Today, Administrator Craig Fugate announced the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Tribal Consultation Policy, which begins a new phase of engagement and collaboration with American Indian and Alaskan Native tribes. The new policy establishes a process for regular and meaningful consultation and collaboration with tribal officials on Agency actions that have tribal implications, and it emphasizes the importance of consulting with Indian Country.
“This policy strengthens FEMA’s effort to support the emergency management needs of Indian Country,” FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate said. “Providing direct Federal assistance to Tribal governments has been a top priority for FEMA, and this policy will ensure that Tribal leaders continue to have a voice in shaping how FEMA partners with communities before, during and after disasters.”
Tribal governments and their members are an essential part of our nation’s emergency management team. In developing the new policy, FEMA consulted with and received valuable input from tribes, which is reflected in the final policy announced today. As part of this process, Administrator Fugate solicited input from Tribal Leaders for the policy during the consultation period that opened in October 2013 and continued through March 2014.
During that time, FEMA presented the policy at conferences, in face-to-face consultation meetings, in listening sessions, through webinars and in conference calls, and it received many written comments from tribes. As a result, the policy released today creates a consistent and transparent consultation process that reflects a wide array of views and will be applied across FEMA programs and offices. Additionally, FEMA’s policy builds upon and is consistent with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Tribal Consultation Policy, and it tailors that consultation framework to FEMA’s mission.