Policy Background: California Native American Tribal Relations

In 2012, CalEPA decided it would be good to update its policy given the passage of time since the agency-wide policy was first adopted in 2009.

On December 21, 2012, Secretary Matthew Rodriquez sent a letter to Tribal leaders and environmental directors, asking for comments and suggestions on the existing Tribal Policy. Specifically, he requested input concerning the process for consultation and what actions should be considered to achieve the policy’s guiding principles.

To assist in preparing these comments, CalEPA conducted two listening sessions in June 2013 for Tribes. Listening Session #1 (PDF) was held on June 25, 2013 at the California Department of Industrial Relations Santa Rosa District Office, in Santa Rosa. Listening Session #2 (PDF) was held on June 27, 2013 at the Rincon Band of Luiseno Indians EPA Conference Room, in Valley Center.

CalEPA then worked with its Tribal Advisory Committee and our boards, departments and office to develop a draft policy. In February 2015, CalEPA released a draft policy and accepted comments. Based upon all comments received, staff developed a final draft document for the Secretary’s consideration. Agency Secretary Rodriquez finalized CalEPA’s Tribal Policy (PDF) on August 20, 2015.