CSAC Bulletin Article

Caltrans Cultural Studies Survey

August 24, 2023

Copy from the Caltrans Division of Local Assistance

The Caltrans Division of Environmental Analysis/Cultural Studies Office is surveying local and regional agencies in an effort to establish more consistent statewide policies regarding the participation and reimbursement of California Native American Tribes (Tribes) in project environmental and cultural studies, including tribal monitoring of transportation activities.

Providing reimbursements to culturally affiliated Tribes for their participation during project delivery has been inconsistently applied throughout the State. These inconsistencies often strain diplomatic relationships between Tribes, Caltrans, and local/regional agencies; as well as adversely impact transportation project delivery efforts.

Caltrans is seeking to create clear and consistent guidance for how and when to reimburse Tribal monitors/experts, including the development of a toolbox of suitable reimbursement mechanisms and direction for determining fair and reasonable reimbursement rates. For an overview of current guidance and procedures on this topic, please see Caltrans FAQ on Native American Consultation and Consideration of Tribal Traditional Knowledge (pdf).

Your response to this less than three minute, five-question survey is confidential and greatly appreciated, as it will assist Caltrans in advancing the development of guidance for broad mutual benefit among all parties.

Take the Survey

Questions regarding this survey, please contact Caltrans Cultural Studies Office, Cultural Studies Branch Chief Sarah Allred

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