John S. McCain III
National Center for Environmental Conflict Resolution

Service Areas - Native American and Alaska Native

Federal agencies maintain a government-to-government relationship with Native American and Alaska Native people (Native Nations) as part of the United States' trust responsibility to Native Nations. This government-to-government relationship requires Federal agencies to communicate and consult with Native Nations on decisions that impact Native Nations, their communities, and their resources. Native Nations share many similar issues and challenges surrounding natural resource management and stewardship, environmental protection, economic sustainability, community health, infrastructure development, and protecting and maintaining culture. However, each Native Nation has a distinct government, culture, language, and community. Native Nations’ connection to traditional homelands, reservation territories, and Federal public lands tie these challenges to their intergovernmental relationship with the United States. The complicated relationship between Native Nations and the Federal Government intersects natural resources, environmental, and cultural resource planning and decision-making within the United States (e.g., ocean planning, infrastructure development, public lands management, natural resources, development, environmental protection, climate change, cultural resource, and sacred site protection). These issues and challenges also regularly involve State, and Local governments, environmental and resource user organizations, citizens groups, and businesses, all with different missions and objectives, and differing values, interests, priorities, and considerations. These numerous and diverse perspectives often complicate environmental decision-making processes creating the potential for conflict and requiring a different approach to resolving these challenges.

Environmental Collaboration and Conflict Resolution tools and approaches can help address these complex interactions and challenges and increase the potential for efficient, long-term, workable solutions among multiple parties. The National Center utilizes these tools to develop processes that honor the intergovernmental relationships and offer meaningful dialogue among divergent perspectives and parties. The National Center brings diverse interests together, repairing and building relationships and supporting the co-creation of solutions between Native Nations, the Federal Government, and their partners. Also, the National Center assists Federal agencies in their assessment of Tribal engagement efforts. It supports greater alignment between Federal with Tribal management processes and governance structures to improve working relationships with Native Nations.

The National Center offers training and services to help develop the skills and knowledge of Federal staff to support their work with Native Nations. In addition, the National Center may serve as a trusted third-party neutral, bringing clarity and support in the negotiation of broad and overlapping issues and conflicts, often surrounding complex environmental and natural resources disputes between Native Nations, Federal agencies, and other parties.

Our collaboration and conflict resolution services can provide value in the following areas:

  • Environmental, natural resources, and cultural resource planning.
  • National Environmental Policy Act
  • National Historic Preservation Act
  • Endangered Species Act
  • Government-to-Government Consultation.
  • Collaborative management of natural resources and protected species.
  • Policy development and implementation.
  • Competing interests and claims to natural resources.
  • Management of natural resources and public lands.
  • Traditional cultural property and sacred sites, including NHPA consultation.
  • Tribal engagement, including the incorporation of indigenous knowledge, in decision-making.
  • Data collection and management.
  • Training in stakeholder engagement, Tribal engagement, Government-to-Government Consultation, and collaboration and conflict resolution.

Click here to view and download the Native American and Alaska Native flyer.

Service Area Contact

Stephanie Lucero
(520) 901-8532