Governor's Office on Tribal Relations
The Office on Tribal Relations as initially established as the Commission of Indian Affairs in 1953 by the 21st Legislature to consider and study conditions among the Indians residing within the State of Arizona. The agency mission made targeted efforts to assist and support state and federal agencies in assisting Indians and tribal councils in this state to develop mutual goals, to design projects for achieving goals and to implement their plans.
Pursuant to section 41-2955, subsection E, Arizona Revised Statutes, the legislature establishes the governor's office on tribal relations in order to assist and support tribal nations and communities in this state and to enhance government‑to‑government relations between the twenty-two tribal nations within the boundaries of this state.
The Office shall assist state agencies in implementing tribal consultation and outreach activities. Each state agency shall:
- Develop and implement tribal consultation policies to guide the agency’s work and interaction with the tribal nations of this state.
- To the extent practicable and permitted by law, seek input from appropriate election or appointed tribal officials before undertaking any action or policy that will, or is reasonably believed to, have the potential to affect a tribal community or its members.
- To the fullest extent possible and to the best of the agency’s ability, integrate the input generated from tribal consultation into the agency’s decision-making process to achieve mutually acceptable solutions.
- Designate a staff member to assume responsibility for the agency’s implementation of the tribal consultation policies and to act as the principal point of contact for tribal affairs.
- On or before, October 1 of each year, review the agency’s tribal consultation policies and submit an election progress report with performance measures to the Office. The Office shall make reports available to tribal leaders and legislators.
The Office may initiate or assist programs on tribal land only on the request or with the approval of the tribal nation.
At least once a year, the Governor shall meet with the tribal leaders of the twenty-two tribal nations and communities in a state-tribal summit to address issues of mutual concern.
In addition to this, the Office may:
- Apply for, accept, receive and spend public and private gifts or grants or monies and property on the terms and conditions as may be imposed by the donor and for the implementation of internal operations and forums for American Indian people to impart their knowledge on statewide issues.
- Accept, receive and spend fees collected at the Arizona Indian Town hall to defer expenses for the town hall.
- Assist in evaluating, consolidating and coordinating activities relating to the education of American Indian students.
- Serve as an informational clearinghouse and provide training on cross-cultural situations.
- Receive annual notice from the director of the state museum on the discovery of American Indian human remains, funerary objects, sacred ceremonial objects or objects of cultural patrimony.
- Promote increased participation by American Indians in local and state affairs.
- Work in conjunction with state agencies involved in economic development to design and initiate programs to stimulate economic growth of the American Indian population, include minority-owned and women-owned businesses.
- Establish and executive committee or other committees, as necessary.
The primary objective for the office is to ensure equitable access to state services and may initiate or assist programs on tribal land only on the request of, or with the approval of, a tribal nation.
The Office on Tribal Relations will host distinct events to enable state agencies, tribal nations and their community members to address issues on a regular and proactive basis.
Indian Nations and Tribes Legislative Day to celebrate the rich culture and history of Arizona’s Tribes and Nations and also to address issues of mutual interest.
Arizona Indian Town Hall to create a process that promotes public consideration builds consensus and supports the implementation of resulting recommendations.