Our Mission

Prosperity and resilience for all tribal nations is the vision of the White House Council on Native American Affairs (WHCNAA).  The WHCNAA endeavors toward this vision through collaborative inter-agency work across the Executive Branch, regular and meaningful Tribal-Federal engagement, and by fostering an all-of-government approach in meeting treaty and trust obligations to Tribes.

White House CEQ Phase 2 Proposed Rule Consultation

The White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) will be holding consultations on their proposed revised NEPA regulations (the Bipartisan Permitting Reform Implementation Rule, a.k.a. the Phase 2 rule). The proposed rule includes a few important Tribal provisions, including ones related to incorporation of Indigenous Knowledge into environmental reviews, consideration of reserved rights in environmental reviews, and an exclusion from NEPA review for certain actions approved by Tribes on Tribal trust lands.

CEQ proposes a number of changes to provide for meaningful public engagement including a variety of provisions related to Tribal rights, engagement, and consultation. They also propose a new exclusion for activities or decisions for projects approved by a Tribal Nation that occur on or involve land held in trust when the activities involve no Federal funding or other Federal involvement.

Details of all proposals can be found in the Dear Tribal Leader Letter below, and the proposed rule in the Federal Register can be viewed here.


Date: Wednesday, 6 September, 2023
Time: 1:00pm-3:00pm EDT
Location: Virtual

Date: Tuesday, 12 September, 2023
Time: 3:00pm- 5:00pm EDT
Location: Virtual

Please note: instructions for written commentary are detailed in the DTLL. Please provide them by the suspense date of September 29, 2023.  If you have any questions regarding this effort, please feel free to contact Megan Healy, Deputy Director for NEPA, megan.e.healy@ceq.eop.gov, or 202-456-4296.

DTLL | Summary Phase 2 Proposed Rule

WHCNAA Native Language Tribal Consultation

The White House Council on Native American Affairs (WHCNAA) Education Committee is hosting four Tribal consultations on the development of a 10-year National Plan on Native Language Revitalization (National Plan). The 10-year National Plan will lay out a long-term, all-of-government strategy that works with Tribal Nations and, as appropriate, nonprofit organizations, subject matter experts, and other entities for the revitalization, protection, preservation, and reclamation of Native languages.

As part of the upcoming Tribal consultations, Tribal leaders will also have the opportunity to review and comment upon a summary of research that may inform the development of the National Plan. 

September 18    Virtual 
3–5 p.m. ET    Registration Link

September 20    Virtual 
1–3 p.m. ET    Registration Link

September 26    Virtual 
3–5 p.m. ET    Registration Link

September 28    Virtual 
2–4 p.m. ET    Registration Link

Written responses to framing questions in the Dear Tribal Leader Letter, and commentary, can be sent to READI@bia.gov no later than September 29, 11:59 p.m. ET.
Please contact the WHCNAA, whcnaa@bia.gov, with questions regarding the tribal consultation.

DTLL | Literature Review | Slide Show

The Path to Healing to Wellness Conference

The White House Council on Native American Affairs, the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Indian Affairs Office of Justice Services Tribal Justice Support, the Administration for Native Americans at the Department of Health and Human services, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture welcome your participation in the Path to Healing Wellness Conference.

Restoring the Path of Tribal Healing to Wellness Courts is an effort to address community safety through healing and wellness options rather than incarceration. This conference offers a unique opportunity to observe actual court proceedings, engage with court staff, and hear from program participants who have successfully navigated their path toward recovery.

Dates: 27- 29 September
Format: In-person and Virtual attendance options
Physical location: Bar Harbor, Maine
Register: here

Topics will include: 
•    The Workings of Multi-Disciplinary Teams
•    Mock Team Meeting Session 
•    Mock Court Session
•    Tribal Success Stories
•    Funding Sources and Collaboration

Hosted by Penobscot and Passamaquody in collaboration with the five Tribes of Maine, funded by Tribal Justice Support.

WHCNAA Sacred Sites Best Practices Guide Consultation

The White House Council on Native American Affairs (WHCNAA) is holding a Tribal leader and Native Hawaiian Community (NHC) leader consultation seeking guidance and recommendations on a draft Best Practices Guide (BPG) for Federal agencies regarding Tribal and Native Hawaiian Sacred Sites. The eight Federal signatories of the Sacred Sites MOU formed an inter-agency Working Group that has created this draft BPG for Federal agencies use when making decisions that potentially impact sacred sites.

The Tribal consultation will be held on: 


Date: Thursday, 31 August, 2023

Time: 2pm-5pm EDT

Location: Virtual



Written responses to the quesions contained in each DTLL can be submitted to the WHCNAA email at whcnaa@bia.gov until 29 September, 2023.

Tribal Leader DTLL | NHC Leader DTLL | Transcript

WHCNAA Tribal Treaty Rights Tribal Leader Consultation

The WHCNAA Climate Change, Tribal Homelands, and Treaties Committee within the WHCNAA seeks Tribal leader guidance and recommendations through consultation on further efforts the Federal government could take to protect Tribal treaty rights, reserved rights, and similar rights. The Dear Tribal Leader Letter and framing questions can be found here.

The Tribal consultation will be held on:


Date: Thursday, 24 August, 2023

Time: 1pm-4pm EDT

Location: Virtual



This event is for Tribal Leadership, who are invited to share their input and priorities on how the IRA can best meet the needs of their communities, and to send written responses to framing questions at whcnaa@bia.gov.

DTLL | Framing Questions | Transcript

U.S, Department of the Treasury, Tribal Consultation on the Elective Payment of Applicable Credits under the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022

The Biden Administration’s Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) represents the most significant legislation to invest in clean energy and address climate change in our nation’s history. Under Section 6417 of the IRA, a new provision called an elective payment election will allow for the first time certain tax-exempt and governmental entities to access specified clean energy tax credits as payments from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

Section 6417 generally applies to tax-exempt organizations, State and local governments, Indian tribal governments (“Tribes”), Alaska Native Corporations, the Tennessee Valley Authority, and rural electric cooperatives, which are referred to as “applicable entities”. Section 6417 allows applicable entities to make an elective payment election with respect to twelve (12) “applicable credits,”1 which include the major clean/green energy production tax credits and investment tax credits, as well as the credit for qualified clean commercial vehicles, the credit for alternative fuel vehicle refueling property, and the credit for carbon oxide sequestration.

The U.S. Department of the Treasury, is inviting Tribal Leaders to a consultation on the Elective Payment of Applicable Credits under the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 (IRA), codified as Section 6417 of the Internal Revenue Code (Section 6417).

Date: Monday, July 17, 2023

Time: 1pm-4pm EDT


We respectfully request that each Tribe register one person to participate in the consultation. All others are welcome to register as listen-only participants.

The Dear Tribal Leader Letter (DTLL), summarizes prior consultations, includes expanded information regarding Notices of Proposed Rulemaking, and provides instructions for mandatory registration prior to making an elective payment election.

The DTLL also contains the questions that will be asked of Tribal leaders in the consultation. In addition to a Tribal consultation, Treasury is accepting written or electronic comments received by August 18, 2023, 11:59 p.m. Alaska Time. Submit written comments at tribal.consult@treasury.gov.

Please note that consultations are off the record and not for press purposes.

DTLL | Elective Pay Regulations | Transferability | FAQs | Tribal Fact Sheet | IRS Elective Pay | Direct Pay

WHCNAA Inflation Reduction Act Tribal Leader Engagement

The Inflation Reduction Act is the most significant piece of clean energy and climate legislation in U.S. history with hundreds of millions of dollars exclusively for Tribal Nations and Native Communities. 

The White House and White House Council on Native American Affairs invite Tribal Leaders to an engagement session with Administration and WHCNAA leadership, who will share the latest updates on the Inflation Reduction Act, as well as highlight funding opportunities, new and improved federal programs, technical assistance resources, and the recently announced Inflation Reduction Act Tribal Guidebook.

Date: Tuesday, 30 May, 2023

Time: 12pm- 1:30pm Eastern

Location: Virtual

Register Here

This event is for Tribal Leadership, who are invited to share their input and priorities on how the IRA can best meet the needs of their communities, and to send written responses to framing questions at whcnaa@bia.gov.

DTLL, Agenda, Framing Questions

Tribal Power Preference Listening Session 

The U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Indian Energy and Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) in partnership with General Services Administration (GSA) and Department of Defense (DOD), and in coordination with the White House Council on Native American Affairs (WHCNAA), are hosting the Tribal Power Preference Listening Session. The goal of the listening session will be to gain important insight directly from Tribes, tribally owned businesses, tribal utilities, and tribal entrepreneurs regarding any interest, availability, development, or challenges associated with generating and selling electricity to the Federal Government using the Preference.

Date: 18 May, 2023

Time: 2:30- 4:30pm Eastern

Location: Virtual

Register Here

Please review the polling questions attached to the email prior to the event to best prepare you for engagement during the session. If you have any questions, please submit them to IndianEnergy@hq.doe.gov. For more information about the Office of Indian Energy please visit their website.

Dear Tribal Leader Letter | Polling Questions


National Electric Vehicle Initiative for Tribal Nations Webinar

This meeting will provide an overview of this new initiative to ensure that Tribal Nations are part of the EV future of the country. The meeting will include an overview of the federal resources for EV development to be equitably shared and supportive of Tribal economies towards the physical buildout of a national EV network that includes Tribal lands and Native communities. This meeting will be facilitated and hosted by the Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals’ Tribal Clean Transportation Program.  

This event is free and open to the public.

Date: Wednesday, March 15

Time: 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm ET. 

Registration | Slide Deck


White House Native Women Symposium Series on Economic Development

For the final session of the series we will bring together federal officials, business leaders, Tribal leaders, and organizations to discuss economic development priorities of Tribal enterprises, Native small businesses, entrepreneurs, and spotlight critical issues facing Native women business leaders.

Session One: Biden-Harris Economic Development Initiatives

Date: March 16th, 2023

Time: 2:00-3:30 PM ET


Session Two: Native Entrepreneurs and Small Business

Date: March 23rd, 2023

Time: 2:00-3:30 PM ET


(This session is closed to the press)


2023 Tribal and Indigenous Climate Speaker Series

This monthly series is designed to educate federal agency personnel about consulting and coordinating with Indian Tribes, Native Hawaiians, and other Indigenous Peoples in our combined effort to combat the climate crises. Each webinar will feature Indigenous speakers and/or federal agencies to share knowledge and experience beneficial to federal employees working on climate adaptation priorities and is hosted by the White House Council on Native American Affairs Climate Adaption Subcommittee.


January 10: Guidance on Indigenous Knowledge for Federal Agencies and Departments

Join Haley Case-Scott and 'Aulani Wilhem for a discussion on the Administration's recently released Indigenous Knowledge Guidance and accompanying implementation memorandum for Federal Agencies on recognizing and including Indigenous Knowledge in Federal research, policy, and decision making.

Register for Webinar | IK Guidance Implementation Memo | WHCNAA Climate Adaption Subcommittee | Government-Wide Guidance on Indigenous Knowledge | Video of Webinar

February 8: Cultural Resources and Sacred Sites in Climate Planning and Response

Join Michael Durglo, Jr. and Shasta Gaughen, PhD and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation's (ACHP) Office of Native American Affairs from 3-4pm EST for a discussion on the intersection of cultural resources and sacred sites with climate change planning and response. The presenters are two leaders working n the front lines of historic preservation and climate readiness. They will share lessons learned through their experiences in climate adaptation planning, how their expertise in historic preservation influences that work, and how federal representatives can collaborate to remove barriers to more effective climate planning.

Register for WebinarACHP’s Climate Impacts to Indian Tribe and Native Hawaiian Sacred Sites and Historic Properties: Plan for ACHP Actions | Video of Webinar

March 9: Updates and Lessons Learned on Tribal Co-Stewardship

The White House Council on Native American Affairs Climate Adaptation Subcommittee and the Bureau of Indian Affairs invites you to join a panel of senior leaders and experienced practitioners for a discussion of Tribal co-stewardship. The speakers will share updates and lessons learned from their experiences in establishing agreements and implementing co-stewardship practices. 

RegisterIndigenous Science Series Poster | Video of Webinar

May 30: Indigenous Led Community Relocation: A Case Study - Akiak Native Community (Alaska)

The White House Council on Native American Affairs Climate Adaption Subcommittee invites you to join a panel of senior Administration and Indian Country leaders for a discussion of Indigenous Led Community Relocation. The speakers will share lessons learned from their experiences in protecting and relocating their village from the changing climate. Please register at the Eventbrite link below. Speaker biographies are included in the event flyer, also below. Due to limited time we have together, we are asking that questions are submitted in advance through the Eventbrite link. This event will be recorded. 

Register here | Event Flyer | Video of Webinar

June 6: Working Together to Implement Tribal Climate Adaptation Plans

The White House Council on Native American Affairs Climate Adaptation Subcommittee and the Environmental Protection Agency invite you to join tribal environmental professionals for a discussion on priorities in tribal climate adaptation plans and how the federal government can effectively partner with Tribes to implement these plans. This event will be led by a panel of tribal representatives sharing their experience on climate change adaptation efforts, planning, and collaboration.

Register here | Event Flyer

June 20th: Tribal Transportation Program Self Governance

The Department of Transportation, Office Tribal Government Affairs (Tribal Affairs)will provide an update on the status of the new office and its oversight role of the TTSGP. The team will state how the TTSGP delivery option came to USDOT and describe the process for joining the TTSGP.

Register here | Flyer | Video of Webinar

The 2022 White House Tribal Nations Summit

The White House is pleased to announce the 2022 White House Tribal Nations Summit on November 30th and December 1st, 2022 at the Department of the Interior in Washington, D.C. The Summit will feature new Administration announcements and efforts to implement key policy initiatives supporting Tribal communities. For more information, please visit the link below.

The Summit provides an opportunity for Tribal leaders to engage directly with officials from the highest levels of the Administration. If you have any questions, please contact TNS@who.eop.gov.

More Information | Agenda | Presidential Memo on Tribal Consultation | Fact sheet | Progress Report | Livestream Day 1 | Livestream Day 2

2022 WHCNAA Deliverables for Tribal Nations Summit

New Best-Practices Report for Tribal Treaty and Reserved Rights

Seventeen federal agencies, coordinated through the White House Council on Native American Affairs (WHCNAA), have released a new best-practices report to integrate Tribal treaty and reserved rights into agency decision-making processes. This best-practices report was developed in consultation with Tribal Nations and implements the agencies’ Memorandum of Understanding Regarding Interagency Coordination and Collaboration for the Protection of Tribal Treaty Rights and Reserved Rights. The agencies include ACHP, Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), Department of Commerce (DOC), Department of Defense (DOD), Department of Energy (DOE), DOI, DOJ, Department of Labor (DOL), Department of State (DOS), DOT, DHS, Department of Education (ED), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Office of Personnel Management (OPM), Department of Agriculture (USDA), and Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

For federal staff working at the regional and local level, the Best Practices Guide has also been synthesized into a Regional and Field Guide with an additional stand-alone Flow Chart. 

Best Practices Guide | Regional and Field Guide | TTR Flow Chart

Access to Capital in Indian Country

The Small Business Administration (SBA), in coordination with WHCNAA and with involvement from DOC, DOE, DOI, Treasury, USDA, OMB, and the White House Council of Economic Advisers, has announced a new access to capital initiative with the goal of increasing awareness, access, and utilization of financing opportunities for Tribal Nations. Implementing part one of the plan—awareness—will entail identifying and summarizing all loan and financing programs available to Tribes, including through ARP, BIL, the CHIPS and Science Act, and the IRA. Part two of the plan—access—will involve identifying barriers to capital and summarizing policy, regulatory, and statutory solutions to increase access to federal financing programs. Part three of the plan—utilization—will involve increasing utilization of federal capital programs by establishing baselines of use and setting metrics to improve the utilization rate of the programs.

Access to Capital Initiative

Indian Energy Purchase Preference at Federal Facilities 

To ensure that investments in the clean energy economy reach Tribal lands, DOE—in coordination with WHCNAA and with involvement from DOD and the General Services Administration (GSA)—will launch a new initiative to increase federal agencies’ use of Tribal energy through purchasing authority established by statute. Title V of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 established for federal agencies a preference for purchasing electricity and other energy products from Indian Tribes and Tribal enterprises. That authority has been unused for over 17 years. The Administration will hold listening sessions with Tribal Nations to better understand the market conditions for Tribes and Tribal majority-owned businesses developing carbon pollution-free electricity (CFE). DOD will integrate the Indian Energy Purchase Preference into electricity procurement strategies. GSA will lead a pilot focused on Tribal energy production to develop procurement strategies. Agencies will develop training and resources for Tribes and Tribal majority-owned businesses to foster technical expertise in the development of CFE projects, improve awareness of the Preference, and encourage partnerships for CFE development.

Tribal Preference Fact Sheet

Electric Vehicle (EV) Initiative for Tribal Nations

BIL includes funding to secure an American EV supply chain and to build out the first-ever nationwide public EV charging network of 500,000 EV chargers. The Administration is announcing an EV Initiative for Tribal Nations to ensure that Tribal Nations and Native communities are part of the EV future of the country. Ten federal agencies, including DOT, DOE, DOI, DOL, ED, EPA, HHS, HUD, GSA, and USDA, coordinated through WHCNAA. This initiative will include mapping EV infrastructure, provided TA to Tribes to increase their funding opportunities, providing a toolkit to initiate planning and implementing EV infrastructure projects, prioritizing Tribal, Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA)-funded, and other schools on Indian lands for replacing diesel school buses with low or zero emission school buses within EPA’s Clean School Bus Program, providing assistance to Tribes for the purchase or lease of EV fleet vehicles, and supporting Tribal nations roles in the EV battery supply chain.

EV Initiative for Tribal Nations

Indigenous Knowledge Guidance for Federal Agencies

The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and CEQ are announcing first-of-its-kind government-wide guidance for federal agencies to recognize and include Indigenous Knowledge in federal research, policy, and decision-making. Initiated at the 2021 Tribal Nations Summit, the new White House guidance was developed with federal agencies, in consultation with Tribes and engagement with Indigenous peoples, to elevate Indigenous observations, oral and written knowledge, practices, and beliefs that promote environmental sustainability and the responsible stewardship of natural and cultural resources in federal policymaking.

IK Guidance Implementation Memo

Tribal Co-Management and Co-Stewardship of Federal Lands and Waters

President Biden has recognized the importance of increasing Tribal participation in the management and stewardship of federal lands and waters of significance to Tribal communities. In 2021, USDA and DOI signed Joint Secretarial Order 3403, committing to Tribal co-stewardship, including through written co-stewardship agreements with Tribal Nations. In 2022, they delivered on this commitment: in total, USDA Forest Service and DOI signed over 20 new co-stewardship agreements with Tribes to further co-stewardship goals, with more than 60 additional agreements under various stages of review. At the White House Tribal Nations Summit in November 2022, DOC announced that it will formally join in these co-stewardships efforts by signing onto Joint Secretarial Order 3403. This commitment furthers an all-of-government approach to co-stewardship and ensures that additional agencies—like NOAA—will further co-stewardship goals in their management of waters, fisheries, and other resources of significance and value to Tribes.

DOI Annual Report | USDA ReportDOI Legal Authorities ReportUSDA Authorities ReportDOI Establishes Co-Stewardship CommitteesIndian Affairs Guidance | Joint Secretarial Order No. 3403

10 Year National Framework Plan on Native Language Revitalization

The WHCNAA Education Committee has released a draft framework of a 10-Year National Plan on Native Language Revitalization. The Administration will consult with Tribal Nations on the draft and finalize the plan in 2023. This plan will be built upon four pillars: (1) Awareness—creating national awareness on the importance of Native languages, the current crises of Native language loss, and the urgency for immediate action; (2) Recognition/Affirmation—establishing a formal policy recognizing the role that the United States government played in erasing Native languages and affirming the need for federal resources and support for Native language revitalization; (3) Integration—integrating Native language revitalization in mainstream society, including in federal policies, and outlining the need to create Native language revitalization ecosystems; and (4) Support—identifying funding, including federal and philanthropic sources for Native language revitalization.

Framework for 10yr National Plan

Native American Veteran Homelessness Initiative

VA, HHS, and HUD, through the WHCNAA Health Committee, have announced an interagency initiative to increase access to care and services for American Indian and Alaska Native Veterans experiencing or at risk of homelessness in urban areas. The initiative will involve partnerships with UIOs and focus on intake and referral services to ensure that Native veterans are aware of and have access to available resources.

Cover Sheet for Native Vets Homelessness

Broadband and Electromagnetic Spectrum on Tribal Land

The Departments of the Interior and Commerce and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced a new interdepartmental Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to advance consistent interagency coordination to promote electromagnetic spectrum access and deployment of broadband and other wireless services on Tribal lands to strengthen the federal trust responsibility to Indian Tribes and Native Hawaiians. Among other initiatives, this MOU is first of its kind to provide a framework for exploring new opportunities for tribal policy development for wireless services, including spectrum access and data exchange, in support of Tribes’ political and economic self-determination.

Additionally, Interior Secretary Haaland announced the establishment of a new Office of Indigenous Communications and Technology (OICT) to assist Tribal Nations and Tribal entities in managing and developing new technological and wireless services on Tribal lands and Native Hawaiian Homelands to modernize the Department’s available resources and advance true tribal self-determination over their digital resources. OICT will focus on the development of spectrum resources, wireless services, electric vehicles, and other technological services and will also play a key part in interagency coordination, technical assistance, and national policy development for broadband and spectrum services on tribal lands as part of the Interior’s long-standing role managing tribal trust resources

DOI-FCC-DOC Tribal Spectrum MOU | New Office of Indigenous Communications and Technology (OICT)

International Indigenous Issues Committee Engagement Session

** Will be rescheduled at a later date. **


The Departments of State, Interior, and the EPA invite tribal leaders to discuss the upcoming launch of the Indigenous Peoples Conservation Advisory Network (IPCAN). IPCAN will be designed to support and uplift the leadership of Indigenous peoples and their knowledge in conservation, restoration, and sustainable management efforts in terrestrial, coastal, and ocean ecosystems and will facilitate a global, Indigenous-led network supporting Indigenous peoples’ stewardship of lands and waters to address the climate and biodiversity crises. 


  • DOS: Deputy Assistant Secretary Maxine Burkett- moderator 
  • EPA: Assistant Administrator Jane Nishida 
  • DOI: Senior Advisor Raine Thiele 

Audience includes: 

  • Tribal Government Leaders 

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Who We Serve


WHCNAA Committees

The WHCNAA Chair convenes the principals at least three times a year per Executive Order 13647 (June 2013). Recognizing Tribes have equity in all of President Biden’s four priorities – tackling COVID-19, addressing climate change, advancing racial equity, and supporting strong economic recovery – the Council formed the following six Committee topics to carry out the Council’s initiatives:

The Committees intend to produce deliverables and tools, make policy recommendations, and find ways to leverage resources and expertise among agencies to improve services to Indian Country. The Committees meet regularly and provide reports at each of the WHCNAA Principals meetings.

About the White House Council on Native American Affairs

President Obama established the WHCNAA in 2013 via Executive Order 13647 to improve the coordination of federal programs and use of available federal resources for the benefit of Tribes and Tribal communities. 

Co-chaired by the Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland and White House Domestic Policy Advisor Neera Tanden, WHCNAA membership consists of heads of federal Departments, Agencies, and Offices. An Executive Director and inter-agency staff carry forward WHCNAA priorities grounded in the trust responsibility and treaty rights and informed by consistent and substantive engagement with Tribal Nations. The collaboration between the WHCNAA and Tribal leaders sets the foundation for effective federal investments in Tribal communities and for effective policies that impact Tribes.  

The WHCNAA also supports and organizes the annual White House Tribal Leaders Summit to provide an opportunity for the leaders from all federally recognized Tribes to interact directly with the President and representatives from the highest levels of the Administration.