Throughout the United States, thousands of miles of roads operated by transportation agencies traverse lands of interest to or under the jurisdiction of Native American tribes. As the need arises for transportation improvements, so does the need to conduct extensive and meaningful outreach to the members and governing bodies of these tribes. Historically, the relationship between government agencies and tribes has often been complex. Despite widespread agreement by parties on all sides that coordination on transportation projects has not always achieved mutually beneficial results, research that identifies the underlying causes and develops practical solutions for achieving such results is scarce.
Transportation projects increasingly impact—and are impacted by—tribes. With 562 federally recognized tribes as well as many state-recognized and non-recognized tribes located in all regions across the country, there is a significant need for results-oriented strategies for public involvement and for consultation between government agencies and tribes. These strategies will be appropriate for immediate implementation by all parties working to develop transportation projects of interest to and affecting tribes.
The project developed a Guidebook providing practical strategies for communication, cooperation, and coordination between transportation agencies and tribal communities in order to facilitate successful transportation projects. The Guidebook and Final report are available on the TRB website.