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Working Effectively with Tribal Governments
Hosted by ATSDR
Division of Health Assessment and Consultation

This course will convey general and practical information about working with American Indian and Alaska Native Tribal Governments, Organizations and Communities. The course will cover such topics as American Indian history and policy and legal issues associated with the Freedom of Information Act and its impact on tribes. Federal Trust Responsibility to tribes will be addressed as will agency policies on consultation and government-to-government relationships. A session on cultural issues will be presented which will include informal discussions with panel participants from different tribes. The course will include an overview of ATSDR/CDC Tribal Programs administered through the Office of Tribal Affairs/CIO's and will answer the questions "What should I do if I receive a call from a tribe?" and "What are the policies and protocols when working with Tribal governments?"

By the end of the training, you will be able to:
  • State how working with tribal governments differs from working with communities.
  • State one similarity in working with tribal governments and other communities.
  • State one example of an American Indian Tribe.
  • Describe sovereign status of some tribes and explain how this might affect government-to-government relations and ATSDR/CDC activities.
  • Explain Federal trust responsibilities to tribes.
  • Describe the role of the Office of Tribal Affairs at ATSDR.
  • Describe cultural, political, spiritual and socioeconomic conditions in Indian country that need to be considered when ATSDR/CDC makes public health action recommendations.
  • List two Executive Orders that are relevant to American Indian/Alaska Native Policy at ATSDR.
This training is designed for NCEH/ATSDR staff who prepare public health products or conduct community involvement/health education/health intervention activities as part of the health assessment process.  Registration is now open to environmental public health professionals in local, county, state and federal agencies. For general information contact Dean Seneca by telephone at 404-498-0457 or via e-mail at

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