Online Survey for Tribes - Integrating Tribal Expertise into Processes to Identify, Evaluate, and Record Cultural Resources
The research objective of NCHRP 25-25, Task 114 is to understand and detail how tribal expertise can inform the requirements and intent of the Section 106 process of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) for surface transportation projects, recognizing federal agency government-to-government consultation responsibilities and addressing issues associated with confidentiality. Task 114 seeks to explore successful Section 106 outcomes by incorporating tribal expertise throughout the tribal engagement and consultation process, including the identification of places of religious and cultural significance, assess project effects on these significant places, and resolving any adverse project effects on these places. Task 114 also examines the role of tribal expertise early in the planning process, i.e., during project programming prior to the implementation of Section 106 and National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) reviews. Tribal expertise includes knowledge “belonging to or associated specifically with an individual or group, and may not be common or public property to be shared outside of the tribe” (Ball et al. 2015).

A critical element of this NCHRP study is exploring how FHWA and state DOTs consider tribal expertise during all steps in the Section 106 process. Another critical element of this study is to document tribal perspectives on how well (or not well) FWHA and state DOTs take into account tribal expertise during the steps in the Section 106 process. To assist in addressing these elements of the study, we have created the following on-line questionnaire for tribes.

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1. Is your tribe’s cultural expertise used in state DOT decision-making associated with early project planning (i.e., prior to initiating Section 106 compliance or NEPA reviews)? That is, are tribal historic preservation or cultural staff involved in early transportation planning? An example would be a state DOT consulting with your tribe’s historic preservation staff about projects in the State Transportation Improvement Plan (STIP).
Explain:
Your answer
2. During the development of a project (i.e., during the NEPA and Section 106 review process), do state DOTs and FHWA rely on your tribe’s expertise to identify places of religious and cultural significance to your tribe, assess effects to these places, and resolve any adverse effects to these places?
Explain:
Your answer
3. Is your tribe typically involved in conducting field investigations to identify places of religious and cultural significance to your tribe?
Explain:
Your answer
4. If your tribe is involved in conducting field investigations to identify places of religious and cultural significance, how and when is your tribe involved? For example, do tribal members conduct the investigations or do tribal members participate as cultural monitors during the investigation?
Your answer
5. Or does your tribe hire or are you involved in the selection of a consultant to perform this work on behalf of the tribe (i.e., is the consultant someone the tribe knows well and trusts)?
Explain:
Your answer
6. Do you have an executed Section 106 programmatic agreement with FHWA and/or a state DOT that establishes how your tribe’s expertise will be used in carrying out the Section 106 process?
Explain:
Your answer
7. Is your tribe financially compensated for participation in the Section 106 process, such as conducting surveys to identify places of religious and cultural significance?
Explain:
Your answer
8. If your tribe is compensated for participating in the Section 106 process, how are you financially compensated and by whom?
Your answer
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