Native American Coordination and Consultationestions
This is a presentation Arrie Bachrach and I developed focusing on key elements of Native American Coordination and Consultation for Energy Developers.
Published on: Mar 3, 2016
Transcripts - Native American Coordination and Consultationestions
Native Americans and EnergyProjects: A ChangingEnvironment?Dr. Alan Gold and Mr. Arrie BachrachSeptember 6, 2011
Who are Gold and Bachrach?• Alan (Garfinkel) Gold – Principal Archaeologist, AECOM Environment, Camarillo, CA – Ph.D with 35 years of experience, 50+ publications (books and articles) – Extensive experience and relationships with Native Americans, particularly California tribes of southern Sierra Nevada/Mojave Desert – Heavily involved in interface between renewable energy developers and Native Americans• Arrie Bachrach – Director, Cultural Resources, AECOM Environment, Camarillo, CA – Nearly 40 years in environmental field with focus on large controversial projects (renewable energy [solar and wind], fossil power plants, LNG terminals, nuclear waste, offshore oil) – Involved in interface/outreach activities with Dr. GoldPresentation Title January 15, 2012 Page 2
Native Americans and Energy Development• Environmental review processes (e.g., National Environmental Policy Act [NEPA]) for energy projects include cultural resources as required topical area• Federal and state laws, regulations, and policies protect Native American religious and cultural interests (e.g., National Historic Preservation Act [NHPA]), California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA)• Section 106 of NHPA requires formal consultation between Federal agencies (e.g., Bureau of Land Management) and Indian tribes for projects on public lands 1/15/2012 Page 3
Native American Consultation/Involvement• Even though legally required, consultation has often been perfunctory.• Send out a few letters, make a few phone calls, put some papers in the file --- “check the box”.• Often, this was enough, but not working as well as it did.• Native Americans have improved at “playing the game”• Project opponents often cite Native American impacts• Native Americans talk of need/desire for “meaningful consultation”, a more significant seat at the table (key stakeholders).Presentation Title 1/15/2012 Page 4
What is “Meaningful Consultation”?• Respectful, serious, and substantive interaction with important stakeholder(s).• Meaningful consultation requires knowledge, genuine interest, sensitivity, and developing personal relationships based on mutual respect and trust.• Partly for historical reasons, developing mutual trust takes time and effort – to reach out, to show cultural sensitivity, to listen/respect Native concerns, and show flexibility with Projects to accommodate Native interests, to honor commitments made.Presentation Title 1/15/2012 Page 5
What Can Happen if You Do it Badly• Miss opportunity to discover/understand issues that could be critical to Project success early in the Project. – It’s smarter and cheaper to take key issues into account early rather than to find out later and have to redesign/rework• Validity of cultural resources evaluations/analyses could be undermined. – Asking Native Americans about locations, natural and cultural features of interest to them can avoid important omissions. – Even professional archaeologists regularly miss many culturally important features that local Native Americans know about including prehistoric sites, unmarked cemeteries, religious sites.• Needlessly alienate stakeholder; give unnecessary ammunition to opponents who always look for issues.Presentation Title 1/15/2012 Page 6
What are Benefits of Doing it Well?• Opportunity to avoid/reduce adverse Project impacts by recognizing, understanding, and addressing them early and thoughtfully• Constructive and positive relationships with Native Americans can help build a more positive overall atmosphere for a project in addition to neutralizing potential opponents (Native American and other)• Reduce risk of legal challenges for inadequate cultural resources analyses by improving quality of information obtainedPresentation Title 1/15/2012 Page 7
Don’t Forget About Jobs and Other Issues• Native American communities often are very poor, with extremely high unemployment.• Finding ways to hire (and provide training for) Native Americans is excellent way to build good will and support in the community.• Stay alert for other issues in the Native American community where outside support needed (e.g., helping Tribes achieve Federal recognition, funding for community facility/activity)Presentation Title 1/15/2012 Page 8
Some Implications• For energy projects, cultural resources issues are becoming more critically important• Dealing effectively with live Indians rather than with artifacts of their ancestors is a growing issue of great concern.• Utilities/projects need cultural resources pros with somewhat different orientation/skill sets – interactive as well as analytical.• Cultural resources professionals with right skills can play important role in Project success by contributing to outreach/stakeholder interaction, e.g., help lay groundwork for mutual understanding based on fact rather than hysteria.
• Need to add case studies• Need to mention pending lawsuits• Provide information on what sorts of issues have come up• Religious sites – vision quest and prayer sites; eagle eyries; unmarked cemeteries, contact period Indian camps• Problem with masking of archaeological remains by illicit cultural activities and natural environmental factors.Presentation Title 1/15/2012 Page 10