springs Academy, funded in part with a Community Facilities [...]

  • Sep 03, 2014 Reap What You Sow: Choctaw Children Learn about Gardening and Cooking
  • “How many of you like vegetables?”  The question posed to a gathering of Choctaw children in a garden in rural Mississippi elicits skeptical responses.  But upon sampling the fresh produce harvested with their own hands, however, the children’s stereotypes of disgust turn to surprises of delight.  A young boy taking a giant bite out of [...]


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