Secretary Vilsack is committed to a Department of Agriculture (USDA) that faithfully serves Tribal governments and individual American Indians and Alaska Natives. The Office of Tribal Relations (OTR), located within the Office of the Secretary, works to ensure that relevant programs and policies are efficient, easy to understand, accessible, and developed in consultation with the Native American Indians and Alaskan Native constituents they impact.
The Office of Tribal Relations serves as the single point of contact for consultation with American Indian and Alaskan Native Governments and continues to refine the consultation process to ensure strong partnerships that will preserve Tribal sovereignty and result in high quality service for farmers, ranchers, consumers, and other constituents.
Tribal consultation is the timely, meaningful, and substantive dialogue between USDA officials who have delegated authority to consult and the official leadership of Federally recognized tribes, or their designated representative, pertaining to USDA policies that may have Tribal implications.
OTR is the primary point of contact for Tribal issues within USDA, and is responsible for:
Government-to-government relations between USDA and tribal governments;
Advising Secretary Vilsack on Tribal issues and concerns;
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.