Best Practices for Partnering and Collaborating with Tribes

Relationship-building between Native American Tribes and environmental and cultural professionals is mutually beneficial. It leads to greater efficiencies and understandings that aid in the advancement of projects requiring compliance with National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and Section 106 (National Historic Preservation Act) processes. A strategic approach to building relationships maximizes the potential for meaningful collaboration between Tribes and the project developer, and reduces potential risks to proposed projects.

106 Group’s Anne Ketz partnered with Paul Backhouse, PhD, RPA (Seminole Tribe of Florida) in presenting “Best Practices for Partnering and Collaborating with Tribes” at the National Association of Environmental Professionals Virtual Conference. They shared multiple perspectives for identifying tribal stakeholders, as well as how to develop thoughtful engagement approaches, encourage dialogue and interaction among participants, and elicit input that adds value to decision making.

We’ve provided some guidance and tools you can implement immediately for building long-term relationships with Tribes. Check it out at the link below. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have more questions!

Cover image of bison provided by Bryan Ungard via Flickr

Anne Ketz

Anne’s career in cultural resources management and planning extends over 40 years and three continents. A recognized leader in guiding clients through the maze of federal, state, and local preservation legislation, Anne’s diplomacy brings successful resolution to complex and controversial projects. Since co-founding 106 Group in 1992, she has worked with a broad range of stakeholders, including community activists, planners, and American Indian leaders. Anne has authored hundreds of cultural resources and historic preservation reports and papers.

Paul Backhouse

Dr. Backhouse has served the Seminole Tribe of Florida for more than a decade.  Performing the duties as the Tribal Historic Preservation Officer (THPO) since 2012 and simultaneously as the Director of the AAM accredited Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum since 2013.  He now serves as the Senior Director of the newly formed Heritage and Environment Resources Office (HERO), which provides oversight and operational guidance to the Tribal Historic Preservation Office, Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum and the Environmental Resources Management Department (ERMD).  Dr. Backhouse is the primary representative for the Seminole Tribe of the HERO for day-to-day operations and during government-to-government consultation between the Tribe and Federal entities.