Native American Affairs

Organizations and Groups




Tribal governments, their business enterprises, their members, and firms that want to do business in Indian Country can tap into the vast resources of the Bureaus of the Department of Commerce to create jobs on and off-reservation.  From grants from the National Telecommunications & Information Administration to develop broadband infrastructure, to data resources available from the Census Bureau to inform Tribal policy-makers, to overseas market development assistance through the International Trade Administration and funding opportunities available through the Economic Development Administration and the Minority Business Development Agency, the Department’s resources help tribes and their citizens create conditions conducive to business development and to seize opportunities in America and abroad.

The Department’s partnerships with tribes and firms that want to do business in Indian Country is led by the Secretary’s Senior Advisor on Native American Affairs.  The Office of the Secretary’s Senior Advisor on Native American Affairs is responsible for (1) coordinating and communicating all Native American issues directly with Tribes and across all the bureaus within the Department of Commerce as well as externally with all other federal agencies; (2) coordinating and implementing the Department’s Tribal Consultation Policy Plan and consultation sessions; (3) serving as the primary contact for all Tribal Consultation actions and issues; and (4) serving as the facilitator of the Office of Native American Business Development by assisting and consulting with Indian Country in leveraging the combined efforts of the federal programs, tribal governments, private sector businesses and financing in order to promote economic growth for Tribes and Native Americans.

For more information on doing business with American Indians and Alaska Natives, please see the BusinessUSA resource page

The U.S. Census Bureau is beginning to do tribal outreach for the 2020 Census.  On July 1, 2015 Director John Thompson officially announced the planning of the 2020 tribal consultation meetings. For more informaiton on these meetings, please visit the Census Bureau Web site.


When tribal governments are empowered to effectively self-govern by building vibrant and sustainable economies, we all win. The Department of Commerce recognizes the advances tribal governments have made since the enactment of the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act in 1975, and seeks to assist tribes in developing their economies so that the goals of the Self-Determination Era could be fully realized by every tribal nation that chooses self-governance.

The Department also takes seriously the United States’ trust responsibility to the various Indian tribes and Native peoples of our country and adheres to Executive Order (E.O.) No. 13175, “Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments” (November 6, 2000 ) and President Obama’s November 5, 2009, “Tribal Consultation” Memorandum .  Since President Obama took office, the Department has revised its Tribal Consultation Policy after engaging in extensive consultation with tribal officials for a period of several months in 2012.  The Department’s final consultation policy was published and communicated to Tribal leaders on May 21, 2013.

Tribal Consultation and Coordination Policy (PDF) 
Tribal Leader Letter from Dr. Blank (PDF)

Department Resources for Tribes

Each bureau within the Department contains resources that can assist tribes in developing their economies and effectively governing themselves. In addition to the Bureau-by-Bureau links and contacts listed below, check out our comprehensive Tribal Guide to Commerce.

Economic and Infrastructure Development, Business Resources and Technical Assistance, Market Access

Natural and Cultural Resources Protection

Statistical Resources and National Security

Intellectual Property


Director of Intergovernmental Affairs


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As the Secretary’s Senior Advisor for Native American Affairs and Associate Director of her Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs Office, I serve two distinct roles at...

Bureaus & Offices