KAI was contracted to provide support on Bureau of Ocean Energy Management tribal initiatives, including setup and moderation for virtual tribal consultations, facilitating Native American Heritage Month Event webinars, and setting up additional virtual meetings.
With an emerging practice and expectation for free, prior, and informed consent in land use, water, indigenous rights or treaty right planning, the lack of earlier communication led some tribes to resist engagement or forcefully share their opinions. Tribes also were skeptical of their ability to have an impact, expecting a predetermined outcome.
KAI arranged travel and logistics for tribal cultural exchanges between the Aquiannah and Wampanoag Tribes and Inupiat Communities, and plans to deploy to two webinars to BOEM team members addressing topics such as the origins of the government-to-government relationship, legal dimensions of tribal sovereignty, and more effective, respectful communication with tribes and tribal members. Additionally, KAI will provide a legal analysis on the interplay of environmental law and tribal jurisdiction in managing access to natural resources.
Providing BOEM with a more deliberative and detailed understanding of tribes as sovereigns and teaching them how to transcend traditional paternalism will help ground more productive interactions in the future.