Federal agencies are required to consult on a “government-to-government” basis with federally-recognized Indian tribes and nations on projects receiving federal funds or requiring federal permits. The federal government’s unique relationship with Indian tribes is embodied in the U.S. Constitution, treaties, court decisions, federal statutes and executive orders. Tribal consultation for MoDOT projects is primarily conducted through the Missouri Division of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).
FHWA consults with federally-recognized Indian tribes with ancestral, historic, and ceded land connections to Missouri. Consultation with tribes is intended to facilitate avoiding or minimizing project impacts to cultural resources that a tribe considers of historical or religious significance. A good way for a tribe to determine if there are any proposed MoDOT projects at or near known culturally significant sites and/or localities is to search the Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) located at https://www.modot.org/statewide-transportation-improvement-program-stip.
The STIP is a rolling 5-year plan where each year one year is dropped and another added. The easiest way to see if any projects are proposed in a culturally sensitive/significant locality is to go to the STIP link above; then go to the Interactive Statewide Transportation Improvement Program Map. If a section of roadway is highlighted at or near a culturally sensitive/significant location, then point at the highlighted job and left click on it with your computer mouse to get a description of that project. Being early in the planning process this has the greatest opportunity to work to avoid or minimize adverse effects to these culturally sensitive/significant areas. If at any time a tribe, or tribal member, has a concern that a project on the STIP may impact places of significance to their tribe, please notify the MoDOT Historic Preservation Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org. MoDOT keeps confidential information regarding archaeological sites, traditional cultural properties, and sacred sites.
FHWA and MoDOT have communicated with a large number of Indian tribes and nations with ties to Missouri to identify areas of tribal interest and concern. To date, 26 federally-recognized Tribes have requested consultation about transportation projects in some portion of Missouri. These Tribes include the: Absentee-Shawnee Tribe of Indians of Oklahoma, Caddo Nation of Oklahoma, Cherokee Nation, Delaware Nation, Delaware Tribe of Indians, Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma, Iowa Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska, Iowa Tribe of Oklahoma, Kaw Indian Nation of Oklahoma, Kickapoo Tribe in Kansas, Kickapoo Tribe of Oklahoma, Miami Tribe of Oklahoma, Omaha Tribe of Nebraska and Iowa, Osage Nation, Otoe-Missouria Tribe of Indians, Pawnee Nation of Oklahoma, Peoria Tribe of Indians of Oklahoma, Ponca Tribe of Nebraska, Ponca Tribe of Oklahoma, Quapaw Tribe of Oklahoma, Sac and Fox Tribe of the Mississippi in Iowa, Sac and Fox Tribe of the Missouri in Kansas and Nebraska, Sac and Fox Nation of Oklahoma, Shawnee Tribe, United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians in Oklahoma, and Wyandotte Nation. Each tribe has identified specific counties that they have requested to consult on proposed transportation projects that have the potential to affect cultural resources that may be of historical or religious significance to their respective tribe.
The National Association of Tribal Historic Preservation Officers (NATHPO) is a national organization that supports and encourages Tribal Historic Preservation Programs. NATHPO maintains contact information for Tribal Historic Preservation Offices at https://members.nathpo.org/thpodirectory/FindStartsWith?term=%23%21