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20 require the implementation of more than one 3Cs concept. 4.3 Issues Impacting Tribal To climb each step of the ladder, project stakeholders will Transportation Initiatives design and implement initiative-specific collaboration strate- gies that include a set of 3Cs practices selected to address the Issues impacting tribal transportation initiatives are unique underlying issues. as they evolve from the nature of government-to-government In this Ladder of Collaboration, relationship building relationships and tribally sensitive resources and practices. Six major issues were categorized independently from the entities becomes more formal and institutionalized as the steps and the geographic area involved. However, issues may slightly progress from communication to coordination, and from change according to the specific context (i.e., tribe, state, geo- coordination to cooperation. In a generic transportation graphic area). These issues can be addressed by implement- project, it is possible to envision that project stakeholders ing appropriate 3Cs practices in a collaborative environment. need to step up to the implementation of these three con- Major issue categories and their descriptions in the tribal con- cepts primarily relying on the underlying project context. text are provided in Table 2. When the project is of interest to and affecting tribes, the project context layer also acquires additional layers of com- plexity because of tribal-specific issues. For instance, cul- 4.3.1 Major Issue No. 1: tural competency and sovereignty become integral to the Cultural Competency conduct of the stakeholder relationship in a tribal trans- The cultural competency in tribal transportation projects portation initiative. These issues present different chal- underlies all the other contextual issues. This issue is present lenges for the planning and delivery of the transportation independently and may magnify effects from the other issues. project. Tribes and federal, state, and local governmental agencies may No one 3C practice is more important than another. The not fully understand each other's cultural practices as they focus or goal of the intergovernmental relations will determine pertain to interaction in transportation initiatives. Developing the nature of practices to be used and the form of any inter- cultural competency results in an ability to understand, com- dependent relationship(s) among tribes and federal, state, municate with, and effectively interact with people across cul- and/or local governments. tures (either tribal or organizational). Specific issues within Communication is the first step in creating a collaborative cultural competency are: (1) lack of cultural knowledge within environment among project stakeholders through the shar- the transportation sector; (2) the need for skill development in ing and receiving of information between parties. Cultural communicating cultural significance to transportation agen- competency is essential to interact effectively with people of cies; and (3) the need for understanding of project cultural con- different cultures. In addition, the relationship between trans- text. Effective interaction and communication requires that the portation agencies and tribes must rely on government-to- communicating party be competent on the communication government protocols for mutually respectful interaction. means to be used with the receiving party. Some additional This type of interaction may be well-established between rec- examples of cultural competency issues are provided here. ognized tribes and transportation agencies, but it may become Throughout this guidebook, the important role of cultural an issue itself when the tribe involved in a public outreach competence in the collaboration-building and collaboration- process is a non-recognized tribe or a state does not recog- maintaining process has been pervasively stressed. The bibliog- nize sovereignty. raphy lists two documents that provide a comprehensive The second step for creating a collaborative project environ- explanation of this concept (39), and a practitioner insight on ment is coordination. While the communication step focuses some practical aspects (42). on the exchange of information, coordination encompasses the development and adjustment of plans, programs, and Cultural Context on Projects schedules among parties to achieve a common purpose. Effec- Potential for cultural conflict exists between the commu- tive coordination requires communication and information nity and outside officials on a transportation project. on how and when each party must act together with a com- One major challenge in consultation efforts is meeting the mitment for following through. individual cultural needs of each community involved in The third step on the Ladder of Collaboration is coopera- the planning process. tion that goes beyond coordination as parties work together to achieve a common goal or objective in carrying out trans- Cultural Knowledge portation planning, programming and delivery processes. As a result, parties would work in conjunction with one another Tribal and local governments do not fully understand each and eventually share resources to achieve success. other's cultural comprehension on issues.