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U.S. Geological Survey Activities Related to American Indians and Alaska Natives
Fiscal Year 2000

| Table of Contents | List of Tribes | Events | States | Introduction | Highlights | Education | Resource | Environment | Technical Assistance | Policy | Future | Contacts | Map |

General Coordination and Policy Activities

Intertribal GIS Council Presentation.
The USGS Director presented the keynote address to the conference of the Intertribal GIS Council, in Albuquerque, New Mexico in July 2000. The Director gave an overview of USGS data sets available to Tribes. Contact: Bonnie Gallahan, 703-648-6084,

Rural Geospatial Innovations in America (RGIS).
The Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) recently approved a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Rural Geospatial Innovations in America (RGIS) to assist State, Tribal, regional, and local governments in implementing advanced geospatial information technologies to improve the quality of life, environmental health, and economic competitiveness of rural communities. Efforts in implementing the MOU include technical assistance in system development and management to Tribal colleges and universities, implement training programs, including K-12 education, short courses and university curricula, and advanced spatial analysis for decision-making processes. Contact: Bonnie Gallahan, 703-648-6084,

Distribution of Herpetological Information.
The USGS Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center supported the Tribal Environmental Education Conference by securing publications from the North American Reporting Center for Amphibian Malformations. Center scientists updated the text for the meeting and provided 50 copies of an information sheet that was distributed at this conference. Contact: Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center, 701-253-5538,

Biological Information for Committees of the Great Lakes Fishery Commission.
The Great Lakes Fishery Commission has established committees to coordinate fishery resource management in individual lakes. The USGS Great Lakes Science Center and American Indian groups, such as the Chippewa-Ottawa Resource Authority and the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission, are represented on several of these committees. To assist fishery management agencies in assessing the success of fish restoration efforts, USGS and Tribal scientists report annually on the status of lake trout rehabilitation and important prey fishes in lakes Superior, Michigan, and Huron. Contact: Great Lakes Science Center, 734-994-3331,

Participation in Great Lakes Tribal Fishing Settlement.
USGS Great Lakes Science Center biologists participated in implementing the Consent Decree, mandated under the authority of U.S. District Court, concerning Indian fishing rights under the Treaty of 1836 (U.S. v Michigan, 1985). The 15-year agreement under the 1985 consent order expired in 2000 and a new 20-year agreement was negotiated and signed on August 8, 2000. USGS provided data and data interpretation from Center research surveys on lakes Superior, Michigan, and Huron. Specifically, USGS scientists served on the modeling subcommittee of the Technical Fisheries Review Committee in the re-negotiation process. Members included the USGS Great Lakes Science Center, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Michigan Department of Natural Resources, the Chippewa-Ottawa Resource Authority, Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians, Little River Band of Ottawa Indians, Grand Traverse Band of Chippewa and Ottawa Indians, and Michigan State University. Contact: Great Lakes Science Center, 734-994-3331,

Michigan Tribal Coordination.
USGS staff members attend quarterly meetings of the Michigan Tribal Environmental Group (MTEG). Individual Tribes, the Inter-Tribal Council of Michigan, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Region 5, USGS, US Department of Agriculture, State of Michigan, and other groups and agencies are represented in MTEG. MTEG meetings serve as a forum for discussing environmental issues pertinent to Michigan Tribes.

USGS staff members also attend quarterly meetings related to the Multi-Federal Agency Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), sponsored by the Midwest Region Office of the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Federal agencies participating in the MOU workgroup include BIA, USGS, Indian Health Service, Army Corps of Engineers, and EPA. The workgroup meets to cooperatively plan and coordinate agency Tribal activities in EPA's Region 5. Contact: Tom Weaver, 906-786-0714,

Inter-Tribal Environmental Conference.
USGS scientists presented results of their work in Osage County, Oklahoma, at the Inter-Tribal Environmental Council Conference in Oklahoma City. All of the Tribes in Oklahoma were represented at the conference, along with several bureaus of the Department of the Interior, and several sections of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Contact: Marvin M. Abbott, 405-810-4411,

Data Sharing with the Intertribal Environmental Council.
A USGS hydrologist gave a presentation about aquifer/ground-water vulnerability maps and digital data sets describing the Rush Springs aquifer that are available from the USGS to the Intertribal Environmental Council in October 1999. The Intertribal Environmental Council is made up of representatives from seven Oklahoma Tribes: Apache, Caddo, Comanche, Delaware, Fort Sill Apache, Kiowa, and Wichita. Contact: Carol Becker, 405-810-4436,

Oklahoma Tribal Pesticide Management Workshop.
USGS Water Resources personnel gave a presentation on "What makes an aquifer vulnerable" at the Pesticide Management Workshop hosted by the Delaware Tribe of Western Oklahoma. Digital data sets describing the major aquifers in Oklahoma were also discussed. The workshop was held in Anadarko, Oklahoma, during October 1999. Contact: William J. Andrews, 405-810-4416,

Governor's Tar Creek Task Force.
Heavy metals from the Picher Mining District contaminated the Tar Creek area. The contamination affects eight Tribes in northeastern Oklahoma. USGS staff supplied previously published reports, data, and technical advice to the Task Force. USGS personnel attended the annual Tar Creek Symposium, hosted by the Cherokee Volunteer Society in Miami, Oklahoma. Numerous technical talks, including some by USGS scientists, were presented on Tar Creek history, environmental, and medical research.

The Water-Quality Subcommittee of the Governor's Tar Creek Task Force also held a meeting including representatives of the Oklahoma Water Resources Board, Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality, the Quapaw Tribe of Oklahoma and Miami Tribe of Oklahoma, Inter-Tribal Environmental Council, and several private firms. Copies of USGS and Oklahoma Geological Survey reports were delivered. All water-quality data for Ottawa County, Oklahoma were downloaded from the USGS' National Water Information System database and were made available at the meeting. USGS personnel also attended workgroup meetings throughout the year. Contact: William J. Andrews, 405-810-4416,

Sac and Fox Nation Contamination Issues.
Officials with the Sac and Fox Nation's Environmental Office met with USGS representatives to discuss deterioration of Euchee Creek in Payne County. The Euchee Creek watershed includes a large petroleum transfer station, the City of Cushing wastewater treatment plant, and pasture. Sac and Fox Tribal members use the creek. Contact: Kathy Peter, 405-810-4400,

Southwest Indian Polytechnic Institute (SIPI).
Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute (SIPI) and the USGS, through its support of the Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC), are conducting quarterly satellite broadcasts for all participating Tribal Colleges and Universities from SIPI. The broadcasts, titled "GIS in Indian Country" have been very successful in providing a good connection to the Native community, a means of including field work in the curriculum, and an excellent school-to-career opportunity. The facilities at SIPI's Distance Learning Center continue to improve, allowing the camera to focus on maps, documents, computer displays, and the presenter. These broadcasts are dedicated to promoting Tribal self-sufficiency by improving management of geographic information and building intertribal communication networks. Contact: Bonnie Gallahan, 703-648-6084,

Federal-Tribal Southwest Water Resources Conference.
The USGS, Arizona District, participated in the Federal-Tribal Southwest Water Resources Conference during April 2000, which was sponsored by the Bureau of Reclamation's Native American Affairs Office. The theme of the conference was "Rules of the Road: Routes to Greater Tribal Participation in Water Resource Programs". The USGS provided an overview of cooperative Tribal water-resource programs in the District. The conference was held at Arizona State University's East Campus, in Mesa, Arizona. Contact: Robert J. Hart, 520-556-7137,

Alaska Native Cultural Awareness Class.
The USGS participated in the Federal Executive Association Training Subcommittee. During Fiscal Year 2000, the Subcommittee arranged a 16-hour well-received class titled "Alaska Native Cultural Awareness" for Federal employees in Alaska. The class covered history, laws, heritage, and values of Alaska Natives. Contact: Gordon Nelson, 907-786-7100,

Intertribal Environmental Council field trip, Oklahoma.  he bull wheel in the foreground was used to operate multiple pumps from a central engine.  Photographer: Kathy D. Peter, USGS.

The contacts provided in the report were accurate at the time of publication. Please refer to the USGS Employee Directory or the Office of Tribal Relations contact page if you require information about a specific activity.

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