The Biden-Harris Administration formed the Climate Change, Tribal Homelands, and Treaties Committee (Committee) within the WHCNAA, which supports the implementation of the 2021 Memorandum of Understanding Regarding Interagency Coordination and Collaboration for the Protection of Indigenous Sacred Sites (“Sacred Sites MOU”). The eight Federal signatories of the Sacred Sites MOU formed an inter-agency Working Group (Working Group) that has drafted a Best Practices Guide (Guide) for Federal agencies to use when making decisions that potentially impact sacred sites, and the Working Group seeks your guidance and recommendations on the Guide.
In two prior listening sessions held in 2022 and 2023, Tribal and Native Hawaiian Community Leaders expressed support for more action by the Federal Government to protect sacred sites. The development of the Guide responds to those recommendations.
In order for the WHCNAA to finalize the Guide, the WHCNAA is conducting a Tribal and Native Hawaiian Community leaders consultation and seeks your guidance on the following framing questions:
- Which parts of the draft Guide (see below) could be strengthened and how could they be strengthened?
- What has been done well and what could be improved upon by Federal agencies relative to sacred sites access and protection?
- Are there any “case studies” or “success stories” from Tribes and Native Hawaiian organizations that you could share and that could be used in the final version of the Guide?
Written responses to the questions can be submitted to the WHCNAA email at email@example.com until 29 September, 2023. Please note that information shared during this consultation may be subject to disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).