NPM and Tribal Leaders Urge the FCC to Uphold Meaningful Tribal Consultation

DENVER, CO – Consultation between governments is not a new idea. There are always a number of reasons why “meaningful” consultation is important. For the 568 American Indian Tribes and Alaska Native Villages in the United States, meaningful Tribal consultation is about garnering views and preferences, understanding possible unintended consequences of a proposed policy or legislation, or getting views on implementation including costs.

“Increasing the level of transparency improves the quality of policymaking by bringing to bear expertise and alternative perspectives, and identifying unintended effects, practical problems, as well as solutions to the challenges,” explains Loris Taylor, President & CEO of Native Public Media.

Taylor sees meaningful Tribal consultation with the U.S. federal government as part of strengthening policymaking and insists that understanding the effects of any policy on those who will be affected is at the heart of engagement.

At the 75th Annual Convention, Native Public Media submitted two resolutions to NCAI’s Technology and Telecommunications subcommittee. Both resolutions speak to the critical importance of meaningful Tribal consultation and urge the Federal Communications Commission to adhere to the practice of engaging Tribal government leaders on important issues such as Lifeline and Net Neutrality, and directs the FCC’s Office of Native Affairs to re-establish a comprehensive and formal government-to-government process for meaningful Tribal consultation before decisions that effect Tribes are made at the FCC.