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21 Table 2. Typical issues on projects affecting or concern to tribal communities. Major Category Issue Issue in the Tribal Context Cultural Competency Cultural differences between tribes and transportation agencies can make collaborative efforts like communication difficult as agency and individual interaction protocols can differ between parties. Protection/Preservation of For cultural, environmental, and historical reasons, tribes often Tribal-Sensitive consider resources, otherwise not considered sensitive, as needing Resources to be preserved regardless of the need for transportation facilities. Confidentiality of Tribal- Cultural practices and historical considerations often limit tribes on Sensitive Matters the extent of information that they can share with other project stakeholders. It may be that a tribe has knowledge of a historic or cultural property that needs to be protected, but the location of the site is confidential. Sovereignty The federal government recognizes tribes across the nation as separate, sovereign nations, whose jurisdictions and institutional relationships and protocols must be recognized. State/tribal issues such as jurisdictional issues in civil and criminal matters complicate intergovernmental issues. Land Ownership Common land ownership issues like right-of-way can lead to difficulties to project completion. In addition to common issues, consideration must be given to unique land ownership situations in the tribal context, like the management of trust lands by tribes. Funding While project funding issues are also common to all transportation projects, the tribal transportation context leads to different types of funding issues involving multiple sources. Project funding can be provided by the tribe, state or BIA affairs to complete tribal-needs projects. · Tribal and local governments do not fully understand each cally recognized sites). For example, while a site may not be other's cultural practices as they pertain to interaction in federally recognized as a historical site, it may be considered the transportation process. historical by a tribe. Some additional examples of this type of issue are provided here. Skill Development Natural and biological resources (e.g., mountains, · A major challenge of tribal involvement is communicating rivers, creeks, wildlife, etc.)6 cultural significance to transportation agencies. · Tribes consider maintaining their quality of life and the state of the environment as high priorities. 4.3.2 Major Issue No. 2: Protection · Transportation agency decision makers need to hear directly and Preservation of from tribes on important natural resource issues. Tribal-Sensitive Resources · Transportation projects may have an impact on biological In addition to cultural competency, the initial transportation resources that are considered to be tribally sensitive species, initiative context layer also acquires different meanings and which may differ from federally threatened and endangered presents different challenges in regards to the protection and species. preservation of tribal-sensitive resources. Tribes may consider certain resources to be sensitive and of concern when affected by a transportation project, while local, state, and federal gov- ernments may not recognize the same resources as having the same degree of cultural significance. Resources that may be 6 Under NEPA, transportation projects must undergo an environmental assess- defined "sensitive" by tribes include: (1) natural and biological ment and one of the key aspects is the biological evaluation for flora and fauna in the project area. Tribal concurrence on these reports is required and special con- resources (mountains, rivers, creeks, wildlife, etc.); (2) cultural sideration must be given to "tribally sensitive species" that may be different from resources (cultural sites); and (3) historical resources (histori- federal threatened and endangered species.