The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has a government-to-government relationship with Indian Tribes. This special relationship is affirmed in treaties, Supreme Court decisions, and Executive Orders, and provides that FHWA and other Federal agencies consult with Tribes regarding policy and regulatory matters. Section 106 of the NHPA also requires that FHWA (this responsibility has not been delegated to the State of Alaska) consult with Tribes for undertakings that may affect properties considered to have traditional religious and cultural significance. www.environment.fhwa.dot.gov/histpres/tribal.htm#consult
This agreement provides a framework for the establishment of lasting government-to-government relationships and an implementation procedure to assure that such relationships are constructive and meaningful and further enhance cooperation between the State government and Alaska Tribes. It acknowledges the mutual sovereignty of the State and Alaska’s federally recognized tribes.
State policy on tribal relations is also found in Administrative Order 186.
This policy reinforces government-to-government relationships between the Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (department) and the tribes in Alaska through consultation on significant matters of mutual concern.
This policy provides guidance to all employees of the department involved in any departmental action(s) that significantly or uniquely affect a tribe in Alaska, and pertaining to any tribal action that significantly or uniquely affects this department. It also reinforces the foundation for establishing and maintaining effective government-to-government communications between the department and the tribes in Alaska, and promotes consultation and coordination with these tribes, with the goal of ensuring that the department conducts consultation in a culturally sensitive manner. Policy and Procedure 01.03.010 Government-to-Government Relations with the Federally-Recognized Tribes of Alaska
Contracting with private construction companies through competitive bidding on DOT&PF projects is an effective means of ensuring high-quality construction, completed in a timely fashion at a fair cost, but frequently results in low utilization of the local workers in rural areas of Alaska. The construction industry in Alaska needs new entrants to meet ongoing and future needs for workers. Access to training opportunities directly related to construction projects in rural Alaska is essential to increase productivity and earning power of rural Alaskans and enable them to establish careers in the construction industry. The department and the contractor for an airport or highway project sponsor Post Award Conferences in rural communities to discuss opportunities to employ local residents and other economic opportunities for individuals and businesses related to a transportation project. gov.state.ak.us/admin-orders/199.html
Please visit the DOT&PF Procurement and Contracting webpage for the Tentative Advertising Schedule and the Current Bid Calendar under “Construction & Maintenance Contracting”: dot.alaska.gov/procurement/
You can also contact the Civil Rights office for information additional information regarding On-the-Job Training, the Alaska DBE Program, Contract Compliance, and other employment support services: dot.alaska.gov/cvlrts/index.shtml
DOT&PF explains how the post-award conference can benefit tribes, cities, the public, and contractors in a short video created in 2009 titled “Building Rural Alaska- A Partnership for Progress”
MAP-21 set forth a new chapter for cooperation between Tribes and other government agencies regarding highway program delivery. Section 202(a)(9) of title 23, United States Code encourages cooperation between States and Tribes by allowing any funds received from a State, county, or local government to be credited to appropriations available for the Tribal Transportation Program (TTP). One potential source of such funding are funds apportioned or allocated to a State under title 23. Section 104(f)(3) allows the Secretary of Transportation to, at the request of a State, transfer among States, or to the Department's Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), funds that have been so apportioned or allocated. This provision, used in conjunction with the authority under 23 U.S.C. 209(a)(9), allows State funds to be transferred to FHWA, which in turn would provide the funds to the specified Tribe.
DOT&PF will continue to partner with Tribes using this funding mechanism when feasible.
In late August 2016, DOT&PF officially opened the Road to Tanana, a $13.7 million project that constructed 20 miles of new road and upgraded 14 miles of existing road in order to bring cheaper freight, cargo, and travel to the community of Tanana. This pioneer road ends at the Yukon River, about six miles upstream from Tanana. Although DOT&PF does not provide regular winter maintenance, crews plow the snow and open the road up at the beginning of March each year in coordination with the construction of an ice road by the City of Tanana, which allows residents to transport freight to the community while the ice is stable. In addition to providing increased access to Tanana, the road is also being used to provide more options to transport people and freight farther downriver, reducing costs for other Yukon River communities.
Governor Walker and Lt. Governor Mallott recently established the Governor’s Tribal Advisory Council (GTAC) to improve the relationship between the state and the 229 federally recognized tribes in Alaska. This will ensure the state’s highest office have direct communication with tribes to meet the unique needs of Alaska’s first people. GTAC is comprised of 11 council representatives, who represent Alaska’s federally recognized tribes’ interests in important issues including a transportation representative.
Next meeting: 11 October 2018
Previous meeting materials
The Office of Federal Lands Highway (FLH) works with numerous Federal agencies and Indian Tribes. Approximately 30 percent of the land in the United States is under jurisdiction of the Federal government. The Federal Land Management Agencies (FLMAs) include: the Bureau of Indian Affairs, U.S. Forest Service, National Park Service, Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command, U.S. Army, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Navy, Tennessee Valley Authority, and the Bureau of Reclamation. On October 1, 2012, the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) established the Federal Lands and Tribal Transportation Program (FLTTP). The FLTTP was continued under the FAST Act.
The Tribal Transportation Program (TTP) is the largest program in the Office of Federal Lands Highway. Established in 23 U.S.C. 202 to address the transportation needs of Tribal governments throughout the United States, the program is receiving $465 million in FY 2016, with increases of $10 million per year to $505 million in FY 2020, as established in Public Law 114-94, Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act (the FAST Act). The purpose of the TTP is to provide safe and adequate transportation and public road access to and within Indian reservations, Indian lands, and Alaska Native Village communities. A prime objective of the TTP is to contribute to the economic development, self-determination, and employment of Indians and Native Americans.
The Tribal Transportation Program is funded by contract authority from the Highway Trust Fund and is subject to the overall Federal-aid obligation limitation. Funds are allocated among Tribes using a statutory formula based on tribal population, road mileage and average tribal shares of the former Tribal Transportation Allocation Methodology (TTAM) formula.