California Native American Tribal Relations

CalEPA and its boards, departments, and office (BDOs) are committed to improving our communication and working relationships with California Native American Tribes.

CalEPA Tribal Relations Spotlight:

CalEPA Tribal Consultation Policy

CalEPA first adopted its Tribal Consultation Policy in 2009 to guide CalEPA and all its BDOs in their daily operations to work with California Native American Tribes in a knowledgeable, sensitive, and respectful manner.  In August 2015, CalEPA revised and updated the Tribal Consultation Policy to strengthen and enhance the objectives outlined in this agency-wide guidance document. The 2015 CalEPA Policy on Consultation with California Native American Tribes (PDF) details how CalEPA and its BDOs will continue to work to improve and strengthen its relationships with Tribal governments and Tribal communities.  Please refer to the Tribal Policy Revision Background page to find out more about how our Tribal Consultation Policy was revised.

CalEPA implements our Tribal Policy with the assistance of our Tribal Advisory Committee, made up of representatives from federally and non-federally recognized Tribes, and the input of interested Tribal governments, communities, and stakeholders.


CalEPA Tribal Consultation Protocol

CalEPA Tribal Consultation Protocol Document Graphic

In February 2020, CalEPA adopted it Tribal Consultation Protocol (Tribal Protocol) as part of its Tribal Policy implementation and to provide guidance to CalEPA and its BDOs when conducting government-to-government consultations and engaging with California Native American Tribes. The Tribal Protocol builds upon the Tribal Policy and provides a step-by-step process that includes a set of best practices when engaging with Tribe in meaningful, inclusive, and mutually respectful way. This Tribal Protocol is for use by our staff and the staff at each of our BDOs.

Overview of Tribal Consultation Protocol Handout

For any questions regarding the Tribal Policy or Tribal Protocol, please contact Malinda Dumisani, at (916) 445-0444 or via email at Malinda.Dumisani@calepa.ca.gov.


Boards, Departments and Office – Tribal Policies Adopted & In Development

CalEPA’s Boards, Departments, and Office have adopted and are working to develop individual and BDO-specific tribal policies. These  tribal policies are specific to each BDO’s authority, activities, and purview.

Adopted Policies

Department of Toxic Substances Control – Tribal Consultation Policy (adopted March 2020). DTSC’s Tribal Policy outlines the tribal consultation process with the foundational principles of collaboration, communication, education, and Tribal sovereignty. Should you have any questions regarding the DTSC Tribal Consultation policy, please contact Ana Mascarenas, DTSC Tribal Liaison, at (916) 323-9219 or via email at Ana.Mascarenas@dtsc.ca.gov.

State Water Resources Control Board –Tribal Consultation Policy (adopted June 2019). In June 2019 the State Water Board finalized its Tribal Consultation Policy to reaffirm collaboration and input from all California Native American Tribes.  Should you have any questions regarding the SWRCB draft Tribal Consultation policy, please contact Moises Moreno-Rivera, SWRCB Assistant Tribal Liaison at (916) 341-5261 or via email at Tribal-liaison@waterboards.ca.gov.

Department of Pesticide Regulation Tribal Consultation Policy (adopted April 2019)DPR is adopted its Tribal Consultation Policy to improve communication and coordination with California Native American Tribes, its enforcement partners, and the county agricultural commissioners. The DPR Tribal Policy includes background information to prepare DPR staff for successful communication related to pesticides, with Tribal representatives. Should you have any questions regarding the DPR’s Tribal Consultation policy, please contact Paul Ryan, DPR Tribal Liaison, at (916) 376-8960 or via email at Paul.Ryan@cdpr.ca.gov.

Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment – Tribal Consultation Policy (adopted January 2019).  The OEHHA Tribal Policy provides a framework for OEHHA to establish and maintain effective government-to-government relationships and engage in meaningful consultation with California Native American Tribes. Should you have any questions regarding the OEHHA Tribal Consultation policy, please contact OEHHA Tribal Liaison Laura August, at Laura.August@oehha.ca.gov.

California Air Resources Board – Tribal Consultation Policy (adopted October 2018) – Tribal Liaison Dilley presented the Policy for consideration of adoption to the Board on October 25, 2018. The Board adopted its Tribal policy with supportive comments.  Should you have any questions regarding this ARB draft Tribal Consultation policy, please contact Shannon Dilley, ARB Tribal Liaison and Staff Attorney, at (916) 322-3940 or via email at Shannon.Dilley@arb.ca.gov.

Polices in Development

Department of Resources, Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) – CalRecycle is developing a tribal consultation policy. For questions or more information, please contact Tracey Harper, CalRecycle Tribal Liaison, at (916) 341-6531 or via email at Tracey.Harper@CalRecycle.ca.gov.