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18 CHAPTER 4 Issues and Communication, Coordination, and Cooperation Practices 4.1 Overview As a result, when tribes are among the stakeholders, trans- portation projects endure a multifaceted project environment The 3Cs between transportation agencies and tribal com- as additional institutional processes and governmental proto- munities are needed in order to facilitate successful trans- cols are introduced. Government-to-government relation- portation projects. To achieve mutually beneficial results, ships between tribal and federal, state or local governments incorporating the 3Cs into practices is important for estab- require special considerations. Many of these issues, like tribal lishing a collaborative environment that facilitates relation- sovereignty, can be unique to the tribal transportation con- ships among stakeholders and project delivery. Practices may text. However, other issues, such as land ownership or project differ when a transportation project involves tribes because funding, can be encountered on non-tribal projects, but in a they are more complex due to the government-to-government tribal transportation project these issues are much more com- relations and tribal cultural protocols. plex due to sovereignty and other tribal-specific issues. In recent years, the transportation sector has been receptive Additional issues contribute to the complexity of tribal to the need of facilitating collaboration among all stakehold- transportation initiatives as each tribe has its own culture. This ers with the implementation of context sensitive solutions cultural diversity challenges the communication processes. To (CSS) planning and design processes. CSS can be defined as overcome this challenge, members of the project team must be culturally competent (39). The concept of cultural compe- . . . a collaborative, interdisciplinary approach that involves all stakeholders to develop a facility that fits its physical setting tency explains why many collaboration practices developed and preserves scenic, aesthetic, historic, and environmental for traditional contractually regulated relationships are not resources. (35; pp. 10-11). adaptable to this context. Communication with tribal repre- sentatives must follow specific protocols which are specific to While CSS practices seem successful in establishing a col- the tribe(s) involved. laborative environment (36), they are too general to apply to projects when tribal nations are among the stakeholders. The 4.2 A Ladder to Collaboration: uniqueness of the relationship between tribes and federal Identification of Issues and government requires a specific approach toward the imple- 3Cs Practices mentation of 3C concepts. Executive Order 13175 issued by President Bill Clinton To build a foundation for success for tribal transportation describes and recognizes the unique relationships that are initiatives, 3Cs practices must be implemented to allow project present between the federal government and tribal govern- stakeholders, including tribal communities and different gov- ments. This executive order requires that the federal govern- ernmental agencies, to collaborate on transportation initia- ment consult with tribes on "the development of Federal tives. With the assumption that practices can be utilized in policies that have tribal implications" (37). It also recognizes conjunction with one another, project stakeholders can build the relationship between the federal government and sover- a ladder that leads to a collaborative environment and project eign tribal governments as a government-to-government success. As described in the previous chapter, the existence of relationship. In addition, the National Historic Preservation intergovernmental networks facilitates the implementation of Act requires the investigation of historical sites and cultural collaborative practices between tribes and transportation agen- properties of concern to tribes (38). cies because these networks act as enablers for collaboration.
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19 Table 1. 3Cs definitions. 3Cs Definition Communication Process by which information, data or knowledge regarding issues and between Tribes and projects is exchanged through methods such as speech, writing, or transportation agencies graphics by the transmitting party, so that it is satisfactorily received or understood by the receiving parties. Coordination between Process by which representatives of these entities communicate Tribes and information on how and when each party must act in order to transportation agencies harmoniously work interdependently for the purpose of achieving effective common results. Cooperation between Process by which representatives of these entities work together to Tribes and achieve a common goal or objective in carrying out transportation transportation agencies planning, programming and delivery processes (i.e. state transportation agencies and tribes). To differentiate 3Cs collaborative practices, a definition sensitive negotiations can be difficult when differences among was identified for each of the 3Cs. Collaboration is dependent stakeholders extend beyond their governmental structure to upon building relationships from the less formal communica- encompass fundamental culture and operations. In the first step tion to the more interdependent, intergovernmental relation- of the ladder, "communication" requires that project stake- ships that often result from cooperation. The 3Cs are defined holders share a base knowledge in order to share entity-specific in Table 1. knowledge across agencies (41). These operational definitions were contextualized in the Overall, the 3Cs are often cited as the "soft side of project tribe-transportation agency context, but they can be general- management" and constitute a recurrent theme within proj- ized into any entity-to-entity situation. ect management. This framework of definitions was devel- The ladder approach assists stakeholders in depicting the oped for projects affecting or of interest to tribes. The Ladder complex process of establishing a collaborative environment of Collaboration depicts relationship building as an escalat- when multiple governmental entities are project stakehold- ing approach that requires additional effort and reward when ers, often with differing interests. These differing interests can the entities are increasing interaction from communication add to the challenges of collaboration and requires extensive to coordination and from coordination to cooperation as negotiations among stakeholders (40). However, culturally shown in Figure 1. To succeed, most transportation projects Figure 1. Ladder of collaboration.