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U.S. Geological Survey Activities Related to American Indians and Alaska Natives
Fiscal Year 2001

Contents | Tribes/Tribal Governments | Organizations/Events | States | Intro | Highlights | Education | Resource/Environment | Technical Assistance | General Coordination/Policy | Future Opportunities | Map (156 Kb PDF) | USGS Contacts

General Coordination

Intertribal GIS Council. The Federal Geographic Data Committee provided its customary support to the Intertribal GIS Council conference in Billings, Montana in June 2001. The conference attracted 300 participants. Contact: Bonnie Gallahan, 703-648-6084, bgallahan@usgs.gov

Rural Geospatial Innovations in America (RGIS). The Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) recently approved a memorandum of Agreement (MOU) with Rural Geospatial Innovations in America to assist Tribal, State, regional, and local governments in implementing advanced geospatial information technologies to improve the quality of life, environmental health, and economic competitiveness of rural communities. Efforts in implementing the MOU include: technical assistance in system development and management to Tribal colleges and universities; training programs, including K-12 education, short courses, and university curricula; and advanced spatial analysis for decision-making processes. Contact: Bonnie Gallahan, 703-648-6084, RGIS).">bgallahan@usgs.gov

Annual Meeting of the Native American Fish and Wildlife Society. The information specialist with the USGS Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center staffed a USGS display at the Annual Meeting of the Native American Fish and Wildlife Society in Lincoln City, Oregon, in May 2001. Information about scientific studies being conducted in all parts of the USGS was distributed at the display. Contact: Ruth Jacobs, 541-750-7304, ruth_jacobs@usgs.gov

Coordination with Tribal Organizations in Michigan. USGS and Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) staff visited Inter-Tribal Council of Michigan and Tribal environmental staff members from Bay Mills Indian Community, Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, Keweenaw Bay Indian Community, and Hannahville Indian Community in June 2001 to discuss availability of BIA grant money and USGS technical support for resolving Tribal water issues. USGS staff attend quarterly Michigan Tribal Environmental Group (MTEG) meetings. The Michigan Tribes, Inter-Tribal Council of Michigan, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 5, USGS, U.S. Department of Agriculture, State of Michigan, and other groups and agencies are represented in MTEG. MTEG meetings provide a forum for environmental issues pertinent to Michigan Tribes. The USGS also participates in quarterly Multi-Federal Agency Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) meetings sponsored by the Midwest Region Office, Bureau of Indian Affairs. Federal agencies participating in the MOU workgroup include the BIA, USGS, Indian Health Services, Army Corps of Engineers, and EPA, which meet to cooperatively plan and coordinate Federal-Tribal activities in EPA's Region 5. Contact: Tom Weaver, 906-786-0714, tlweaver@usgs.gov

Ho Chunk Nation Participates in USGS Program Review. Two members of the Ho Chunk Nation's Department of Natural Resources attended parts of the USGS Upper Midwest Environmental Science Center's Strategic Program Review, which was held April 2001 in La Crosse, Wisconsin. USGS involves external partners in these 5-year Strategic Reviews to ensure that products and information are timely and relevant to USGS customers, and released in readily accessible formats. Contact: Linda M. Ott, 608-781-6264, Linda_Ott@usgs.gov

GIS Multi-Agency Forum. The USGS invited representatives from the BIA, Federal Geographic Data Committee, National States Geographic Information Council, and State and Tribal representatives from South Dakota, Iowa, Nebraska, Wyoming, Minnesota, North Dakota, and Montana to coordinate, organize, share GIS information and data, and plan multilateral studies. The meeting was held at the USGS' EROS Data Center in South Dakota in August 2001. The next meeting is scheduled to be held in Montana to continue this work. USGS Contact:Eugene Napier, 605-594-6088, enapier@usgs.gov; Sinte Gleska Contact: James Rattling Leaf, jamesrl@sinte.edu

James Rattling Leaf, Rosebud Sioux Reservation, Mission, South Dakota.
Photographer:  Carrie Jucht James Rattling Leaf, Rosebud Sioux Reservation, Mission, South Dakota. Photographer: Carrie Jucht

Osage-Skiatook Petroleum Environmental Research Project Field Conference. USGS scientists led the Osage-Skiatook Petroleum Environmental Research Project Field Conference in Tulsa and on Skiatook Lake in November 2000. The conference was held to initiate research on the transport, fate, and biologic effects of produced water and hydrocarbon releases from oil production at two sites on Skiatook Lake. Participants included the Osage Nation, U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Bureau of Indian Affairs, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, University of Tulsa, Oklahoma State University, University of Oklahoma, and USGS research scientists from Oklahoma, Virginia, Colorado, and California. Contact: Jim Otton, 303-236-8020, jkotton@usgs.gov

Missouri River Natural Resources Conference. The 5th Annual Missouri River Natural Resources Conference was held in Great Falls, Montana, in June 2001. The USGS, the Missouri River Natural Resources Committee, and the Missouri River Basin Association have co-sponsored past conferences. Co-sponsors for the 5th Conference also included the Blackfeet Nation, Chippewa Cree Tribes of the Rocky Boy's Reservation, Assiniboine Tribe (Fort Belnap), Gros Ventre Tribe, and Fort Peck Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes. Providing the First Nations' perspective of the Missouri River during the plenary session was Curly Bear Wagner, Going-To-The-Sun Institute, Browning, Montana. Several Native Americans participated in the conference organizing committee, organized social events highlighting Native culture, and made Conference presentations. Native Americans actively participate in this conference particularly when it is held in the upper basin. Contact: Jeanne Heuser, 573-876-1876, jeanne_heuser@usgs.gov

Website for Missouri River science information: http://infolink.cr.usgs.gov

Yukon River Inter-Tribal Watershed Council. The USGS is coordinating the Yukon Basin study, part of the National Stream Quality Accounting Network, with the Alaska Natives and First Nations along the river in both Alaska and Canada. As part of this coordination effort, USGS personnel have met several times with Yukon River Inter-Tribal Watershed Council, and the Alaska District Chief attended the "Yukon River Summit" at Brooks Brook, Yukon Territory in Canada in August 2001. Contact: Gordon Nelson, 907-786-7100, glnelson@usgs.gov

Navajo children helped USGS with water analyses at the Castle Butte Spring.  The hypodermic needles are used to filter water samples, but also make great squirt guns.  Analyses showed that the water has more than six times the EPA recommended limit for arsenic.  The community was notified and people are using alternate water source.  Photo by George Breit. Navajo children helped USGS with water analyses at the Castle Butte Spring. The hypodermic needles are used to filter water samples, but also make great squirt guns. Analyses showed that the water has more than six times the EPA recommended limit for arsenic. The community was notified and people are using alternate water source. Photo by George Breit.

The contacts provided in the report were accurate at the time of publication. Please refer to the USGS Employee Directory or the Office of Tribal Relations contact page if you require information about a specific activity.

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