Tribal Transportation Self-Governance Program
The Tribal Transportation Self-Governance Program (TTSGP) provides federally recognized Tribes and Tribal organizations with greater control, flexibility, and decision-making authority over DOT funds used to carry out tribal transportation programs, functions, services, and activities (PFSAs) in tribal communities. The TTSGP also affords Tribes and Tribal organizations with specific rights and federal resources to implement and support their Self-Governance program.
The TTSGP was authorized by Section 1121 of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act, Pub. L. 114-94. Section 1121 is codified at 23 U.S.C. § 207. As directed by 23 U.S.C. 207, the Department developed the TTSGP regulation through a negotiated rulemaking with Tribes and Tribal organization representatives under the procedures of the Negotiated Rulemaking Act. The procedures for the negotiated rulemaking were adapted to the unique context of Tribal self-governance and the government-to-government relationship between the United States and Indian tribes. On June 1, 2020, the negotiated final TTSGP rule was published in the Federal Register. The rule is codified in the Code of Federal Regulations at 49 C.F.R. part 29. The TTSGP final rule became effective on October 1, 2020.
The TTSGP is administered by the Director of Tribal Affairs. The Director, among other responsibilities, coordinates technical support and negotiates the implementation and oversight of Self-Governance compacts and funding agreements with Tribes and Tribal organizations. The Director has the responsibility to evaluate the eligibility of Tribes and Tribal organizations that request to participate in the TTSGP. The TTSGP also facilitates the transfer of funds and support to Tribes and Tribal organizations that carry out tribal transportation PFSAs under Self-Governance compacts and funding agreements with the U.S. Department of Transportation.
This program is similar in many respects to the Title I Self-Determination contracts and the Title IV (Bureau of Indian Affairs) and Title V (Indian Health Service) Self-Governance programs authorized by the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act, Pub. L. 93-638, as amended, 25 U.S.C. § 5301 et seq. Most Tribes and Tribal organizations in the U.S. already carry out Title I, Title IV, and Title V programs in their Tribal communities.
In the TTSGP, USDOT funds (e.g., FHWA or FTA formula funds) awarded to a Tribe or Tribal organization will be transferred to the Tribe or Tribal organization in accordance with the terms of the funding agreement to carry out tribal transportation PFSAs. The TTSGP funds are subject only to the terms and conditions in 23 U.S.C. § 207, applicable federal statutory and government-wide requirements, the TTSGP final rule, and the terms of the TTSGP compact and funding agreement that are negotiated between the Department and a Tribe or Tribal organization.
For Tribes or Tribal organizations that are interested in applying to be a participant in the TTSGP or for any questions or comments regarding the TTSGP, you may contact the Director of Tribal Affairs at TribalAffairs.gov.
DOT hosts Tribal Consultation on Bipartisan Infrastructure Law
DOT Deputy Assistant Secretary for Tribal Affairs, Arlando Teller, and DOT Director of Tribal Affairs, Milo Booth, hosted a virtual consultation with Federally Recognized Indian Tribes on February 22, 2022, regarding the funding opportunities available to Tribes under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL). The following DOT modes presented information and participated in a Q&A session regarding BIL funding opportunities: FHWA, FTA. FRA, MARAD, PHMSA, NHTSA, and FAA. A recording of this consultation is available at the following link:
https://usdot.zoomgov.com/rec/share/b0cYP_5CBb0GJq42EVnapgnWW7xiGh6jDJQge8L1RxmYWao3dZYVczOFvDG2nEKO.QT-XDJ31Cumc7QlI (Passcode: &LM7K.Qu)
USDOT issues update to Tribal Consultation Policy
As a follow-up action to the President’s January 26, 2021 Memorandum on Tribal Consultation and Strengthening the Nation-to-Nation Relationships, the U.S. Department of Transportation, after consultations with Indian Tribes, has issued an update to its Tribal Consultation Policy and Tribal Consultation Plan to improve and implement the policies and directives of Executive Order 13175. Here is a link to the updated Tribal Consultation Policy and Tribal Consultation Plan.
DOT hosts Tribal Consultation on SMART grant program
DOT’s Office of Research and Technology and DOT’s Tribal Affairs hosted a virtual consultation with Federally Recognized Indian Tribes on July 14, 2022, regarding a funding opportunity available to Tribes under the Strengthening Mobility and Revolutionizing Transportation (SMART) grant program. The SMART program is a demonstration program that focuses on technologies and systems in a variety of communities to improve transportation efficiency and safety. Here is a link to the recording of the consultation: https://usdot.zoomgov.com/rec/share/D09l_vO2RO0TnfzaRUYM4V0gqRAaSqIFrDhyI6pf4jVfyQQC482qB-3J_iRNt5VW.VxyUnV9CfAAEp7tR (Passcode: N^&hy9Nz)