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Organizational Protocols


The Intradepartmental Council on Native American Affairs (ICNAA), authorized by the Native American Programs Act of 1974, as Amended, serves as the focal point within the Department for coordination and consultation on health and human services issues affecting the American Indian, Alaska Native and Native American (Al/AN/NA) population, which includes over 560 federally recognized tribes, approximately 60 tribes that are state recognized or seeking federal recognition, Indian organizations, Native Hawaiian communities, and Native American Pacific Islanders, including Native Samoans.


The ICNAA membership consists of the heads of Operating Divisions, Staff Division heads, the Director, Office of Intergovernmental Affairs, the Director, Center for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, the Executive Secretary to the Department, and two HHS regional representatives.

Direction and Oversight

The ICNAA is located in the Immediate Office of the Secretary. The Secretary's Designee provides general oversight to the Council and, in the absence of a Chairperson, serves as the Acting Council Chairperson. The Office of Intergovernmental Affairs (IGA), Immediate Office of the Secretary, provides executive direction and coordinates with the Council Chairperson on all Council activities.

The Commissioner, Administration for Native Americans (ANA), is the Chairperson and the Director; Indian Health Service (IHS) is the Vice-Chairperson. The Chairperson is charged with the overall direction of the Council and shall preside over all Council activities, including Council meetings and Executive Committee meetings.

The Executive Committee, comprised of the Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson, the Assistant Secretaries for Children and Families, Aging, and Health, and the IGA Director, is authorized to act on behalf of the Council, and is responsible for overseeing Council functions and recommending subjects and actions for consideration by the full Council.

Management and Administration

The Council's Executive Director serves as the principal management officer for all Council functions, including management and administration of Council activities, the administration of funds provided for Council activities, and in consultation with the Executive Committee, preparation of agendas for Council meetings, and maintaining records of Council business, including minutes from Council meetings. The Executive Director is the principal liaison between Council members, and other Federal agencies, and reports directly to the Council Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson.


The Council shall meet at least twice a year. The Executive Director shall provide thirty days advance notice for all Council meetings, and provide a written summary of each council meeting to all Council members no more than 20 days following each Council meeting. A Council member must notify the Secretary, through the IGA Director, of his/her unavailability to attend a meeting, and inform the Secretary of the designated alternate who will act on the member's behalf at the meeting.


Council staff shall be provided through the Office of the Secretary, as recommended by the Chairperson. Additional staff support may come through staff details, with preference for Al/AN/NA individuals.


At least one Council Liaison shall be appointed by each ICNAA member to work with the Executive Director on special projects and with the IGA on the implementation of Secretarial initiatives and policies affecting Al/AN/NAs.

Content created by Office of Intergovernmental and External Affairs (IEA)
Content last reviewed on May 2, 2014