Office of Environmental Management

"A dialogue to build partnerships and address transportation-related issues of concern to agencies and federally-recognized Indian Tribes"

Native American CoordinationNative American Coordination

An Ongoing Dialogue

Native American consultation can be challenging given the history of Indian and government relations in the United States and the varied cultural perspectives. FHWA, FDOT, and the Tribes have worked diligently to maintain and enhance the trust relationships and mutual understanding essential to successful consultation.

FDOT is currently involved in meetings and discussions with representatives of the Native American Tribes living in or culturally affiliated with Florida. This dialogue began in 1999 with Section 106 workshops and project- related coordination. FDOT representatives have traveled to South Florida, Alabama, and Oklahoma to meet with Tribal Chairpersons and historic preservation officers to discuss agency goals and stress the desire for meaningful consultation.

Following this, a series of ground-breaking meetings brought together Tribal and agency representatives to identify transportation-related issues of importance. The meetings held in Tampa, Coral Gables, and the Big Cypress Seminole Reservation identified key issues, increased mutual understanding, forged a workable protocol, and created positive opportunities for future consultation. The consultation process established during these meetings continues to evolve and improve. 

FDOT continues to work with Tribal representatives to more fully engage the Tribes in the planning and programming activities used in the GIS-based Efficient Transportation Decision Making Process (ETDM). Native American issues are also being integrated into the FDOT Public Involvement efforts and Sociocultural Effects analysis.