Working with Native American Tribes

Conserving this nation’s fish and other aquatic resources cannot be successful without the partnership of tribes that may manage or influence some of the most important aquatic habitats both on and off reservations. In addition, the federal government and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have distinct and unique obligations toward tribes based on trust responsibility, treaty provisions, and statutory mandates.

The Service plays an important role in providing help and support to tribes as they exercise their sovereignty in the management of their fish and wildlife resources on more than 55 million acres of Federal Indian trust land and in treaty-reserved areas.

The Service is committed to working with tribes to continue this legacy of conservation andrenewed this commitment in 2016 with the release of the revised Native American Policy.

The Native American Liaison provides communication and support to tribes and tribal organizations to promote cooperative fish and wildlife activities. The liaison also works with Service staff in our field offices to facilitate government-to-government consultation.

Working with tribes in the Southeast, the Service has

  • Restored river- and streambanks;
  • Restored land to native vegetations;
  • Repaired and provided fish for a tribal trout hatchery;
  • Increased boat access;
  • Provided grant funding through the Tribal Wildlife Grants program to 10 federally-recognized tribes in the region.
Children at a primary school dressed in native american clothing

Children from Choctaw Central Schools near Philadelphia, Mississippi. Photo by Tami A. Heilemann, Department of the Interior.

Federally Recognized Southeastern Tribes

For more information on American Indian tribes, visit the Bureau of Indian Affairs FAQ.


The Service provides a competitive funding opportunity for federally recognized tribal governments to develop and implement programs for the benefit of wildlife and their habitat, including species of Native American cultural or traditional importance and species that may or may not be not hunted or fished.

Eagle Permits

For hundreds of years, Native Americans have used eagle parts and feathers for religious and cultural purposes, including healing, marriage, and naming ceremonies. Recognizing the significance of eagles to Native Americans, the Service established the National Eagle Repository to provide Native Americans with the carcasses, parts and feathers of golden and bald eagles for religious purposes.

Contact Us

Are you a member of a federally-recognized tribe? Contact our Native American Liaison for more information ways we could work together:

Timothy Binzen
Phone: 413-253-8731