WASHINGTON, June 28, 2023 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced it will establish a Tribal Advisory Committee and is requesting nominations for membership. The notice is among USDA’s efforts to remove barriers to service for tribal governments, citizens, and tribal nations.
“Establishing the Tribal Advisory Committee is an important step towards ensuring tribal perspectives are well represented at USDA and positioned to inform how the Department meets its trust responsibility to tribes across the nation,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “I encourage applicants from across the country to apply and look forward to working with my counterparts on the Hill to appoint members who represent the diversity of voices across Indian Country.”
Authorized in the 2018 Farm Bill, the Tribal Advisory Committee is tasked with providing advice and guidance to the Secretary of Agriculture on matters relating to tribal and Indian affairs.
As a federal advisory committee, the Tribal Advisory Committee will provide invaluable recommendations on USDA programs and policies, including through an annual report to Congress. Activities from this committee will not replace new and continuing consultation required by Executive Order 13175 and USDA’s government-to-government relationship with tribes. This advisory committee will be supported by representatives from the USDA Office of Tribal Relations and the Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs in the Department of the Interior, with the Office of Tribal Relations serving as administrative lead for this advisory committee.
USDA encourages nominations from federally recognized tribes, Alaska Native Corporations, tribal organizations that are arms and instrumentalities of tribes or democratically elected by their community, or national or regional organizations with expertise in tribal food and agriculture issues. Appointments for membership will be made by the Secretary of Agriculture and the Chair and Ranking Member of the House Committee on Agriculture; Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry; and Senate Committee on Indian Affairs. All nominations are requested to follow the process identified in the Federal Register.
The nomination period for membership to serve on this advisory committee will be open through August 14, 2023. Specific information and nomination instructions are available in the Federal Register.
“While USDA will continue to consult with tribes on a regular basis, this Tribal Advisory Committee is an important partner in the Office of Tribal Relations mission of advising the Secretary on tribal issues,” said Acting Director of Tribal Relations Deb DuMontier.
The Tribal Advisory Committee is required to meet at least twice a year and is expected to meet quarterly. Committee membership is expected to reflect diversity in expertise across regions, Indian tribes, and the agriculture industry, including subsistence and related cultural practices.
USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in many positive ways. In the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production and fairer markets for all producers. USDA is dedicated to ensuring access to safe, healthy, and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers. In order to reach these goals, USDA encourages the use of climate smart food and forestry practices. USDA is making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America and is committed to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit www.usda.gov.
USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.