The Tribal RPG has three main objectives:
- Identify opportunities for successful outreach and partnerships between conservation districts, tribal conservation districts, tribes, tribal associations and other partners.
- Provide assistance to conservation districts and tribal partners to help facilitate conservation measures and cooperation.
- Solicit, share and celebrate success stories in partnerships, illustrating lessons learned.
The Tribal RPG’s priorities are to:
- Solicit examples of successful outreach and partnerships between conservation districts and tribal entities.
- Showcase and celebrate these success stories at NACD events and related venues.
- Publish success stories in NACD publications on a routine basis.
- Identify effective communication methods and channels to promote outreach and connection between tribes and conservation districts.
- Describe, through examples, the mutual benefits of establishing and expanding partnerships.
- Emphasize common points of interest and shared (or complementary) capabilities and resources.
- Support NACD regions and state associations in establishing a process to recognize conservation district and tribal cooperation.
- Engage with national, regional and local tribal organizations and associations to establish communication and promote partnerships.
- May 2019 Success Story – The Spring 2019 edition of The Resource described the land use and soil health practices used by the Narragansett Tribe on their recently acquired land in Rhode Island. A major benefit of these practices, they say, is enhanced community connectedness.
- August 2018 Success Story – The Summer 2018 edition of The Resource described the work the Steamboat Island community in Washington did to restore native camas habitat through partnership with the Squaxin Tribe and Thurston Conservation District.
- May 2018 Success Story – The Spring 2018 edition of The Resource included a profile of Perdido River Farms in southern Alabama, owned and operated by the Poarch Band of Creek Indians, and their partnership with the Escambia County Conservation District.
- Tribal RPG Update to NRPC January 2018 – The NACD Tribal RPG provided this update to the Natural Resources Policy Committee (NRPC) ahead of the 2018 Annual Meeting held in Nashville, Tenn.
- November Tribal RPG Update – The NACD Tribal RPG held its second face-to-face meeting on September 12, 2017 in conjunction with the 2017 NACD Southwest/Pacific Region Meeting in Tucson, Arizona. RPG members discussed progress on the RPG’s tribal outreach and partnership initiative and laid a course for future direction and priorities.
- August Tribal RPG Letter on Tribal Liaisons – In this letter to USDA NRCS, the Tribal RPG makes two requests for greater engagement with NRCS tribal liaisons.
- Meeting Report and Success Story – The Fall 2017 edition of The Resource included an overview of the Tucson RPG meeting and a profile of the partnership between the Arizona Association of Tribal Conservation Districts and the AACD, beginning on page 12.
- August 2017 Success Story – This success story profiles the Oneida Tribe and Outagamie County Land Conservation Department in Wisconsin and their efforts to expand access and delivery on Indian lands.
- July 2017 Success Story – This success story profiles the Creek Nation Natural Resource Conservation District and Hughes County Conservation District in Oklahoma.
- RPG Introduction and First Success Story – The Spring 2017 edition of The Resource provided an introduction to the newly established Tribal Outreach and Partnership RPG and published its first success story, beginning on page 18, describing the partnership between the Yakama Nation and North Yakima Conservation District in Washington.
The Tribal Outreach and Partnership Resource Policy Group (Tribal RPG) advises NACD leadership on tribal issues relevant to America’s conservation districts and their partners. It is made up of conservation district and state association members, as well as conservation partnership representatives from NRCS, NASCA and NCDEA and advisors from the Blackfeet Tribe, Creek Nation, Cowlitz Tribe, Makah Tribe, Indian Nations Conservation Alliance (INCA), United South and Eastern Tribes (USET), First Nations, and Alaska Tribal Conservation Alliance (ATCA). The RPG is staffed by NACD Southwest Region Representative Jeff Burwell and NACD Advisor Dave Vogel and chaired by NACD First Vice President Michael Crowder. The members of the RPG are Sadie Lister of the Navajo Nation, Ariz.; Cassius Spears, Narragansett Tribe, R.I.; Greg Baneck, Wisc.; Zach Ducheneaux, Cheyenne River Sioux, S.D.; Larry Davis, Wash.; Jerry Smith, Miss.; Tomas Mendez, Mescalero Apache Tribe, N.M.; and Ben Harmon, Muscogee Creek Tribe, Okla.