October 27, 2010
Dear Tribal Leader:
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has been a leader in the federal government’s efforts to improve the partnership with federally recognized Indian Tribes. I want to assure you that the Department respects the Government-to-Government relationship and is continuously striving to find innovative ways to work with Tribal Leaders and improve the services we provide to members of tribal communities. One mechanism for ensuring that this collaboration is as effective as possible is a Tribal Consultation Policy (TCP) that meets the needs of Indian Tribes and the federal government.
In December 2009, I sent a letter to Tribes requesting comments on our TCP. During our annual Regional Consultation Sessions, I emphasized the importance of focusing on the feedback of Tribal Leaders in an effort to improve the consultation process. At the conclusion of those sessions, my Office of Intergovernmental Affairs solicited nominations for a Tribal-Federal Work Group (TFWG). The TFWG was tasked with reviewing Tribal Leader recommendations and reports from the Regional Consultation Sessions, and developing specific recommendations to improve the TCP based on that feedback.
I am delighted to announce that the TFWG has submitted a DRAFT TCP with its recommendations. We have posted the draft consultation policy along with an executive summary and the TFWG membership on our website for your review.
Thank you in advance for your contribution to an effective and efficient HHS TCP. I am committed to continually improving our relationship with Indian Country. If you have further questions or concerns, please feel free to contact Stacey Ecoffey, Principal Advisor for Tribal Affairs, at (202)-690-6060 or the e-mail address provided above.