NOAA Tribal Resources & Updates

NOAA's Tribal Relations Team

NOAA is committed to developing policies and procedures that improve its relations and cooperative activities with Federally-recognized Indian tribes on a government-to-government basis.  NOAA’s Tribal Relations Team works to ensure an accountable process for meaningful and timely consultations on policies with tribal implications. Learn more about NOAA's Tribal Team Members.

NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), and the National Ocean Service (NOS), along with NOAA's General Counsel's Office (GC), have created a Traditional Ecological Knowledge Guidance for regional and field staff. This guidance, developed as a continuation of NOAA's commitment to engage meaningfully with Federally recognized tribes. This guidance was built upon NMFS, NOS, and GC in the regions to build upon the NOAA Tribal Consultation Handbook in providing guidance on how to incorporate Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) into decision making.


2021 NOAA Consultation Handbook Revisions and Webinar

In January 2021, President Biden issued a Presidential Memorandum on Tribal Consultation and Strengthening the Nation-to-Nation Relationships that requires all federal departments and agencies to submit a plan for implementing Executive Order 13175. Executive Order (E.O) 13175 charges federal departments and agencies to engage in regular, meaningful, and robust consultation with Tribal officials in the development of federal policies that have Tribal implications. 

In response to the Administration’s E.O., NOAA is revising and updating its existing NOAA policies and guidance documents, which facilitate NOAA’s implementation of E.O. 13175:  (1) NOAA Procedures for Government-to-Government Consultation With Federally Recognized Indian Tribes and Alaska Native Corporations (Draft Handbook); (2) NOAA Administrative Order 218-8,  Policy on Government-to-Government Consultation with Federally Recognized Indian Tribes and Alaska Native Corporations (see last page of Draft Handbook); and (3) a traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) guidance currently titled NOAA Fisheries and National Ocean Service Guidance and Best Practices for Engaging and Incorporating Traditional Ecological Knowledge in Decision-Making. The Federal Register notice for this request was published on November 24, 2021, and can be found at Both documents can also be found below:

NOAA will host two national webinars to gather comments and answer questions from the public, see below for more information and how to register: 

January 10, 2022
1:00pm - 3:00pm EST
Webinar Registration Link: offsite link 
To join via phone audio: Call-In Number: +1 (631) 992-3221, Access Code: 457-593-577, Audio PIN: # (pound sign). Note: Use Star 6 [*6] to mute and unmute the line.

January 11, 2022
11:00am - 1:00pm EST
Webinar Registration Link: offsite link 
To join via phone audio: Call-In Number: +1 (415) 655-0060, Access Code: 933-477-032, Audio PIN: # (pound sign). Note: Use Star 6 [*6] to mute and unmute the line.

Tribal Resource Guide to the Department of Commerce

The U.S. Department of Commerce is pleased to make available the Tribal Resource Guide to the Department of Commerce.  This guide is an important first step in revamping the Department’s work with tribes to spur even greater collaboration with tribes and native business enterprises. In addition, the guide introduces the Secretary's new Senior Advisor for Native American Affairs,  the policy of the Department regarding tribes (which include references to the United States’ trust responsibility to the tribes and native peoples of the United States and the advances tribes have made in the Self-Determination Era), and includes contact information for each of the bureaus’ tribal liaisons in order to make it easier for tribes to interact with the Department. In addition this guide includes working links to other resources (web pages, our tribal consultation policy, etc.) within NOAA and the Department.

Quick Links:


Tribal Relations Updates

2021 Updates

Notice of Tribal Consultation with NOAA Fisheries for the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021

NOAA Fisheries Service would like to invite you to consult on the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (Act) coronavirus response and relief funding. The Act includes $30 million for Federally recognized tribes in any of the Nation’s coastal States, Great Lakes States and territories for direct and indirect fishery economic related losses as well as subsistence, cultural and ceremonial impacts related to COVID 19. Specifically, “federally recognized Tribes in any of the Nation’s coastal States and territories, and federally recognized Tribes in any of the Nation’s Great Lakes States with fisheries on the Tribe’s reservation or ceded or usual and accustomed territory” are potentially eligible. For detailed information please see Division M (page 1815) of the Act.

The Act requires NOAA Fisheries Service in consultation with tribes to develop an application and distribution process. Specifically, we would like to consult with you on:

  1. How to allocate the $30 million.
  2. Suggestions on an efficient and effective application process, including what information should be required to be submitted as part of the process.
  3. Suggestions on an efficient and effective distribution process.

We would highlight that the Act requires the disbursement of funds to eligible impacted Tribal fishery participants that takes into account economic, subsistence, and ceremonial impacts and that ensures timely distribution of funds.

All Tribal leaders are encouraged to attend the upcoming tribal consultation, hosted by NOAA Fisheries, regarding the distribution of funding on Tuesday, February 16th from 11:30 to 1pm ET.

Webinar: offsite link

Conference Call Line:

  • 888-946-3505
  • 8113363

NOTE: In the event you are unable to attend the consultation call, you can provide written comments and submit them to: no later than March 1, 2021, to ensure a mutual goal of providing funds as soon as possible.

2020 Updates

The Bureau of Indian Affairs (US Department of the Interior) announcement on the availability of funding through the Tribal Resilience Program (Program)

The Program will provide funding for tribal activities that support tribal adaptation and resilience planning, ocean and coastal management planning, and relocation, managed retreat, or protect-in-place planning and design activities for coastal and riverine communities. The Program aims to support Tribal Nations that need adaptation planning support and decision-making information to prepare for extreme events and harmful environmental trends that impact tribal treaty and trust resources, economies, infrastructure, and human health and welfare.

The solicitation is for federally-recognized tribes and tribal organizations* (as defined by 25 U.S.C. Section 5304(1)). Other entities may participate as sub-grantees. The solicitation is available on, Opportunity #: BIA-TRP2020-0001 and is also on the BIA Tribal Resilience Program site.

Please see the BIA Tribal Resilience Program site for more information (fillable cover pages, fillable application forms for Categories 3, 5, and 6, FAQs, helpful regional contacts, summaries of previous awards, etc.).

CATEGORIES OF AVAILABLE FUNDING- There are seven total award categories. 

  • Adaptation Planning (Categories 1-3)
  • Category 1.  Trainings and Workshops (maximum: $150,000)
  • Category 2.  Adaptation Planning (maximum: $150,000)
  • Category 3.  Travel Support for Adaptation Planning (maximum: $15,000)
  • Ocean and Coastal Management Planning (Categories 4-5)
  • Category 4.  Ocean and Coastal Management Planning (maximum: $150,000) 
  • Category 5.  Travel Support - Ocean & Coastal (maximum: $15,000)
  • Capacity Building (Category 6)
  • Category 6. Capacity Building for Scoping Efforts to Support future Category 2 Proposal Development (maximum: $65,000)
  • Relocation, Managed Retreat, or Protect-in-Place Planning (Category 7)
  • Category 7. Planning for Relocation, Managed Retreat, or Protect-in-Place Activities for Coastal and Riverine Communities (maximum: $150,000)

Additional details, including evaluation criteria, are described in the Notice of Funding (i.e., Request for Proposals or Solicitation). Proposal Deadline:  Monday, March 2, 2020, by 5:00 p.m. Alaska Time / 9 p.m. Eastern Time. Send completed proposals to or by hard copy to:

Ms. Jo Ann Metcalfe, Attention: Tribal Resilience Program
Grant Officer, Central Office Acquisitions
Bureau of Indian Affairs
12220 Sunrise Valley Dr.
Reston, VA 20191