NCAI Briefing – U.S. Census Bureau Tribal Consultation on Disclosure Avoidance System

Tuesday, February 16, 2021 at 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. EST

The National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) Policy Research Center is hosting the second of two briefing webinars for Tribal leaders and their technical staff in preparation for the U.S. Census Bureau Tribal Consultation Webinar on the 2020 Census Disclosure Avoidance System. The Tribal Consultation Webinar will be held on Thursday, February 18, 2021 at 3:00 p.m. EST. 

The information about attending the U.S. Census Bureau Tribal Consultation Webinar is located here. The U.S. Census Bureau also lists discussion questions and requests input on a few questions.

The Disclosure Avoidance System includes the statistical methods the U.S. Census Bureau is using to protect the confidentiality of individual response data in the 2020 Census. The statistical methods are complicated, but information released to date, including demonstration data, reveal that there may be adverse impacts on 2020 Census data for Tribal Nations, especially those that are small, rural, or remote. The U.S. Census Bureau needs to hear how Tribal Nations use census data as they try to optimize the quality and usability of the 2020 Census data.

In order to help preparation for the U.S. Census Bureau Tribal Consultation Webinar, the NCAI Policy Research Center will host a second briefing webinar on Tuesday, February 16, 2021 at 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. EST. During the webinar, we will provide a short presentation summarizing the issues related to the Disclosure Avoidance System and its potential impact on 2020 Census data for Tribal Nations, and then we will leave plenty of time for questions. 

To view our briefing materials and resources on this topic from the past two years, go to our research recommendations website. These resources include research policy briefs, letters, the NCAI resolution on this topic, and videos of webinars organized by year.

To register for the briefing webinar, click on the link below:

Tuesday, February 16, 2021, 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. EST:

We hope you can join us for this briefing webinar on this important topic to help you prepare to make comments at the U.S. Census Bureau Tribal Consultation Webinar on Thursday, February 18, 2021.

Questions? Email

ATNI Presidential Transition Planning Summit 2021

WHEN:Tuesday, December 8, 202010 AM – 4 PM PTWHERE:
Register in advance for this meeting: After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.
Members of the Biden Transition Team will present during the first hour of the Summit including Janie Hipp who will be focusing on BIA issues and Geoff Roth who is working on HHS issues.

Following the Biden Transition Team presentation, we will review the priorities and recommendations of the ATNI committees to discuss, approve and forward to the Biden Transition Team.

Biden-Harris Plan for Tribal Nations

NCAI Transition Plan…/draft-presidential-transitionplan-with-committee- input-111320

Sen. McCoy received a Master of Public Administration honorary degree from The Evergreen State College

June 27th, 2020

Dear Friends of Sen. John McCoy;

On June 12th, 2020, Sen. McCoy received a Master of Public Administration honorary degree from The Evergreen State College during commencement. Earlier that day, he also received the 2020 Public Official of the Yearaward from the college’s Master of Public Administration program. Finally, to ensure that Sen. McCoy’s legacy of supporting Native student education continues, we are currently working to endow a scholarship in the senator’s name to support future MPA Tribal Governance students.

While presenting the honorary degree during commencement, Evergreen President Dr. George Bridges referenced the senator’s extraordinary educational leadership in Native education throughout the state, including passage of the Since Time Immemorial Legislation, legislation establishing tribal compact schools in Washington state and co-founding the Tribal Leaders Congress in Education.

Sen. McCoy, the Tulalip Tribes, and the Muckleshoot Tribe helped establish the Advanced Studies in Tribal Governance program in Evergreen’s Master of Public Administration program, which Faculty Emeriti Alan Parker (Chippewa Cree) and Linda Moon Stumpff (Apache) co-founded in 2000.

The 10th MPA Tribal Governance class graduated this past June. Our alumni of Tribal Students have played a lead role in transformative change as they have filled key positions throughout Indian Country. President Joe DeLaCruz of the Quinault Indian Nation, a visionary leader of the past generation, saw such a goal when he called upon Parker and Stumpff to design and teach this program.

We are creating an endowed scholarship fund that will allow the Senator’s educational and public service leadership to continue to impact current and future generations.  We plan to begin distributing scholarships during the upcoming academic year with individual donations to launch the program, while we build an endowment to provide scholarships in perpetuity.

“When I first came home and started to work on building the Tribe’s resources, one of those resources was getting our Tribal students educated. Getting them educated was very important so that we could build on our resources and help our people grow.” –Sen. John McCoy (Tulalip)

For more information on the Sen. John McCoy Endowed Scholarship, please contact Tina Kuckkahn-Miller, J.D. (Ojibwe), Vice President for Indigenous Arts, Education and Tribal Relations, at (360) 918-1817 or by email at

We invite you to join us by making an online contribution here: Senator McCoy Scholarship


Tina Kuckkahn-Miller, J.D. (Citizen, Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Ojibwe)

Vice President for Indigenous Arts, Education and Tribal Relations

The Evergreen State College

Olympia WA 98505

Alan R Parker, J.D. (Citizen, Chippewa Cree Tribal Nation)

Adjunct Faculty, The Maori Indigenous University and

Faculty Emeritus, The Evergreen State College

ATNI Rural Digital Opportunity Fund Webinar

ATNI Rural Digital Opportunity Fund Webinar
June 18, 2020 01:00 PM Pacific Time
You are invited to join the ATNI hosted webinar to discuss the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF). The RDOF will provide up to $20.4 billion over 10 years to communications providers for communities that are unserved or underserved by broadband internet. 
The RDOF auction includes a tribal lands bidding preference to include more eligible tribal locations in this opportunity. This webinar will provide an overview of the RDOF auction, discussion from tribal practitioners, and a Question & Answer session between the FCC and attendees.  Nearly 80 percent of the $20.4 billion is available in Phase I, which is scheduled to begin October 2020. The deadline for letters of interest for Phase I is Wednesday, July 15, 2020.
When: Jun 18, 2020 01:00 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada) Topic: ATNI: Rural Digital Opportunity Fund 
Register in advance for this webinar: 

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

“No-action alternative”; as the preferred alternative in the Tongass National Forest, Alaska Roadless Rulemaking process.

May 27, 2020
Sonny Perdue, Secretary of Agriculture
U.S. Department of Agriculture
1400 Independence Avenue
SW Washington, DC 20250

Dear Honorable Secretary Perdue,

The Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians (ATNI) requests the U.S. Forest Service to fully protect
designated roadless areas in the Tongass National Forest. ATNI stands in support and solidarity
with the Organized Village of Kake and several other Southeast Alaska Tribes, which have made it
very clear that any rule that weakens or eliminates Roadless Rule protections within Tribal
traditional territory of the Tongass National Forest will substantially affect Southeast Tribes’
inherent Tribal rights to traditional and customary uses of the land.
During ATNI’s Annual Convention on October 10, 2019, nearly 50 member Tribes from SE Alaska,
Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, and Northern California passed resolution #19-58, which
supported the ‘no-action alternative’ as the preferred alternative in the Tongass National
Forest, Alaska Roadless Rulemaking process.

On October 15, 2019, the United States Forest Service (USFS) released the Draft Tongass Rule
that proposed granting a complete exemption to the 2001 National Roadless Conservation Rule.
The USFS is advancing the Tongass Roadless final rule review even though a state of national
emergency has been declared in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Organized Village of
Kake and other Southeast Alaska Tribes have raised serious concerns about the USFS closing a
cooperator review input period for the draft final rule one week after the national emergency was
declared. This is an unconscionable act without any consideration of the good faith efforts of
Tribes trying to protect their customary and traditional lands. 

President Trump issued an executive order declaring a state of national emergency on March 13,
2020, in response to the COVID-19 outbreak in the United States.  Since then, numerous U.S.
governmental organizations, including the U.S. Supreme Court and the Internal Revenue Service,
have announced extensions of normal filing deadlines because of ongoing public health concerns
relating to COVID-19.  Additionally, Alaska Governor Dunleavy has instituted numerous restrictions
limiting the public’s ability to gather, work, and travel. Southeast Tribal communities are exhausting
all available resources to prepare and address this health crisis in their communities. All of these
restrictions make it extremely challenging, if not impossible, to engage in federal rulemaking.
Around March 7, 2020, the Forest Service sent Southeast Alaska Tribal cooperators a pre-public
draft, final environmental impact statement, and requested feedback by March 21, 2020. The
Forest Service did not suspend this process or extend this deadline even though a national
pandemic emergency had been declared in the interim. 

Southeast Tribes involved in Forest Service planning processes, like most communities, are
entirely focused on the COVID-19 crisis and are unable to devote the time and attention to
participate meaningfully during this declared national emergency health crisis.  Tribes and Tribal
leaders are working hard to keep their respective communities and families healthy and safe while
complying with the extraordinary restrictions being implemented to contain and limit the spread of
the disease.  COVID-19 has disrupted normal working, schooling, and living conditions, impairing
the ability of many parents, elders, and members of the general public to go about their daily
routines and conduct regular business, much less weigh in on Forest Service actions.  

In-person meetings that are essential for high-quality Tribal participation and consultation in
planning processes cannot take place, as Tribes must maintain the recommended or mandated
health standards and “social distancing” required to protect vulnerable populations. Virtual
meetings and other online tools cannot meet the requirements of a robust discussion that would
inform a Tribal position on draft documents. Many Tribal communities do not have the technology,
internet resources, or bandwidth necessary to enable participation in virtual meetings or to review
of large documents. This problem is compounded by the closures of Forest Service offices and
local libraries, preventing access to online or hard copies of planning documents.  Any existing
digital platforms and networks, especially in remote, rural areas, are being overwhelmed with
increased demands at this time, which will further impede connection and participation.  
The fact is the COVID-19 pandemic will continue to create significant challenges for Southeast
Alaska Tribal communities and all of Indian Country. Until Tribes can fully participate, ATNI
requests that USDA/USFS suspend the roadless review process and retroactively suspend the
cooperator review timeframe, until the national emergencies concluded.  

After the national emergency has been lifted, Southeast Alaska Tribes will be able to meaningfully
fulfill their role as cooperators and provide a comprehensive review of the pre-public rule
documents at that time.  Such action would be consistent with the President’s emergency
declaration to improve public engagement and build goodwill with many stakeholders during these
unprecedented and challenging times.


Terri Parr
Executive Director

Representative Deb Haaland (D-NM) speaks at an evening event on the eve of the ATNI Winter Convention

 January 26 at 9:50 PM · Portland · 

ATNI – Portland, OR. Representative Deb Haaland (D-NM) speaks at an evening event on the eve of the ATNI Winter Convention. Also pictured L-R: Rudy Soto (Shoshone-Bannock), candidate for Congress in Idaho’s 1st District; Matt Tomaskin (Yakama), 1st Vice President, WA Native American Caucus, and; Barbra Lewis (Lummi) 3rd Vice President of the WA Native American Caucus.

Northwest Tribes United With Southeast Alaska Tribes to Protect the Tongass

Op-Ed by Terri Parr, Executive Director, Affiliated Tribes of Northwest IndiansJan 27, 2020

The United States government is proposing to remove protections from nearly 10 million acres of critical national forest land in the state of Alaska. This rollback in important environmental safeguards threatens the food security and livelihoods of Southeast Alaska Tribal residents whose sovereign lands are nearby, impacts some of the world’s last remaining old-growth forests, and imperils efforts to grow a sustainable tourism industry. During our annual winter convention in October of 2017, the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians (ATNI) passed a resolution calling on the Forest Service to fully protect designated roadless areas in the Tongass National Forest, our country’s largest national forest.

On October 17, 2019, the Forest Service, housed within the U.S. Department of Agriculture, recommended removing all currently protected roadless areas in the Tongass in its upcoming draft management plan. This initiated a 60-day public comment period that ended on December 17. Over a dozen Southeast Alaskan Tribal governments and many more individuals, from the Craig Tribal Association to the Organized Village of Kasaan and others, have spoken out in opposition to this plan. One of these Tribal leaders, Joel Jackson, President of the Organized Village of Kake, a federally recognized tribal government, has taken a stand against the U.S. Forest Service and brought the plight of his home, the Tongass National Forest, to our attention.

ATNI is a 65-year old nonprofit organization representing over 50 Northwest Tribal governments from Oregon, Idaho, Washington, Southeast Alaska, Northern California and Montana. As an inter-Tribal, advocacy organization we are dedicated to promoting and protecting Tribal self-determination and sovereignty. Our purpose is to provide a forum for sharing information, discussing a range of issues that impact across the Tribes, and using our collective voices to pass resolutions on policy matters.

In passing our resolution on the Tongass National Forest, ATNI is fulfilling what we were created to do: supporting local tribes in Southeast Alaska in the fight to protect traditional homelands and way of life. ATNI recognizes that the pristine nature of the Tongass forests are integral to and inseparable from the cultural traditions and subsistence of local Tribal entities. Accordingly, we urged the Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue to “select the ‘no-action alternative’ as the preferred alternative in the Tongass National Forest, Alaska – Roadless Rulemaking process,” to maintain current protections for many Southeast Tribes’ customary and traditional use areas.

The Forest Service’s proposed removal of protections for 9.5 million acres would open some of the world’s last remaining old growth to logging that would impact local Tribes’ customary uses of these lands. President Jackson and other Tribal leaders in the area have told Alaska Senator Murkowski this, have presented at a U.S. House of Representatives Natural Resources Committee, and testified during Forest Service hearings.

It’s clear that the only corporate special interests would gain from the removal of forest protections would be the timber industry which, using taxpayer subsidies, would immediately move to clear cut our traditional homelands. As Joel stated at our convention when he presented this information to us,

“we depend on our forests and salmon streams to sustain us, and logging threatens those streams. Our traditional hunting and fishing practices are critical because they put food on our tables.”

The Forest Service itself seems to agree that logging endangers salmon streams. In a Jan 28, 2018 Tweet, the Forest Service stated “past logging activities on the Sitka Island of Alaska damaged the intact salmon stream habitat” and announced a new program to restore the damaged watershed and improve salmon production. Additionally, over 200 commercial and recreational fishermen and fisherwomen in Alaska recently added their names to a letter to the Forest Service making the same point and urging roadless protections for the Tongass National Forest remain in place.

Let’s listen to what Tribes, fishermen and fisherwomen, and many others in Southeast Alaska are saying. We have a very limited time left to ensure the U.S. Forest Service doesn’t allow clear cut logging on some of our last remaining pristine lands. Tongass roadless protections are an integral part of the identity of local Tribes and should be protected as once they are gone, they are gone forever.

Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr., keynote speaker at ATNI Winter Convention 2020

The Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians, which represents tribes across seven states, adopted a resolution this week in support of a Cherokee Nation Delegatein Congress during its winter convention in Portland. Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr., who was a keynote speaker, thanked ATNI leadership for their efforts to uphold treaty rights for all Indian Nations. 

During the trip, Quinault President Fawn Sharp and Vice President Tyson Johnston also passed a resolution on behalf of the Quinault Nation unanimously supporting a Delegate to Congress. 

To date nine tribes and tribal organizations across the country have passed resolutions in support of a delegate. Chief Hoskin appointed a delegate to Congress, Kim Teehee, in August.

Thank you Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. for your remarks and taking time to visit the Northwest!
#ProtectingTribalSovereignty #TribalSolidarity
#TribalDelegate #UpholdTreaties

Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians and Northwest tribal leaders stand together to protect the environment

Northwest tribes call on federal government to respect tribal opposition to controversial environmental decisions that impact traditional lands

News Release

Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians

On January 30, the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians (ATNI) concluded their successful Winter Convention.

The Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians’ Winter Convention is one of the largest Pacific Northwest regional convening of tribal leaders from across Oregon, Idaho, Washington, southeast Alaska, Northern California and Montana. Tribal leaders engage in policy and legislative discussions, share emerging trends on critical issues facing tribal communities, and work collaboratively on committees to develop positions on policy, legislation, and help frame the future of Indian Country in the Northwest. 

A wide array of pressing issues were discussed this Convention ranging from the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women epidemic to fighting climate change but a clear theme emerged: the United States Government needs to respect and hear tribal voices that are working so hard to protect their people and their traditional lands and waters. 

With the Trump administration’s recent rollback of protections to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), tribal leaders are increasingly concerned and, therefore, unanimously passed a resolution calling on the Council on Environmental Quality to consult with tribes on the regulatory proposal to change important regulations under the Environmental Policy Act. 

The Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians (ATNI) has become a leading voice for environmental protection for Indian Country nationwide and is a strong voice in support of Alaska tribes that are fighting efforts to remove environmental protections in Alaska, especially in areas like Bristol Bay whose waters and salmon are an integral part of Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians members’ traditional ways of life. 

“We are so thankful that the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians are standing with the people of Bristol Bay as fellow salmon people. We are doing everything we can to protect our people’s way of life,” said Alannah Hurley (Yup’ik), United Tribes of Bristol Bay. “The fact that Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians and other nations across the U.S. are standing with us, makes a very big difference. This is a really big year for us. The Corps is talking about getting a permit decision out in 2020, so our unity and cooperation is paramount in the work we are doing.” 

At the convention, Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians members also reiterated their support for the Alaska tribes fighting U.S. Government efforts to remove protections for 9.5 million acres of the Tongass National Forest. In October 2019, the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians passed a formal resolution calling on the Forest Service to fully protect designated roadless areas in the Tongass National Forest, our country’s largest national forest. As the Federal Government seems content to ignore the concerns of tribes and the impact that widespread logging of the Tongass would have on traditional hunting and fishing grounds, Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians felt it important to reaffirm their solidarity with Alaska tribes. 

“We fully support the Organized Village of Kake and tribes of Southeast Alaska that are advocating against removal of protections for the Tongass,” said Catherine Edwards, 6th Vice President of the Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska. “We urge the U.S. Forest Service to listen and have meaningful consultations with tribal leaders. The Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska have strongly opposed the Forest Service’s handling of the tribal consultation process with tribal villages across Southeast Alaska. They should be the ones to determine what happens to their forests since this is their ancestral lands and they’ve been there since time immemorial.” 

As the original stewards of the Pacific Northwest since time immemorial, tribes and tribal leaders need the Federal Government to work in good faith and engage in meaningful consultation with tribes to ensure that our future generations will continue to benefit from these lands. 

About Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians  

In 1953 farsighted tribal leaders in the Northwest formed the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians, and dedicated it to tribal sovereignty and self-determination. Today, Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians is a nonprofit organization representing over 50 Northwest tribal governments from Oregon, Idaho, Washington, southeast Alaska, Northern California, and Western Montana. Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians is an organization whose foundation is composed of the people it is meant to serve — the Indian peoples. Through its conferences, forums, networks and alliances, it is the intent of Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians to represent and advocate for the interests of its member tribes to national Indian and non-Indian organizations and governments.