Federal agencies are required to consult on a “government-to-government” basis with federally-recognized tribal nations on projects receiving federal funds or requiring federal permits. The federal government’s unique relationship with tribal nations is embodied in the U.S. Constitution, treaties, court decisions, federal statutes and executive orders. Tribal consultation for MoDOT projects is initiated by and primarily conducted through the Missouri Division of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).
FHWA consults with federally-recognized tribal nations with ancestral, historic, and ceded land connections to Missouri. Consultation with tribal nations is intended to facilitate avoiding or minimizing project impacts to cultural resources that a tribal nation considers of historical or religious significance. A good way for a tribal nation to determine very early in the project development process (before notification by FHWA on individual projects) 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 STIP 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 tribal nation, or tribal member, has a concern that a project on the STIP may impact places of significance to their tribe, please notify the MoDOT's historic preservation team at email@example.com. MoDOT keeps confidential information regarding archaeological sites, traditional cultural properties, and sacred sites.
FHWA and MoDOT have communicated with a large number of tribal nations with ties to Missouri to identify areas of interest and concern. To date, 26 federally-recognized tribal nations have requested consultation about transportation projects in some portion of Missouri. These tribal nations 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 Nation, Kickapoo Tribe in Kansas, Kickapoo Tribe of Oklahoma, Miami Tribe of Oklahoma, Omaha Tribe of Nebraska, 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 Nation, Sac and Fox Tribe of the Mississippi in Iowa, Sac and Fox Nation of 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 tribal nation has identified specific counties that they have requested to consult on proposed federally funded or permitted transportation projects that have the potential to affect cultural resources that may be of historical or religious significance to their respective nation. Most tribal nations maintain on their respective website information on who and how to consult on Section 106 undertakings.