About Tribal Relations

Last Modified: March 29, 2024

APHIS is committed to helping Native American Tribes keep their agricultural resources healthy and strong. By partnering with Native American producers, communities, and organizations, we provide a variety of services that protect animals and plants in Indian Country from harm.

Tribal Nations have the opportunity for timely and meaningful government-to-government consultation with APHIS in developing policies that may have Tribal implications. In keeping with the Presidential Executive Order on Tribal Consultation and APHIS Directive 1040.3 (131.97 KB), we work continuously to maintain strong partnerships that preserve Tribal sovereignty.

Learn more about USDA Tribal Consultation.

Our Work

Every operational program within APHIS can provide assistance and guidance to Tribes. Through cooperative agreements, technical and emergency training, and outreach activities, we help safeguard Tribal agricultural livestock, crops, and natural resources from disease, pests, and wildlife damage. Learn more about APHIS' programs:

The APHIS Native American Working Group (ANAWG)—which includes about 70 representatives from all APHIS program areas—is an integral part of our work. The group advises APHIS animal and plant health experts around the country about how they can better serve Tribes, intertribal committees, and related organizations, such as the Intertribal Agriculture Council. ANAWG also helps coordinate APHIS’ partnerships with Tribal governments. View our directory of ANAWG representatives (703.86 KB).

Recent Workshops and Other Trainings

With the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission, we cohosted the first Tribal Emergency Preparedness and Response Training on Stillaguamish lands in Washington State in April 2022. The training covered Federal incident emergency response and support functions, current plant pests and animal disease threats and surveillance activities, funding opportunities, and other topics important to Tribes.

At the 2022 Native American Fish and Wildlife Society Annual National Conference, we hosted a Tribal Biologist Workshop for Disease Detection and Surveillance. Held at the Miccosukee Tribe, in Miami, FL, participants learned how to test waterfowl for highly pathogenic avian influenza, collect samples from deer to test for SARS-CoV-2, and collect material from feral swine to test for swine diseases.

In June 2021, we offered a virtual training on Federal Indian Trust Responsibility, the most important principle of the Government's relationship with American Indian Tribes. View the Zoom recording from this training.

Partner Organizations and Resources

Want to learn more? There are many organizations that serve the needs and interests of Indian Country. Explore here:

U.S. Government Links of Interest

Visit these resources for more information on Government services and assistance for Tribes.

Contact Us

Terry W. Clark, DVM

Deputy Director, Office of the National Tribal Liaison

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