NCAI Applauds the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Announcement Recognizing Tribal Sovereignty and Cooperative Management

Published on Jun 17, 2016

June 17, 2016


NCAI Applauds the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Announcement Recognizing Tribal Sovereignty and Cooperative Management

Washington, DC - Today, the United States Army Corps of Engineers announced two major changes to improve the partnership between the Corps and tribes to manage water resource projects and activities and further protect tribal natural and cultural resources.

First, Secretary of the Army delegates their authority under Section 1031(b) of the Water Resources, Reform and Development Act 2014 to enter into cooperative agreements with federally recognized tribes to protect fish, wildlife, water quality, and cultural resources to all divisions and districts of the Army Corps. Bringing this process to the local level allows for more tribes to enter in to cooperative agreements, share management responsibilities, protect their resources using culturally appropriate practices, and further build economic capacity of tribes to expand their management practices.

The Army Corps also announced that it is removing the legal requirement that a tribe must waive its sovereign immunity when entering into a legally binding agreement for the construction of a water resources project with the Corps. This requirement was a major obstacle for tribal participation and often the reason many projects were not planned or built. 

NCAI President Brian Cladoosby said, “Indian Country applauds the Army Corps for listening to the concerns of our tribal nations, honoring tribal sovereignty, and supporting cooperative management agreements to help protect our valuable tribal resources. Today’s decisions are important not just for the many tribes with Army Corps projects near their homelands, but it demonstrates the positive impact of tribal consultation and true Nation-to-Nation partnership.”

Army Corps Announcement 
Army Corps Fact Sheet 


About The National Congress of American Indians:
Founded in 1944, the National Congress of American Indians is the oldest, largest and most representative American Indian and Alaska Native organization in the country. NCAI advocates on behalf of tribal governments and communities, promoting strong tribal-federal government-to-government policies, and promoting a better understanding among the general public regarding American Indian and Alaska Native governments, people and rights. For more information visit 

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