following memorandum was sent to all heads of executive departments
and agencies and appeared in the May 4, 1994 issue of the Federal
Register. It was signed and released in conjunction with the historic
meeting between the President and representatives of Tribal governments
held at the White House on April 29, 1995.
The White House
April 29, 1994
MEMORANDUM FOR THE HEADS OF EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES
Government-to-Government Relations with Native American Tribal
United States government has a unique legal relationship with
Native American Tribal governments as set forth in the Constitution
of the United States, treaties, statutes, and court decisions.
As executive departments and agencies undertake activities affecting
Native American Tribal rights or trust resources, such activities
should be implemented in a knowledgeable, sensitive manner respectful
of Tribal sovereignty.
as part of an historic meeting, I am outlining principles that
executive departments and agencies, including every component
bureau and office, are to follow in their interactions with Native
American Tribal governments. The purpose of these principles is
to clarify our responsibility to ensure that the Federal government
operates within a government-to-government relationship with Federally-recognized
Native American Tribes. I am strongly committed to building a
more effective day-to-day working relationship reflecting respect
for the rights of self-government due the sovereign Tribal governments.
order to ensure that the rights of sovereign Tribal governments
are fully respected, executive branch activities shall be guided
by the following:
The head of each executive department and agency shall be responsible
for ensuring that the department or agency operates within a government-to-government
relationship with Federally-recognized Tribal governments.
Each executive department and agency shall consult, to the greatest
extent practicable and to the extent permitted by law, with Tribal
governments prior to taking actions that affect Federally recognized
Tribal governments. All such consultations are to be open and
candid so that all interested parties may evaluate for themselves
the potential impact of relevant proposals.
Each executive department and agency shall assess the impact of
Federal government plans, projects, programs, and activities on
Tribal trust resources and assure that Tribal government rights
and concerns are considered during the development of such plans,
projects, programs and activities.
Each executive department and agency shall take appropriate steps
to remove any procedural impediments to working directly and effectively
with Tribal governments on activities that affect the trust property
and/or governmental rights of the Tribes.
Each executive department and agency shall work cooperatively
with other Federal departments and agencies to enlist their interest
and support in cooperative efforts, where appropriate, to accomplish
the goals of this memorandum.
Each executive department and agency shall apply the requirements
of Executive Orders Nos. 12875 ("Enhancing the Intergovernmental
Partnership") and 12866 ("Regulatory Planning and Review")
to design solutions and tailor Federal programs, in appropriate
circumstances, to address specific or unique needs of Tribal communities.
The head of each executive department and agency shall ensure
that the department or agency's bureaus and components are fully
aware of this memorandum, through publication or other means,
and that they are in compliance with its requirements.
memorandum is intended only to improve the internal management
of the executive branch and is not intended to, and does not,
create any right to administrative or judicial review, or any
other right or benefit or trust responsibility, substantive or
procedural, enforceable by a party against the United States,
its agencies or instrumentalities, its officers or employees,
or any other person.