U.S. Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution

Project Case Summary

Illinois Section 106 Tribal Consultation Workshops
2008-2009

Location: Illinois

Background

In 2008, the Illinois Division of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), and the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) expressed interest in enhancing communication and building relationships with Native American Tribes with historic and ancestral ties to present-day Illinois. At their request, the U.S. Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution brought together a planning team comprised of agency and tribal representatives to plan and convene a collaborative workshop to address Section 106 consultation on Illinois transportation projects.

The first Illinois Section 106 Tribal Consultation Workshop took place in November 2008 in Colville, Illinois. Representatives from eight identified tribes participated in the workshop along with staff from the Illinois transportation agencies. This first workshop provided a beginning foundation for improved communication and relationships. Information was shared; challenges and differences were identified and discussed; and the participants expressed an interest in developing an agreement to establish a process for tribal consultation on Illinois transportation projects.

The second Illinois Section 106 Tribal Consultation Workshop took place in July 2009, in Springfield, Illinois, to continue the work begun on the Draft MOU. As the result of much hard work, dedication, and willingness to work together through challenges, participants came to agreement on all necessary changes. An MOU Steering Committee was formed to finalize the MOU and communicate with Tribes not present at the workshop.

Highlights/Innovation

  • With review and input from Tribal representatives, IDOT developed a new website early notification system that provides Tribes with information about transportation projects in each Tribe's geographic area of interest.
  • The MOU Steering Committee is exploring ways to convene a biennial meeting among the MOU signatories.
  • In the words of participants, the workshops had several beneficial aspects: "Protection of sacred areas...Working MOU...Having the decision makers from many agencies present was very valuable... Tribal and IDOT interaction... Completion of process...Working together...Cooperation between tribal members and agency personnel...Very valuable to have agencies meet Tribes in person..."

Credits

Facilitation Partners
Franky Jackson, JBN Consulting
Richard Wadleigh, SWCA

U.S. Institute Project Lead
Joan Calcagno, Senior Program Manager
Transportation Program
Phone: (520) 901-8552
E-mail: calcagno@ecr.gov Website: www.ecr.gov



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