Policy Laws and Regulations

“These principles recognize the importance of increasing understanding and addressing tribal concerns, past, present, and future.”

- DoD American Indian and Alaska
Native Policy, Preamble


Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA) - The Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act was signed into law by President Richard M. Nixon on December 18, 1971. The settlement extinguished Alaska Native claims to the land by transferring titles to twelve Alaska Native regional corporations and over 200 local village corporations. A thirteenth regional corporation was later created for Alaska Natives who no longer resided in Alaska. ANCSA and related legislation produced changes in ownership of about 148,500,000 acres (601,000 km2) of land in Alaska once controlled by the Federal Government.

National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) - The National Historic Preservation Act is legislation intended to preserve historical and archaeological sites in the United States of America. The act created the National Register of Historic Places, the list of National Historic Landmarks, and the State Historic Preservation Offices. NHPA was signed into law on October 15, 1966. In 1992, amendments to the Act increased protection for Native American and Native Hawaiian preservation efforts.

Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) - The Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act was passed on November 16, 1990, and requires federal agencies and institutions that receive federal funding to return Native American cultural items and human remains to their respective peoples.

Archeological Resources Protection Act - The Archeological Resources Protection Act was passed on October 31, 1979, and seeks to protect archaeological resources and sites which are on public lands and Indian lands, and to foster increased cooperation and exchange of information between governmental authorities, the professional archaeological community, and private individuals.

American Indian Religious Freedom Act - The American Indian Religious Freedom Act was passed on August 11, 1978, and seeks to protect and preserve for American Indians their inherent fight of freedom to believe, express and exercise the traditional religions of the American Indian, Eskimo, Aleut, and Native Hawaiians, including but not limited to access to sites, use and possession of sacred objects, and the freedom to worship through ceremonials and traditional rites.

DoD Policies

American Indian and Alaska Native Policy (PDF)

Updated January 2012. This Policy was issued in 1998 by then Secretary Cohen and asserts the principles for DoD interacting and working with federally-recognized tribes on a government.-to-government. basis. These principles establish the Department of Defenses American Indian and Alaska Native Policy for interacting and working with federally-recognized American Indian and Alaska Native governments (a). These principles are based on tribal input, federal policy, treaties, and federal statutes. The DoD policy supports tribal self-governance and government-to-government relations between the federal government and tribes. Although these principles are intended to provide general guidance to DoD Components on issues affecting tribes (b), DoD personnel must consider the unique qualities of individual tribes when applying these principles, particularly at the installation level. These principles recognize the importance of increasing understanding and addressing tribal concerns, past, present, and future. These concerns should be addressed prior to reaching decisions on matters that may have the potential to significantly affect protected tribal resources, tribal rights, or Indian lands.

Alaska Implementation Policy (PDF)

DoD issued the Guidance in 2001. This guidance is designed to enhance the government-to-government working relationship between the Department of Defense (DoD) and Tribes in Alaska through the implementation of the Departments American Indian and Alaska Native Policy (AI/AN Policy) and resulting DoD Instruction 4710.02 in Alaska. This Guidance considers those situations and issues unique to Alaskas Tribes including application of trust responsibilities, renewable resources, land status and logistics of working on a government-to-government basis with 229 Tribes dispersed throughout Alaska.

DoDI 4710.03 - Consultation with Native Hawaiian Organizations (NHOs) (PDF)

Updated December 2011 DoDI 47.03 - Consultatoin with NHOs, signed October 25, 2011, reissues DTM 11-001 as a DoD Instruction. It establishes policy, assigns responsibilities when proposing actions that may affect a property or place of traditional religous and cultural improtance to an NHO, and provides a framework for DoD Components to develop localized processes to facilitate consultation.

DoD Native Hawaiian Organization Consultation DTM

Interagency MOU: Coordination and Collaboration for the Protection of Indian Sacred Sites (PDF)

The U.S. Departments of Defense, Interior, Agriculture, Energy, and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation entered into a Memorandum of Understanding to work together to improve the protection of and tribal access to Indian sacred sites. To meet the requirements of the memorandum, interagency teams will gather information, evaluate resources, and develop recommendations and additional tools that will enhance agency protection of Indian sacred sites. For more information please visit http://www.fs.fed.us/spf/tribalrelations/sacredsitesmou.shtml.

Interagency MOU Action Plan (PDF)

DoD Instructions

These instruction guides implement policy, assign responsibilities, and prescribe procedures for interactions with federally-recognized tribes. In addition to the umbrella policies and instructions of the DoD, many DoD Components implement further instructions regarding matters involving Native Americans and Alaska Natives, unique to their components.

DoD Instruction 4710.02 (PDF)

Army Regulation 200-1 (PDF)

Navy Policy 11010 14A (PDF)

Marine Corps Order 5090 (PDF)

Air Force Instruction 32-7065 (PDF)

USACE Policy Guidance Letter No. 57 (PDF)

Air Force Instruction 90-2002 (PDF)

Executive Orders & Related Documents

Executive Order 13175 (PDF)

Executive Order 13175 of November 6, 2000: Consultation and Coordination With Indian Tribal Governments, establishes regular and meaningful consultation and collaboration with tribal officials in the development of Federal policies that have tribal implications, to strengthen the United States government-to-government relationships with Indian tribes, and to reduce the imposition of unfunded mandates upon Indian tribes.

Executive Order 13007 (PDF)

Executive Order 12898 (PDF)

Presidential Documents

Obama 2009 Indian Policy (PDF)

DoD Progress Report on Tribal Consultation - 2011 (PDF)

DoD Progress Report on Tribal Consultation - August 2010 (PDF)

DoD Plan of Action on Tribal Consultation (PDF)

Letter Order 13175 (PDF)

Bush 2004 Indian Policy (PDF)

Clinton 1994 Indian Policy (PDF)

H.W. Bush 1991 Indian Policy (PDF)

Reagan 1983 Indian Policy (PDF)

Nixon 1970 Indian Policy (PDF)

DoD Progress Report on Tribal Consultation for 2012-2013 (PDF)

Recognizing Tribal Sovereignty and Cultural Traditions

Working to Fulfill Federal Trust Responsibilities

Protecting Natural and Cultural Resources

Consulting with Tribal Nations

Last Modified: 01 October 2015 at 07:00