Indian Country’s Guide to Facilitating Nation-to-Nation Dialogue

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The Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative, with the generous support of MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger, compiled a report titled Facilitating True Nation-to-Nation Dialogue: A Guide to Effective and Meaningful Consultation with Tribal Governments.

In many circumstances, Tribal consultation — a Nation-to-Nation conversation between Tribal and Federal officials — is a legal requirement for agencies of the United States government. When done correctly — consultation is a tool for resolving issues that Tribal citizens experience in accessing Federal programs and services. 

Although federal agency policies often outline basic processes, in IFAI’s experience working in Indian Country, Federal officials often seek practical advice on how to carry out what they read in the department’s consultation policy.

IFAI designed this document to give that kind of practical advice, focused entirely on Unites States Department of Agriculture. In addition to legal documents, rules and regulations, this guide relies on decades of lived and learned experience from legal and policy professionals in Indian Country as well as current and former Tribal leaders and Tribal government staff. In using this guide, IFAI hopes to help equip USDA officials to forge good relationships with Tribal Nations and engage in consultation that is truly timely, substantive, and meaningful, in all cases.