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, Secretary Matthew Rodriquez 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 Draft Tribal Protocol

As part of the Tribal Policy implementation, CalEPA in early April 2018 released a draft Tribal Consultation Protocol (Tribal Protocol) and framework to request Tribal government input and comment on the draft to ensure that is as useful as possible for all parties involved in our consultation efforts.  This Tribal Protocol will be for use by our staff and the staff at each of our BDOs.

CalEPA held an Open Comment Period on its draft Tribal Consultation Protocol document from April 5, 2018 until June 15, 2018.  During this comment period, comments were accepted through a series of workshops with Tribes, Tribal communities and Tribal stakeholders and written submission.  Written comments were sent to Malinda Dumisani, Special Assistant for EJ and Tribal Affairs, CalEPA, P.O. Box 2815, Sacramento, CA, 95812-2815 or

2018 June Workshops. The workshops were held in northern, central and southern California on the draft Tribal Protocol document in June 2018.

Next Steps. CalEPA will consider the comments received and make revisions as necessary in consideration of the comments and feedback received.  Should you have any questions regarding this policy, draft protocol, or this effort, contact Yana Garcia, at (916) 323-0444 or via email at

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

Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment – Tribal Consultation Policy (dated 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 Amy Dunn, at

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


Polices in Development

Department of Pesticide Regulation – Draft Tribal Consultation Policy (dated August 2018)DPR is soliciting comments on its draft Tribal Consultation Policy to improve communication and coordination with California Native American Tribes, its enforcement partners, and the county agricultural commissioners. The DPR draft policy includes background information to prepare DPR staff for successful communication related to pesticides, with Tribal representatives. Should you have any questions regarding the DTSC draft Tribal Consultation policy, please contact Paul Ryan, DTSC Tribal Liaison, at (916) 376-8960 or via email at

Department of Toxic Substances Control – Draft Tribal Consultation Policy (dated March 27, 2018)This draft policy outlines the DTSC Tribal consultation process with the foundational principles of collaboration, communication, education, and Tribal sovereignty. The policy comment period closed August 1, 2018.  Should you have any questions regarding the DTSC draft Tribal Consultation policy, please contact Brittani Orona, DTSC Tribal Contact, at (916) 324-1327 or via email at

State Water Resources Control Board – Draft Tribal Consultation Policy (dated October 15, 2018). The draft policy is intended to serve as a guide for its staff to appropriately engage with Tribes and foster strong, effective, and respectful government-to-government relationships. The comment period closed November 28, 2018. The draft policy will be presented in front of the Water Board for adoption its December 11-12, 2018 meeting. Should you have any questions regarding the SWRCB draft Tribal Consultation policy, please contact Angela Rabe, SWRCB Tribal Contact, at (916) 322-4266 or via email at