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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


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


Latest Blogs

  • Aug 26, 2014 Bees Help Native American Students Learn about Math, Science
  • This post is part of the Science Tuesday feature series on the USDA blog. Check back each week as we showcase stories and news from USDA’s rich science and research portfolio. There’s nothing like a little “hands-on” activity to help students learn. And what better way to encourage math and science education than to give [...]

  • Aug 18, 2014 USDA Tribal Collaboration Strengthens Food Security on Nevada’s Indian Reservations
  • Today in Nevada more than one in four children (28 percent) live in households that cannot reliably provide nutritious meals every day.  This dubious distinction makes it the state with the nation’s fourth highest rate of child hunger.  And for children living on Indian reservations, the incidence of hunger may be even higher. What does [...]

  • Aug 12, 2014 “Seeding” the Next Crop of Scientists
  • This post is part of the Science Tuesday feature series on the USDA blog. Check back each week as we showcase stories and news from the USDA’s rich science and research portfolio. 2014 marks the eighth year of “Pumping Up the Math and Science Pipeline: Grade School to College,” an innovative science, technology, engineering and [...]

  • Jun 25, 2014 Supporting Regional Economic Development Strategies in Oklahoma’s Tribal Communities
  • Rural Oklahoma is home to many important tribal communities.  Among these, the Choctaw Nation spans over ten counties in southeastern Oklahoma, while the Cherokee Nation runs along the state’s northeast border, and Muscogee (Creek) Nation lies farther west. These communities play a critical role in developing businesses, affordable housing, and infrastructure like water, roads, and [...]


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