Tribal Self-Advocacy

Tribal Self-Advocacy

Within our Tribal Self-Advocacy Program CIEA affirms that California Tribes should guide decision-making in all cases where agencies, organizations or groups are planning or conducting activities that affect California Indian people, traditional territories or any resources that affect cultural traditions, means of subsistence and environmental health.

We do not advocate directly on behalf of Tribes. We provide technical assistance for Tribal leadership and Tribal staff to advocate on their own behalf for the benefit of their own people. This support includes event facilitation, coordination of strategy meetings and outreach to increase Tribal engagement. We complete these activities at the request of California Tribal representatives.  California Tribal members and Tribal leadership guide our programs, and the materials and information we provide.

Self-Advocacy Materials include:

  • CIEA E-news with reports, mercury and watershed related meeting dates and opportunities for addressing mercury and mining toxins.
  • Meeting Announcements, minutes and reports
  • Updates on agency programs including: mercury Total Maximum Daily Loads, CA State Mercury Plan and Beneficial Uses, Integrated Regional Watershed Management programs, Globally Binding Mercury Treaty.

    We are providing information, co-hosting Strategy Meetings and providing technical assistance when requested in the following areas:

    • Exposure Reduction solutions including fish sampling efforts to identify safer fishing locations which support subsistence fishing and avoid mercury and PCBs
    • Beneficial Use consensus building for Subsistence Fishing (FISH) and Native American Cultural Use (CUL)
    • Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDL) for Mercury & Methylmercury
    •  Integrated Regional Water Management advocating that Tribes take part in the governance structure of regional IRWMs and can receive funding for IRWM projects.
    • At this meeting we introduced the New Southern District Tribal Representatives (see below). [NIJC training provided by Raquelle Myers, Staff Attorney] because at previous Quarterly Meetings, where we introduced Tribal governance structures so that other NCRP Representatives and stakeholders prompted this introduction, so, they could better understand that CA Tribes are sovereign governments with complex structures and a network of expertise. After being well-received through this introduction, the county NCRP representatives asked about receiving more information about Tribes.

    North Coast Resource Partnership

    CIEA is the Tribal Engagement Coordinator for the North Coast Resource Partnership (NCRP).

    We held the NCRP Tribal Representatives Voting meeting on August 27, 2015 at the offices of the Hopland Band of Pomo Indians and they filled all South District Positions. Congratulations to our new Tribal Representatives in the South District:

    On January 13, DWR announced the Final Funding Awards for the remaining Proposition 84 IRWM grant funds which includes full funding for the NCRP 2015 IRWM Project Grant Application that we submitted to DWR in early August. The $11 M Proposal contains 25 high-priority projects that benefit North Coast economically disadvantaged communities and includes 8 projects that benefit Tribes and 13 that implement the State’s Human Right to Water policy.

    To learn more about the North Coast IRWMP visit the NCRP website: 

    Tribal Strategy Meetings

    CIEA also provides updates on upcoming opportunities and is supportive of regional strategy meetings. Every other month CIEA facilitates a Tribal only Northern California water strategy meeting. We provide this information directly to Tribal representatives, on this website, on Facebook, Twitter and through our bi-annual newsletters. We coordinate several strategy meetings each year. We announce meetings on our events calendar page, through our email listserv and through those listservs maintained by our colleagues.

    For more information, to host or take part in Tribal Strategy Meetings contact Sherri Norris at

    Visit our Resource Page for Tribal Advocacy Tools, Links, and Important Announcements