U.S. Interior Secretary announces inclusion of Native communities in land management

U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell answers questions at a news conference in Alaska in 2015. (Dan Joling/AP)
U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell answers questions at a news conference in Alaska in 2015. (Dan Joling/AP)
U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell addressed AFN on Friday. Jewell announced a new secretarial order that requires the Department to include native communities and traditional ecological knowledge in land management decisions.

“I’m announcing today a new secretarial order, which encourages collaborative agreements between Interior Department’s land managers and federally recognized tribes,” Jewell said.

“The purpose is to provide guidance to our nation’s public land and water managers to make sure that when we share resources with a special geographical, historical and or cultural connection with tribes, that Natives have a meaningful and substantive role in their management.”

Earlier in her talk, Jewell reviewed gains made in recent years which have brought federal managers and tribal leaders closer together in collaboration on resource issues, specifically pointing to working toward greater tribal engagement in subsistence issues.

She cited an example of federal managers working with tribes in the Ahtna region on solutions to hunting pressure on moose.

Jewell said her new secretarial order provides guidance to managers that native communities have a meaningful and substantive role in decisions.

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Anne Hillman, Alaska Public Media

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