Tribal Consultation Policy

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), and Indian tribes share the goal of establishing clear policies to further the government-to-government relationship between the federal government and Indian tribes. True and effective consultation will result in information exchange, mutual understanding, and informed decision-making on behalf of the Indian tribes and the federal government.

Indian tribes have an inalienable and inherent right to self-government. Self-government means government in which decisions are made by the people who are most directly affected by the decisions. As sovereign nations, tribes exercise inherent sovereign powers over their members, territories, and lands. As federal agencies, CDC and ATSDR recognize their special commitment and unique relationship with Indian tribes and are committed to fulfilling their critical role in promoting the health and safety of Indian tribes.

CDC/ATSDR’s Tribal Consultation Policy requires that all agency programs consult with tribal governments when developing programs, policies, and activities that will affect Native populations.

The goal of the Tribal Consultation Policy includes, but is not limited to

  • Assisting in eliminating the health disparities faced by Indian Tribes
  • Ensuring that access to critical health and human services and public health services is maximized, to advance or enhance the social, physical, and economic status of Indians
  • Ensuring that health equity for all Indian people and communities is attained

To achieve these shared goals, it is essential that Indian tribal governments and CDC/ATSDR engage in open, continuous, and meaningful consultation.