Native American Liaison Branch (NALB)

California is home to the largest Native American population in the contiguous U.S., including Federally Recognized Tribes, non-Federally Recognized Tribes, and urban Indian communities. Caltrans recognizes the importance of collaborating, communicating, and consulting with tribal leaders and representatives on transportation issues of importance to Tribes and Tribal community members. There are currently 109 Federally Recognized Tribes in California. These Tribal Nations hold inherent powers of limited sovereignty. They are charged with the same responsibilities as any other governmental authorities: planning the use of their resources to meet their social, economic, cultural, and political needs.

NALB seeks to ensure tribal transportation needs are reflected in statewide planning and programming processes, ensure statutes, regulations, and directives regarding working with tribes and tribal communities are followed, and work collectively towards equitable, mutually beneficial solutions to transportation challenges in California.

Key Functions

Tribal Relations

In collaboration Caltrans Tribal Relations staff, NALB helps to support consultation and coordination between Caltrans and California’s tribal nations and Native American community members and helps provide information on California Tribes, maps, and tribal relations contact information to support improved communication, project planning, and collaboration.

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Tools & Resources

NALB seeks to provide tools and resources that Tribal Nations might use to meet transportation needs in their communities and that might help Tribal Communities and Caltrans to meaningfully consult and collaborate with each other on issues of importance to Native Americans in California.

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Native American Advisory Committee (NAAC)

The NALB serves as staff to the Caltrans Native American Advisory Committee (NAAC) to improve government-to-government relationships between CA Tribal Nations, Tribal Community members, and the Department. The committee is made up of tribal leaders from around the state and provides advice to the Director about matters of interest or concern to the Tribes and their constituents.

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