BIA wants to give tribes priority over Alaska Native corporations
The Bureau of Indian Affairs wants to give tribes in Alaska priority over Native corporations when it comes to consultation.

Alaska is home to more than 220 federally recognized tribes. The BIA says it will let them dictate how the agency works with the corporations.

"We ought to take (their concerns) seriously, seriously enough to say, OK, our first step is going to be to consult with the tribes and the elected officials," Mike Smith, a BIA deputy director, said at the Tribal Providers Conference, The Tundra Drums reported."If they want us to consult with corporations, then they need to tell us how."

"It's a government-to-government relationship that we're trying to promote and encourage," Smith said.

The Interior Department is developing a consultation plan in accordance with an executive order issued by President Barack Obama in November 2009.

Get the Story:
BIA official: Tribes to set role for Native corporations in government talks (The Tundra Drums 12/8)

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President Obama signs memo on tribal consultation (11/6)