Strategies for Streamlined Participation by Native American Governments in Federal Transportation Projects

Creating an effective public involvement process in transportation planning and project development is a challenge for transportation agencies. A meaningful and timely consultation process is especially challenging in projects that affect the cultural resources of Native American tribes. An overview is presented of the major legislative requirements for Native American involvement in federal transportation projects. Three case studies—from Georgia, Wisconsin, and New York—examined how states have effectively streamlined involvement with Native American nations in the transportation decision-making process. Although every transportation program is different and each approach to public involvement should be tailored to project-specific needs, many issues of the consultation process with Native American governments are the same across state transportation agencies. This paper presents how the studied states addressed these issues to improve consultation with Native American governments. Challenges discussed include how overloading tribes with information results in less feedback, the difficulties in ratifying memorandums of understanding to streamline the process, overcoming the lack of trust, dealing with different ways of doing business, dealing with out-of-state tribes, and the difficulties in working agreements on the ownership of artifacts. Much information can be applied by other states to improve and streamline their consultation processes with Native American governments.


  • English

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  • Accession Number: 01020690
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 0309094054
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Mar 24 2006 9:44AM