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2014 NCD Report on Implementation of the Tribal Consultation Coordination Plan

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2014 NCD Report on Implementation of the Tribal Consultation Coordination Plan (DOC)

Implementation of the Tribal Consultation Coordination Plan
Annual Progress Report:  National Council on Disability
(December 1, 2013 – December 30, 2014)

Report Date:  December 31, 2014


The National Council on Disability (NCD) provides this fifth annual report and transmittal letter to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), as per the requirements of President Obama’s November 5, 2009, Memorandum on implementation of Executive Order 13175, “Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments” (EO 13175). In the current report NCD updates the outreach efforts, actions, and observations of agency progress toward implementation since December 2013. NCD expresses appreciation to all of the members of the NCD Tribal Consultation Coordination (TCC) workgroup[1]for their time and collaborative efforts. During the December 2013 through December 2014 timeframe each workgroup member served as a member of the Consortia of Administrators for Native American Rehabilitation and as a Director of an American Indian Vocational Rehabilitation Services Program[2] funded by the United States (US) Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs and Rehabilitative Services, Rehabilitation Services Administration. An overall goal for NCD is to support national awareness-raising about some of the unique and unmet needs of tribal[3] people with disabilities. Under EO 13175, opportunities for discovery and improvement associated with the work holds valuable lessons as the changing US national demographics encourage federal entities to address an array of diversity matters affecting the disability community and beyond.


Building upon positive working relationships facilitated through the Consortia of Administrators of Native American Rehabilitation[4] (CANAR), members of the TCC workgroup are primary contacts for NCD’s tribal outreach. NCD’s implementation of the agency’s TCC plan continues to align with the amended five-year strategic plan (See the NCD Strategic Plan, Updated March 2013).[5] Highlights and relevant details from the March 2013 update of NCD’s strategic plan can be accessed online in the previous annual report.[6]  Between December 2013 and December 2014, NCD carried out its plan to: (1) work with respected American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) community leaders; (2) engage in dialogue with representatives of different AI/AN communities; and (3) advance opportunities for communication and outreach efforts that include and draw attention to the issues affecting the lives of AI/AN people with disabilities in federal initiatives.

During 2014, NCD sought tribal input regarding: (1) a potential letter to a federal partner when listening sessions were held around the country; (2) obtaining tribal participants among panelists and/or audience for agency forums conducted on a regional basis around Medicaid Managed Care issues; (3) opportunities to participate in public comment periods during the NCD quarterly meetings; (4) Coordination with the Library of Congress on the observance of Native American History Awareness Month by including panelists, including representatives of NCD, who shared information about experiences living with disabilities and the impact of disability on hiring and retention.  and (5) smooth transitions in leadership. On the latter note, NCD congratulates former CANAR president, Treva Roanhorse (Navajo Nation/Diné) for more than two decades of collaborative work and service.  Going forward, NCD also welcomes more partnership opportunities with current CANAR president Lyle Cook (Cheyenne River Lakota).   

Future Considerations:

Looking toward the future, NCD calls attention to resolving unmet needs. With the help of TCC workgroup members, NCD can revisit information gathered in 2013-14 which has pinpointed needs and offered suggestions related to disability policy issues. The plan can include further exploration and determination about concrete actions that might be effective in addressing: Adequate and timely vocational rehabilitation funding; capacity building and technical assistance; and independent living services that are sensitive to and respectful of various traditions among tribal people with disabilities.

According to recent outcomes, legislative advocacy efforts by tribal stakeholders and others have been unsuccessful in getting Congressional relief to address some of the needs through changes in the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (reauthorized in 2014).  As new members are added to the TCC workgroup, a new slate of CANAR officers plus a new executive director begin their work, and some new legislators enter the national scene, NCD can continue its role of federal convener and/or catalyst. In 2015, NCD also can support actions and events that: (1) project the TCC workgroup as a nucleus for the agency’s outreach to tribal people with disabilities and their families; (2) embrace flexible and collaborative ways of inviting federal legislative and other entities to the table for dialogue about disability issues that affect tribal people; and (3) raise awareness about the roles and meanings of diversity, cultural, and linguistic sensitivity with respect to tribal as well as other unserved and traditionally underserved people.  NCD will continue to pursue innovative outreach which engages stakeholders to the fullest extent possible.

[1] During at least a portion of the period from December 1, 2013 – December 30, 2014, the NCD TCC workgroup included AIVRS and CANAR representatives as follows:

  1. Director Mary Meruvia, Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians (MS)
  2. Director Connie Lee Berg, Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians (MN)
  3. Director, Dr. Christina Venable, Lower Muskogee VR Program (GA)
  4. Director Norman Shawanokasic, Menominee Tribe (WI)*
  5. Director Lyle Cook, Cheyenne River Lakota (SD)
  6. Director Wilfred Bear, Assiniboine Sioux (MT)
  7. Director David K. Tripp, Hoopa Valley Tribe (CA)
  8. Director Michelle Wilson, Chickasaw Nation (OK)
  9. Director Stephen “Corky” West, Oneida Nation (WI)
  10. Director Bryan Sykes, Cheyenne/Arapaho Nation (OK) *
  11. Director Lanor Curole, United Houma Nation (LA)
  12. Director Amanda Race, Tanana Chiefs (AK)
  13. CANAR President, Treva Roanhorse, Navajo Nation (AZ)*
  14. CANAR Executive Director, Joseph Kelley, Winnfield, LA *

*At the writing of this report these individuals no longer served in their former positions. In addition to replacement of the former directors, the workgroup will increase to 17.

[2] 29 USC 741 Vocational rehabilitation services grants.  The American Indian Vocational Rehabilitation Services Program (AIVRS Program) is authorized by Title 1, Part B, Section 110(c) and Part C, Section 121 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended.

[3] Throughout the report the term “tribal” is used operationally to include American Indian and Alaska Native people. U.S. census data also uses American Indian and Alaska Native categories.

[4] The CANAR and NCD connection is described in the 2012 NCD TCC annual progress report at/publications/2012/TribalCoordination2012/.

[5] National Council on Disability Strategic Plan, FY 2012-2017.  See the NCD Strategic Plan, Updated March (DOCX, 200K), Accessed November 30, 2014 at /Accountability/strategicplan/.

[6] National Council on Disability. Progress Report on Tribal Consultation Coordination, September 1, 2012 – November 30, 2013,  /publications/2013/TribalCoordination2013/

2014 NCD Report on Implementation of the Tribal Consultation Coordination Plan