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Native American and Indigenous Peoples

Government and general resources concerning Native Americans and Indigenous Peoples

National Service Center for Environmental Publications

You can search, retrieve, download, print, and order EPA technical, scientific, and educational materials from this site – all free of charge!

Helpful webpage on how to use the advanced search feature when searching environmental publications. 

A listing of search results for "Native American."  

Indigenous Peoples, Lands, and Resources

Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA)

Since 1990, Federal law has provided for the repatriation and disposition of certain Native American human remains, funerary objects, sacred objects, and objects of cultural patrimony. By enacting NAGPRA, Congress recognized that human remains of any ancestry "must at all times be treated with dignity and respect." Congress also acknowledged that human remains and other cultural items removed from Federal or tribal lands belong, in the first instance, to lineal descendants, Indian Tribes, and Native Hawaiian organizations.

Environment (General)

The main homepage of the United States' Environmental Protection Agency's actions in Indian country. 

Links to various environmental programs in Indian country under the EPA's purview. 

The EPA's webpage containing programs, partnerships, resources, documents, law and policy on cleaning up contaminated tribal lands.  

Resources for environmental protection in Indian Country in EPA’s Region 10, serving tribes in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, Washington.

Includes information on tribal relations programs (by region), publications, reports, and many other resources. 


OTR leads the intergovernmental role for the Department with tribes. Efforts through consultation, coordination and collaboration support the preservation of the government to government relationship and enhance access to USDA’s various programs and services to tribes, tribal organizations and citizens.

USDA offers many programs and services that are available to members of American Indian and Alaska Native tribes. These publications provide comprehensive summaries of USDA programs in support of agriculture, food sovereignty, business and community development, conservation and forestry, research, extension, outreach, and education.

The USDA Indigenous Food Sovereignty Initiative (PDF, 86.4 KB) promotes traditional food ways, Indian Country food and agriculture markets, and indigenous health through foods tailored to American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) dietary needs. USDA is partnering with tribal-serving organizations on seven projects to reimagine federal food and agriculture programs from an indigenous perspective and inform future USDA programs and policies.

Environment in Navajo Nation

From 1944 to 1986, nearly 30 million tons of uranium ore were extracted from Navajo lands under leases with the Navajo Nation. This website describes how five federal agencies are working together to reduce the highest risks to Navajo people from uranium contamination resulting from the abandoned mines.

The Navajo Nation Environmental Protection Agency Radon Program has two main priorities: Serving as a liaison for a five-year Contaminated Structures Project addressing uranium contamination on the reservation, and providing education to the tribal community about the importance of testing for radon in schools and office buildings as well as general indoor air quality (IAQ) outreach.

Water quality standards in effect for the Clean Water Act (CWA) purposes in Navajo Nation. 

Energy & Climate Change

The Office of Legacy Management works closely with Native American and Alaska Native stakeholders who are partners in our commitment to long-term monitoring and surveillance. They routinely collaborate on site inspections and environmental monitoring, document review, natural resources management, community outreach, STEM education and more.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Indian Energy Policy and Programs is authorized to fund and implement a variety of programmatic activities that assist American Indian Tribes and Alaska Native villages with energy development, capacity building, energy cost reduction, and electrification of Indian lands and homes.

​Green building, also known as sustainable design, can assist tribal communities to reduce the impact of construction on the environment while protecting the health, livelihood and culture of tribal residents. Native Americans were the first green architects and builders of the Americas, and traditional Native American building designs and practices are sustainable. State and local building codes do not apply on tribal lands, but tribes have the authority to adopt their own.

Page 6, 21-22: Tribal Communities. 

Online toolkit from geared towards tribal communities in the U.S. Includes resources on assessment and planning, adaptation, mitigation, and other topics regarding climate change and tribal communities. 

The project focuses on understanding needs and opportunities for tribes in addressing climate change, examining the government-to-government relationship in a climate context and exploring the role of traditional knowledge in climate change studies, assessments and plans. A collaborative project between the University of Oregon, USDA Forest Service, Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians, and the North Pacific Landscape Conservation Cooperative. 

Environmental Justice

Issues of environmental justice – meaning the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies – have been of concern to the international community for many years, including in the context of human rights and environmental protection. In the United States, the EPA has taken a leading role in government efforts to address environmental justice issues.

For many years, EPA’s tribal program and environmental justice (EJ) programs focused on helping federally recognized tribes develop their own environmental programs. However, EPA was also asked to work with other indigenous peoples, including tribal members and grassroots organizations.

Pipelines and Hazardous Materials

Documents from the U.S. Department of Transportation's Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Administration on working with tribal governments. ​​​​​​​

Water and Air

Learn about EPA tribal water programs and the tools, training, funding, and other resources available for tribal environmental offices.

The Bureau of Reclamation was established in 1902 to help foster economic development in the 17 Western States by developing and building water supply projects. Today, Reclamation is a contemporary water management agency with numerous programs, initiatives, and activities to help meet water needs and balance the multitude of competing uses of water in the West.

Information on how EPA works with American Indians and Alaska Natives to help their systems comply with the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) to improve access to safe drinking water on tribal lands.

Information for states and tribes on the requirements for, administration of, and EPA oversight of a state or tribal Clean Water Act 404 program. The site is a resource for the audiences in states or tribes with assumed programs.

Information designed for use by owners, operators and administrative staff who work at public drinking water supply systems in Wyoming and on Tribal lands within the jurisdiction of EPA Region 8 (CO, MT, ND, SD, UT and WY).

Technical information to support air quality protection programs in Indian Country including regulations, data, and implementation support.

EPA's Federal Air Rules for Reservations is a set of federal air rules that apply to 39 Indian reservations in Idaho, Oregon and Washington.

Residential wood smoke is an issue in many tribal communities. This page contains information that may help tribes that are considering a changeout campaign or wood smoke education initiative.