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Environmental Management Office / EMO Resources / Native American / Protocol
"A dialogue to build partnerships and address transportation-related issues of concern to agencies and federally-recognized Indian tribes"
The Section 106 regulations define consultation as "the process of seeking, discussing, and considering the views of other participants, and, where feasible, seeking agreement with them regarding matters arising in the Section 106 process." The basic steps to follow when conducting consultation with Native American tribes are outlined below.
Send Advance Notification (AN) according to Project Development and Environment (PD&E) manual guidelines. The AN is provided to the tribes to inform them of the proposed project and to initiate consultation under Section 106. The purpose is to seek tribal input on any concerns or interests any tribe may have regarding the potential effects of the proposed undertaking on historic properties and on properties of religious and cultural significance to the tribe.
For projects occurring on tribal lands where the tribe has assumed the role of the State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO) pursuant to Section 101(d)(2) of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA), FDOT must consult with the appointed Tribal Historic Preservation Officer (THPO) of the tribe. In these circumstances, other tribes or consulting parties may still need to be included in the consultation and the SHPO may participate when the project may affect historic resources located off the tribal lands or at the request of other consulting parties. However, for the purposes of compliance with Section 106, the THPO serves the role of the SHPO on the tribal lands.
In cases where a tribe has not assumed the role of the SHPO pursuant to Section 101(d)(2) of the NHPA for projects that occur on tribal lands, consultation must include the official tribal contact and the SHPO.
For projects occurring on lands other than tribal lands, the tribes which are culturally and historically associated with Florida may have an interest in the project and its potential to cause effects to properties which tribes attach traditional religious or cultural importance. In certain cases, the historic preservation officials associated with tribes may respond to the AN or to other project public announcements, such as notifications of public workshops, meetings or hearings. Tribes may also comment during the project screening opportunities afforded by FDOT's Efficient Transportation Decision Making Process (ETDM). There may be times when a tribal preservation representative requests a face-to-face meeting regarding certain aspects of a project or geographical area crossed by a project. All communications with tribes on matters which the tribe considers sensitive must be kept confidential.
When coordinating with tribes concerning issues related to historic and archaeological properties on or off tribal lands, the District must inform their appropriate Project Development Coordinator (PDC) and all correspondence to the tribes MUST follow the contact directions provided on the Contacts page of this site located at: https://www.fdot.gov/environment/NA-Website-Files/Contacts.shtm.
If a tribe contacts FDOT prior to or during the cultural resources assessment survey (CRAS) and has provided information which is related to the historic and archaeological survey area surrounding the project, this information must be considered in developing and conducting the CRAS and must be addressed as appropriate in the CRAS report. In responding to such a request from a tribe, the response must include a clear statement that the project is being developed in accordance with the provisions set forth in Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation (54 U.S.C. Section 306108) and Chapter 267, Florida Statutes.
If no tribe expresses an interest in the proposed project or its potential to effect historic properties AND no historic resources which may be of religious or cultural importance to the tribes were located or reported as being within the Area of Potential Effect (APE) as a result of the CRAS for the proposed project, then forward the CRAS report to the SHPO and send a copy to OEM.
If no tribe expresses an interest in the proposed project or its potential to effect historic properties BUT resources which may be of religious and cultural importance to the tribes are identified within the APE for the project, then provide the CRAS report to the SHPO and provide sufficient copies and letters to OEM for submission to the tribes. Please see the contacts page of this site to ensure proper addresses and communication methods for each tribe.
The cover letters and the reports should be sent electronically to the tribal preservation officials except for the communications with the Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida or where a tribe has requested otherwise.
The transmittal letter to the tribes must include the following, as appropriate:
If a tribe expresses an interest in the project, include the tribal comments in the project file and include them for additional consultation during the Section 106 process. Inform the appropriate PDC at OEM for that District of the tribe's interest.
When a tribe expresses an interest in a project which will require a federal permit, notify the permit agency of the tribal interest in the undertaking. If a tribe has a question about a project, inform the appropriate PDC and coordinate with OEM to provide an appropriate response and keep all communications with the tribes in the project files.
For state-only funded projects, the District serves as the state lead for the project. For FHWA funded projects, OEM serves as the lead federal agency for the project. On state-only projects, the District should only copy the appropriate PDC. If any important issues arise during consultation with a tribe or a federal permit agency on a state-only project, the District should notify the appropriate PDC.
If at any time during the Section 106 process, a tribe requests government to government consultation with the Federal Highway Administration, inform the appropriate PDC.
Florida Department of Transportation
Safety, Mobility, Reliability