What We Do

A large group of people standing together in a grassy field with a red barn in the background
Tribal Consultation meeting at Pipestone National Monument

NPS Photo

The National Park Service (NPS) is a bureau within the Department of the Interior (DOI). The NPS manages more than 400 national parks and 100 related areas, as well as many programs that reach across the United States and the world. The Office of Native American Affairs (ONAA), within the Office of the Director of the NPS, strengthens relationships with Native American, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander, and Alaska Native communities.

The ONAA’s primary responsibilities are highlighted below:

Tribal Consultation

The Native American Affairs Liaison is primarily responsible to ensure the NPS meets the requirements set out in the DOI Policy on Consultation with Indian Tribes. The ONAA works closely with tribal liaisons and tribal affairs staff in regions, parks, and programs to improve and support active tribal consultation. Consultations with Native Hawaiian organizations and Pacific Islander communities were also undertaken. In fiscal years 2018-2019, the NPS reported 3,531 tribal consultations with 237 Tribes, 34 Alaska Native Villages, and 13 Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act corporations. The NPS currently supports 56 agreements with Tribes, with 17 others being reviewed for finalization.

Find contact information for your National Park Service tribal liaison.

Represents NPS Tribal and Indigenous Relations

The ONAA serves as a point of contact for Tribes, Indigenous peoples, regions, parks, and programs on tribal self governance topics and funding agreements under the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act (ISDEAA). Since 2011, approximately $27 million has been provided through annual funding agreements with self governance Tribes to accomplish maintenance, resource management, interpretation, and youth program activities in associated national parks.

There are currently 574 federally recognized Tribes. There are 202 Tribal Historic Preservation Offices that have entered into an agreement with the NPS. Find more information about the Tribal Historic Preservation Program.

Policy Development and Implementation

The ONAA develops NPS-wide guidance, and reviews proposed policy and legislation to advise and support the NPS Director, regional offices, and individual parks on issues that impact Native American, Alaska Native, Pacific Islander, and Native Hawaiian communities.

In addition, the ONAA collaborates with other Department of Interior bureaus to develop Department-wide and government-wide guidance on issues involving tribal governments. ONAA also participates in international efforts to join with Indigenous peoples to achieve common natural resource and cultural heritage preservation goals.

Last updated: June 20, 2024