Policy Statement Regarding the Council’s Relationships with Indian Tribes

November 17, 2000


The basis for the ACHP’s policy regarding its role, responsibilities, and relationships with individual Indian tribes derives from the Constitution, treaties, statutes, executive orders, regulations, and court decisions. It specifically ensures the ACHP’s compliance with and recognition of its tribal consultation responsibilities under certain authorities.

The Federal Government has a unique relationship with Indian tribes derived from the Constitution of the United States, treaties, Supreme Court doctrine, and Federal statutes. It is deeply rooted in American history, dating back to the earliest contact in which colonial governments addressed Indian tribes as sovereign nations. The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP), as a Federal agency, recognizes the government-to-government relationship between the United States and federally recognized Indian tribes and acknowledges Indian tribes as sovereign nations with inherent powers of self-governance. This relationship has been defined and clarified over time in legislation, Executive Orders, Presidential directives, and by the Supreme Court.

The ACHP’s policy pertains to Indian tribes as defined in the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966: Indian tribe means an Indian tribe, band, nation, or other organized group or community, including a Native village, Regional Corporation or Village Corporation, as those terms are defined in section 3 of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (43 U.S.C. 1602), which is recognized as eligible for the special programs and services provided by the United States to Indians because of their status as Indians (16 U.S.C. 470w).


Download the full policy here.