Dear USET/USET SPF Family,
The Department of the Interior (DOI) has issued a Dear Tribal Leader Letter
announcing a Tribal consultation to develop a policy to integrate the use of Indigenous Knowledge into its decision-making, program implementation, and other activities. This action is in response to recent efforts by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) to develop a guide for federal agencies to include Indigenous Knowledge into decision-making processes. The White House OSTP and CEQ were directed to lead this effort following the 2021 White House Tribal Nations Summit. Throughout 2022, OSTP and CEQ held several Tribal consultations to receive input on the development of government-wide guidance for the inclusion of Indigenous Knowledge into these processes and finalized and issued this guidance on November 30, 2022.
DOI is now seeking input on how the inclusion and use of Indigenous Knowledge can inform departmental policies, programs, research, and decision-making. This also includes working with Tribal Nations to identify appropriate knowledge holders and how to appropriately protect Indigenous Knowledge. Details regarding the upcoming Tribal consultation with federally recognized Tribal Nations is as follows—
- Date/Time: Monday, February 27, 2023 from 2:00pm to 5:00pm ET
- Click Here to Register
- *Note: This consultation is closed to the press and the public to protect confidential and sensitive information that may be disclosed.
USET SPF initially expressed its support for the integration of Indigenous Knowledge in federal decision-making processes via an op-ed
from President, Chief Kirk Francis, Sr. Published in Indian Country Today on December 13, 2021, his op-ed was penned following the announcement of this initiative during the 2021 White House Tribal Nations Summit. USET SPF participated in the OSTP and CEQ consultations held throughout 2022 and submitted comments on May 5, 2022, and October 11, 2022 providing recommendations for the development of a government-wide Indigenous Knowledge Guidance. Several of these recommendations focused on using and collecting Indigenous Knowledge in a respectful manner, protecting this knowledge from public dissemination, and increasing funding for Tribal Historic Preservation Officers and Tribal cultural and natural resource managers to assist the federal government in these efforts.
For a list of Framing Questions for this upcoming consultation, please refer to the Dear Tribal Leader Letter. DOI has also prepared a draft Departmental Manual for the promotion an inclusion of Indigenous Knowledge in its decision-making, resource management, and program implementation. Written comments in response to this Tribal consultation and the Departmental Manual are due by 11:59pm ET on March 26, 2023 and can be emailed to email@example.com. Questions regarding this effort should be directed to Jacob Malcom at (202) 657-2877, or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information, please contact Brian Howard, USET SPF Senior Policy Analyst, at email@example.com.