500.4 - Policy on Employee Responsibility Towards American Indians and Alaska Natives
OPR: Director's Office
1. Purpose. This chapter establishes U.S. Geological Survey policy for the responsibilities of all bureau employees regarding American Indian and Alaska Native trust resources. Trust resources are: Natural resources, land, water, minerals, funds or property, asset, or claim, including any intangible right or interest in any of the foregoing, which is held by the United States in trust for any Indian tribe or Indian individual subject to a restriction on alienation imposed by the United States. (25 CFR 272.2 (r))
A. Presidential Memorandum, Government-to-Government Relations with American Indian Governments, April 29, 1994.
B. Secretarial Order No. 3175, Departmental Responsibilities for Indian Trust Resources, November 8, 1993.
3. Policy. American Indian and Alaska Native governments are recognized as governmental sovereigns and have been referred to as quasi-sovereign domestic dependent nations by the courts. Any interactions with American Indian and Alaska Native governments are government-to-government activities. It is the policy of the U.S. Geological Survey that this bureau and all of its employees shall:
A. Comply with the pertinent treaties, laws, regulations, and court decisions which may affect the relationship with American Indian and Alaska Native governments.
B. Recognize the trust responsibility which is derived from the historical relationship between the Federal Government and American Indian or Alaska Native governments.
C. Recognize the requirement and trust responsibility of bureau employees to work with American Indian and Alaska Native governments to assure that rights are protected and concerns are addressed in bureau resources, hazards, and environmental projects that may produce results on or adjacent to American Indian and Alaska Native lands.
D. Encourage the sharing of technical information by incorporating appropriate American Indians or Alaska Natives into bureau projects whenever possible.
E. Promote an understanding of mission goals, policies, and natural resources issues by forming educational partnerships with American Indians and Alaska Natives through funded educational initiatives.
F. Encourage awareness among employees of the cultural diversity of the different tribes and an understanding of American Indian and Alaska Native traditions, cultural values, and practices.
G. Employ the Office of American Indian Trust to facilitate the resolution of disputes and to provide technical assistance on issues concerning trust resources.