Opinion

Jay Daniels: Everyone wants to talk but no one wants to listen





"On December 1, 2011, Ken Salazar, Secretary of the Interior (DOI), issued Secretarial Order No. 3317 for the purpose of updating, expanding and clarifying the Department’s policy on consultation with American Indian and Alaska Native Indians in accordance with Presidential Executive Order 13175. The Executive and Secretarial orders charge the Departmental Agency Directors with engaging in regular and meaningful consultation and collaboration with tribal officials in the development of Federal policies that have tribal implications, and responsibility for strengthening the government-to-government relationship between the United States and Indian tribes.

The greatest consultation difficulty is developing a consensus with more than 560 tribes without furthering the perception that the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) “doesn’t listen to us.” Plains tribes may not face the unique issues experienced by the Pueblos of New Mexico. Issues vary throughout Indian Country. All tribes have a national and tribal agenda which may crossover into both, but success at the tribal level is always their most important focus.

In January 2012, I participated on a Consultation Panel with DOI Solicitors and a Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) staff in collecting tribal and individual comments on the proposed 25 CFR Part 162 regulation change with minutes at http://bia.gov/cs/groups/public/documents/text/idc016193.pdf The following comment in the preceding linked minutes document still resonates within me.

“You know the word “consultation” really puts a bad taste in my heart and my mouth because all of us sitting around in this room are going to make comments in the best interests of our people and our tribe, but the more and more I look at the regulations here, the more and more cumbersome it gets and the timelines are forgotten within these activities that need to be done.” Mr. Irv Provost, Oglala Sioux Tribal Council Representative from Pine Ridge, SD"

Get the Story:
Jay Daniels: Everyone wants to talk – but no one wants to listen (Roundhouse Talk 12/19)

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