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Tribal Consultations

This section contains information about the Agency's active and past consultations with federally recognized Indian tribal governments (tribal governments). FEMA recognizes the nation to nation relationship between the U.S. government and federally recognized tribes. To acknowledge and honor the sovereignty of tribal nations, FEMA conducts regular and meaningful consultation and collaboration with tribal governments to ensure that FEMA policies and programs address tribal needs.

FEMA's Tribal Consultation Policy, which was finalized in August 2014 with input from tribes, outlines the process that FEMA officials use to conduct consultation with Indian tribes and tribal officials.

Current Consultations

  • FEMA is initiating a 90-day outreach and consultation period from June 1 to August 29, 2017, to seek federally recognized Indian tribal governments’ input on an update of the FEMA Tribal Consultation Policy (Policy). We are updating the Policy to reflect current authorities and best practices and to follow FEMA’s new required policy document format. For an example of the new policy document format, please visit the Tribal Consultation Policy Update page. Comments must be received by August 29, 2017, and can be submitted via email to or via U.S. Mail to Margeau Valteau, Office of External Affairs/Tribal Branch, DHS/FEMA, 500 C Street SW, MS 3193, Washington, DC 20472. For more information, please contact your Regional Tribal Liaison.

Past Consultations

These are records of past FEMA tribal consultations in chronological order, including audio recordings and transcripts of listening sessions, Federal Register Notices, and letters of testimony. These documents are no longer open for comment.

Submitting Comments

Do you have questions or feedback on current consultations? Please email contact your Regional Tribal Liaison or email

  • FEMA Tribal Policy was updated to supersede the previous FEMA Tribal Policy, which was effective from 2013-2016. The policy was updated based on tribal input, current authorities, key policy questions, and continued efforts to improve the Agency’s nation-to-nation relationship with tribal governments. The updated policy can be found here.
  • FEMA Tribal Policy was revised and updated following the tribal consultation period from August 22, 2016 to October 28, 2016. The update policy can be view here (link to tribal policy). Comments closed.
  • The Tribal Mitigation Plan Review Guide “Key Concepts” document is out for comment and posted on FEMA’s Website. This 7-page document summarizes key concepts and questions that FEMA seeks tribal governments' input on to inform an update of the Agency's policy on tribal hazard mitigation planning. Comments Closed.

  • The Tribal Declarations Pilot Guidance document is out for comment and posted on the Federal Register here.  The Guidance can also be found here for review and commentComments Closed.

  • FEMA Seeks Comments on PDA ManualFEMA is seeking comments from state, tribal, and local emergency management practitioners on the draft Preliminary Damage Assessment Operating Manual. The manual establishes national damage assessment standards developed from historic lessons learned and best-practices already in use by local, state, tribal and federal emergency management agencies. The draft manual is posted on the FEMA website. Comments should be added to the comment matrix and submitted to comment period will be open to Tribal Nations and the broader public until November 14, 2015. 

  • Seeking Comments on the Guidelines for Implementing the Federal Flood Risk Standard: Prior to implementation of the Standard additional input from stakeholders is being solicited and considered on the Guidelines. The new federal flood risk standard requires all future federal investments in and affecting floodplains to meet the level of resilience as established by the Standard.  For example, this includes where federal funds are used to build new structures and facilities or to rebuild those that have been damaged.

  • FEMA Publishes FEMA and Tribal Nations - A Pocket Guide: This pocket guide explains the Agency's policies related to tribal engagement, outlines key FEMA programs and how they specifically relate to federally-recognized tribes, and provides key contact information.  Contact your regional tribal liasion and get your copy today!

  • FEMA Tribal Consultation Policy Signed: On August 12, 2014, the FEMA Administrator signed the final FEMA Tribal Consultation Policy, which established a process to guide FEMA officials on how to engage Indian tribes and Tribal Officials in regular and meaningful consultation and collaboration on actions that have tribal consultations.  View the new policy.

  • Consultation on Procedures to Request Emergency or Major Disaster Declarations (March-April 2013).  This consultation requested tribal comment on the Sandy Recovery Improvement Act of 2013 and on the new process for tribal emergency and major disaster declarations.
  • Consultation on the Tribal Consultation Policy (October 2013 - August 2014). FEMA created a draft tribal consultation policy and sought feedback from all federally recognized tribes. The tribal consultation policy establishes a process to guide FEMA officials on how to engage tribes and tribal Officials in regular and meaningful consultation and collaboration on actions that have tribal implications. The final policy was published in August 2014.
  • Tribal Declarations Pilot Guidance First Draft (April - August 2104) This guidance describes how FEMA will process and evaluate requests from tribal governments for a disaster declaration, independent of a state. FEMA developed the first draft of guidance, using input from tribal governments in 2013.
  • Tribal Declarations Pilot Guidance Second Draft (January - April 2016) FEMA conducted a third round of consultation on the second draft guidance with tribal governments through listening sessions throughout the country in 2016. The input received will be used to develope the final guidance. (Anticipated to be published by the end of 2016)
Last Updated: 
05/24/2019 - 15:01