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The Tribal Support Unit, housed within CDC's Office for State, Tribal, Local and Territorial Support (OSTLTS), is the primary link between CDC, the Agency for Toxic Substance and Disease Registry (ATSDR), and tribal governments. Tribal Support Unit activities focus on fulfilling CDC's supportive role in ensuring that American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) communities receive public health services that keep them safe and healthy.

CDC/ATSDR policy requires that all agency programs consult with tribal governments when they develop programs and activities that will affect Native populations. CDC is committed to continuing to work with federally recognized tribal governments on a government-to-government basis, and strongly supports and respects tribal sovereignty and self-determination for tribal governments in the United States.

Who We Are

  • Principal advisor to and main liaison with policy-level officials regarding AI/ANs
  • Principal contact for AI/AN and tribal inquiries
  • Intradepartmental coordinator of CDC/ATSDR programs and policies that benefit or affect AI/ANs

What We Do

  • Enhance the relationship building and liaison role between CDC/ATSDR and tribes
  • Develop tribal-related communication strategies
  • Apply the Tribal Consultation Policy and formal government-to-government consultation
  • Work with Native-serving organizations, including urban and rural Indian organizations, in the interests of Indian tribes and AI/ANs
  • Manage the Tribal Advisory Committee, which advises the CDC director and ATSDR administrator on policy issues and broad strategies affecting Native tribes and people
  • Partner with the Department of Health and Human Services
  • Manage extramural funding affecting AI/AN communities
  • Serve as subject matter experts on Native efforts

Tribal Support Fact Sheet [PDF-817KB]

Associate Director for Tribal Support: CAPT Carmen Clelland, PharmD, MPA


If you have any questions, please contact CDC Tribal Support at or 404-498-0300.