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U.S. Commerce Department Issues Public Comment Period On Tribal Consultation and Coordination Policy

The U.S. Commerce Department today announced it is accepting public comments on a proposed policy, “Tribal Consultation and Coordination Policy for the U.S. Department of Commerce,” establishing how Commerce consults with federally-recognized Indian tribes on policies that have tribal implications. These consultations promote Commerce’s mission in part by supporting strong and stable tribal economies able to participate in today’s national and global marketplace. The proposed policy responds to President Obama’s 2009 White House Memorandum and the 2000 Executive Order 13175 by reaffirming the unique government-to-government relationship between the Federal Government and Indian tribal governments.

“The Obama administration recognizes the government to government relationship with American Indians and Alaska Natives and is committed to ensuring these individuals remain an integral part of policy-making decisions,” said Commerce Senior Advisor on Native American Affairs, Dee Alexander. “This policy further codifies Commerce’s efforts to support job creation and economic stability in Indian country so that American Indians and Alaska Natives have the tools they need to grow and compete globally.”

The purpose of the policy is to reaffirm Commerce’s commitment to formalize a process that ensures accountable, meaningful and timely input from tribal officials in the development of Commerce policies that have tribal implications. The proposed policy was developed through numerous Commerce listening sessions with Tribes. Commerce will work with Tribes on developing the final policy by sending all 566 federally-recognized tribal governments a copy of the policy Federal Register notice and conducting several webinars to discuss the policy and listen to comments from tribal leaders. Webinar dates will be announced in the future. 

Public comments on the proposed rule may be submitted in writing until October 1. All comments received will be part of the public record and will generally be posted without change for public viewing to All personal identifying information voluntarily submitted by the commenter, such as name and address, may be publicly accessible. Confidential business information or otherwise sensitive or protected information should not be submitted.

To submit comments electronically, visit and enter docket number “DOC-2012-0002” into the search box, locate the document you wish to comment on and click “Submit a Comment.” Attachments will be accepted in Microsoft Word, Excel, WordPerfect, or Adobe PDF file formats only.

Comments can also be faxed to 202-482-4420, Attn: Dee Alexander, or by mail, directed to:

    Dee Alexander, Senior Advisor on Native American Affairs
    Office of Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs
    U.S. Department of Commerce, Room 5422
    1401Constitution Ave., NW
    Washington, DC 20230.

To learn more about Commerce’s efforts to help strengthen the economy, visit