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ACL Held a Tribal Consultation on its Draft Tribal Consultation Policy

On January 24, the Administration for Community Living (ACL) held a Tribal Consultation on its Draft Tribal Consultation Policy during its Title VI Cluster Training in Washington, DC.

ACL announced its draft policy and distributed it to Tribes at the November meeting of the HHS Secretary’s Tribal Advisory Council (STAC), then held this consultation in order to receive Tribal leader feedback on (1) processes involving evaluating, noticing, & conducting a Tribal consultation; (2) processes involving Tribal official requests to initiate consultation, consultation records, and training; (3) processes involving listening sessions & Tribal engagement; and (4) preferences on whether ACL should continue to hold consultations virtually to increase tribal access or limit to in-person attendance.

The main goals of this policy are to bolster Tribal engagement, ensure programs and policies are aligned with eliminating health disparities of American Indians and Alaska Natives, and to ensure access to needed health care services is maximized.

Tribal leader comments included a request that ACL keep the consultation government-to-government, between the agency leaders and Tribal leaders to ensure a true nation-to-nation relationship. One participant requested that ACL add a section on Urban Confer so that Urban Indian Organizations can participate in the consultation process. There is a need for continued hybrid capabilities, as well as an enhanced notice period ahead of consultations to ensure that participants can adequately prepare for these meetings and schedule them into their busy calendars. On a more creative note, one Tribal leader shared that, moving forward, the consultation room should be set up in a circle or a hollow square– rather than the classroom set up at this meeting – to help facilitate conversation.

The National Indian Health Board will be drafting comment on the policy, with help from our Medicare, Medicaid, and Health Reform Policy Committee (MMPC). Others are encouraged to submit comments as well, with any and all feedback on the policy. Written comments and recommendations are due by February 23, 2024 to: [email protected].

National Indian Health Board
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