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American Indian Environmental Office
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Resource Guide

This document is designed solely to inform EPA personnel about EPA's Indian Program and its implementation. It is not intended to substitute for the requirements contained in EPA statutes or regulations. EPA may update this document as appropriate.


View the the entire Resource Guide (PDF, 344Kb)

Chapter 1  |  Chapter 2  |  Chapter 3  |  Appendix

CHAPTER ONE: Understanding Native Americans
I. Why Learn About Native Americans?
II. Discussing "Native Americans"
    a. Native Hawaiians
III. The Demographic Landscape
    a. Native American Populations are Increasing
    b. The Geographic Distribution of Native American Communities
        1. Tribal Areas
    c. Social and Economic Conditions
IV. Cultural and Historical Snapshots
    a. Beginnings
    b. Families
    c. Land and its Resources
    d. Language
    e. Education
    f. Traditional Story Telling
    g. Traditions
    h. Worship
    i. Discrimination
V. Tribal Communities
    a. Native Americans as Tribal Members
    b. Reservations
        1. The Specials Circumstances of Alaska and Oklahoma
    c. Governments
        1. Unique Aspects of Tribal Governance
        2. Intergovernmental Relations
VI. Selected National/Regional Indian Organizations
CHAPTER TWO: Federal Indian Law
I. Introduction
    a. What is Federal Indian Law?
    b. Definition of Tribe, Indian, and Indian Country
II. History of Federal Indian Law
    a. Pre-contact
    b. European Colonization
    c. Foundation of Federal Indian Law and Policy (1789-1871)
        1. The Marshall Trilogy: The Bedrock of Federal Indian Law
        2. Removal
        3. Treaties
    d. Attempted Assimilation (1871-1928)
        1. Allotment
        2. Case Law at the Turn of the Century
    e. Reorganization (1928-1942)
    f. Termination (1943-1968)
        1. Public Law 83-280
    g. Self-determination (1968-present)
III. Tribal Sovereignty and Jurisdiction
    a. The Source and Scope of Tribal Powers
        1. Limitations
        2. Tribal Powers
    b. Tribal Jurisdiction
        1. Criminal Jurisdiction
        2. Civil Jurisdiction
        3. Indian Country Jurisdiction
        4. Other Jurisdiction
IV. The Federal-Indian Relationship
    a. Federal Powers
    b. Federal Trust Responsibility
V. Distinctive Tribal Rights
    a. Treaties
        1. Canons of Treaty Construction
        2. Continued Validity and Significance of Treaties
    b. Land Rights
    c. Fishing, Hunting, and Gathering Rights
    d. Water Quantity Rights
CHAPTER THREE: EPA's Approach to Environmental Protection in Indian Country
I. Introduction
    a. The Importance of the Indian Program
    b. Objectives of the Indian Program
    c. How to Accomplish Objectives
II. Federal and EPA Policies
    a. Executive Order on Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments
    b. Presidential memorandum on Government-to Government Relations with Native American Tribal Governments
    c. EPA Indian Policy
    d. Other Policies and Guidance
        1. Executive Order and Memorandum on Environmental Justice
        2. Executive Order on Sacred Sites
        3. Federal, Tribal, and State Roles in the Protection and Regulation of Reservation Environments (Concept Paper)
        4. Tribal Operations Action Memorandum
        5. EPA Environmental Justice Strategy
        6. EPA Regional Policies for Environmental Protection in Indian Country
        7. Memorandum of Understanding Between the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the Indian Health Service
        8. Enforcement
        9. Protocol for EPA Interactions with Tribes
III. Program Implementation
    a. Building Capability
        1. Financial Assistance
        2. Technical Assistance
        3. Information
    b. Tribal Assumption of Federal Environmental Programs
        1. Congressional Authorization for Approval of Tribal Programs Under Environmental Statutes
        2. Tribal-Specific Eligibility Criteria
        3. Tribal Jurisdiction
    c. Direct Federal Implementation
    d. Cooperative Approaches to Implementation
IV. Organization of EPA's Indian Program
    a. The American Indian Environmental Office
    b. Regional Programs and Operations
    c. Tribal Operations Committee
    d. Agency Senior Indian Program Managers
    e. National Indian Work Group
    f. National Indian Law Work Group
    g. American Indian Advisory Council
    h. National Environmental Justice Advisory council Indigenous People Subcommittee
    i. Other EPA Advisory Council with Tribal Representation
V. Tribal Operations in other Selected Federal Departments and Agencies
    a. White House Domestic Policy Council
    b. White House Council on Environmental Quality
    c. Department of the Interior
    d. Department of Justice
    e. Department of Health and Human Services
    f. Department of Defense
    g. Department of the Agriculture


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