Tribal governments, their business enterprises, their members, and firms that want to do business in Indian Country can tap into the vast resources of the Bureaus of the Department of Commerce to create jobs on and off-reservation. From grants from the National Telecommunications & Information Administration to develop broadband infrastructure, to data resources available from the Census Bureau to inform Tribal policy-makers, to overseas market development assistance through the International Trade Administration and funding opportunities available through the Economic Development Administration and the Minority Business Development Agency, the Department’s resources help tribes and their citizens create conditions conducive to business development and to seize opportunities in America and abroad.
The Department’s partnerships with tribes and firms that want to do business in Indian Country is led by the Secretary’s Senior Advisor on Native American Affairs. The Office of the Secretary’s Senior Advisor on Native American Affairs is responsible for (1) coordinating and communicating all Native American issues directly with Tribes and across all the bureaus within the Department of Commerce as well as externally with all other federal agencies; (2) coordinating and implementing the Department’s Tribal Consultation Policy Plan and consultation sessions; (3) serving as the primary contact for all Tribal Consultation actions and issues; and (4) serving as the facilitator of the Office of Native American Business Development by assisting and consulting with Indian Country in leveraging the combined efforts of the federal programs, tribal governments, private sector businesses and financing in order to promote economic growth for Tribes and Native Americans.
For more information on doing business with American Indians and Alaska Natives, please see the BusinessUSA resource page.
The U.S. Census Bureau is beginning to do tribal outreach for the 2020 Census. On July 1, 2015, Director John Thompson officially announced the planning of the 2020 tribal consultation meetings. For more information on these meetings, please visit the Census Bureau Web site.
When tribal governments are empowered to effectively self-govern by building vibrant and sustainable economies, we all win. The Department of Commerce recognizes the advances tribal governments have made since the enactment of the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act in 1975, and seeks to assist tribes in developing their economies so that the goals of the Self-Determination Era could be fully realized by every tribal nation that chooses self-governance.
The Department also takes seriously the United States' trust responsibility to the various Indian tribes and Native peoples of our country and adheres to Executive Order (E.O.) No. 13175, “Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments” (November 6, 2000) and President Obama’s November 5, 2009, “Tribal Consultation” Memorandum. Since President Obama took office, the Department has revised its Tribal Consultation Policy after engaging in extensive consultation with tribal officials for a period of several months in 2012. The Department’s final consultation policy was published and communicated to Tribal leaders on May 21, 2013.
Department Resources for Tribes
Each bureau within the Department contains resources that can assist tribes in developing their economies and effectively governing themselves. In addition to the Bureau-by-Bureau links and contacts listed below, check out our comprehensive Tribal Guide to Commerce.
Economic and Infrastructure Development, Business Resources and Technical Assistance, Market Access
- Economic Development Administration (EDA)
- Tribal Liaison: Libby Jones; email@example.com; 202-482-5813
- Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA)
- International Trade Administration (ITA)
- National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA)
- Tribal Liaison: Maureen Lewis; MLewis@ntia.doc.gov; 202-482-1892
- Tribal Liaison: Carl Rebstock; firstname.lastname@example.org; 703-648-4202
Natural and Cultural Resources Protection
- National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
- NOAA Tribal Relations
- Tribal Liaison: N/A
Statistical Resources and National Security
- U.S. Census Bureau
- National Technical Information Service (NTIS)
- Tribal Liaison: N/A
- Economics and Statistics Administration (ESA)
- Tribal Liaison: Jacqueline Savukinas; email@example.com; 202-482-1194
- Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA)
- Tribal Liaison: Thomas Dail; firstname.lastname@example.org; 202-606-2689
- Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS)
- Tribal Liaison: Daniel Yi; email@example.com; 202-482-3281
- National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
- Tribal Liaison: Allan Eustis; firstname.lastname@example.org; 301-975-5099