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Indian Tribal Governments

Principles and Criteria

Executive Order 13175 sets forth principles and criteria to which agencies must adhere in policymaking that has tribal implications.  These include respecting Indian tribal self-government and sovereignty, consulting with tribal officials on the need for Federal standards, and providing "the maximum administrative discretion possible" where Indian tribal governments administer Federal statutes and regulations.

Tribal Implications

The Executive Order covers policies with tribal implications.  This means "regulations, legislative comments or proposed legislation, and other policy statements or actions that have substantial direct effects on one or more Indian tribes, on the relationship between the Federal Government and Indian tribes, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities between the Federal Government and Indian tribes."


Agencies must have an "accountable process to ensure meaningful and timely input by tribal officials in the development of regulatory policies that have tribal implications."


To the extent practicable and permitted by law, agencies must not issue rules with tribal implications that (1) impose "substantial direct compliance costs on Indian tribal governments," if not required by statute, unless they comply with (a) or (b), below, or (2) preempt tribal law, unless they comply with (b), below:

(a)  The Federal Government must provide money for the direct compliance costs of the Indian tribal governments.

(b)  Tribal Summary Impact Statement:

  1. Consultation.  Agencies must consult with tribal officials "early in the process of developing the proposed regulation."
  2. Preamble.  In a separately identified portion of the rule's preamble, agencies must provide a tribal summary impact statement describing the prior consultations with tribal officials, the nature of the official's concerns and the agencies' justification of the rule, and the extent to which the concerns have been met.
  3. Written Communications.  Agencies must make available to OMB tribal officials' written communications.

DOT Rulemakings

To run a report on DOT rulemakings with Tribalism implications, please click here.