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 malinda.dumisani@calepa.ca.gov.

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 Yana.Garcia@calepa.ca.gov.


Boards, Departments and Office – Tribal Policy Development

CalEPA’s Boards, Departments and Office are developing individual and BDO-specific tribal policies. These developing tribal policies are specific to each BDO’s authority, activities, and purview.  Below is a list of policies currently available for Tribal comment:

Air Resources Board – Draft Tribal Consultation Policy (January 8, 2018) – Comment Period closes August 31, 2018
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.

Department of Toxic Substances Control – Draft Tribal Consultation Policy (March 27, 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 Brittani.Orona@dtsc.ca.gov.