Native American Liaison Branch (NALB)

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Native American Day – 
California Native American Day is celebrated every fourth Friday of September. This year marks the 51st annual Native American Day celebration, and the event will be held on Friday, September 28 at the State Capitol Building.  

2018 NAAC Meetings – 

Upcoming 2018 NAAC Meetings
March 14
June 27
August 22
November 7


Native American Liaison Branch– 

The Native American Liaison Branch (NALB) provides leadership and direction for the Department’s effort to improve the government-to-government relationships with Tribal Governments by serving as a liaison between Caltrans; the 109 Federally-recognized Tribes in California; state, local and regional transportation agencies; and other key stakeholders. NALB facilitates compliance with Departmental policy and federal statues and regulations requiring that Tribal Governments be involved in transportation planning and programming processes.

The NALB develops recommendations and alternative actions in response to Federal and State legislation and regulations, facilitates agreements to implement planning and programming provisions, and may serve as the Department’s ombudsperson on Native American issues.

Caltrans staff and regional transportation agencies are sometimes uncertain of the governance underlying the need to involve Tribal Governments and/or the appropriate methods of involvement required. NALB also serves as a resource in this area to both Caltrans and regional transportation agencies.

NALB participates with federal, state, and regional agencies and with Tribal Governments in the development of guidance for implementing federal and state planning and programming requirements. The branch also develops, oversees, and provides technical and policy-related information and guidance to the Districts, Tribal Governments, Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs), Regional Transportation Planning Agencies (RTPAs), federal and state agencies, and other external groups.

The branch works with the Caltrans Native American Advisory Committee (NAAC) to improve government-to-government relationships between the Tribes and Caltrans. The committee provides advice to the Director about matters of interest or concern to the Tribes and their constituents.

NALB advises top management on evolving policy issues alternative courses of action and their consequences, and participates in studies and task forces to identify opportunities to optimize tribal transportation planning and programming.

Finally, with the help of the District Native American Liaisons (DNALs) and other partners, NALB identifies potential problem areas early and facilitates resolutions whenever possible in order to avoid the escalation of issues that the Tribes in California have with the Department.

  • ABOUT - Caltrans for Tribes 4-18-2017
  • Policies/Executive Orders

  • Native American Advisory Committee (NAAC)


    The Native American Advisory Committee (NAAC) meets four times during the calendar year, and the upcoming dates for the 2017 meetings are:

    • March 22, 2017
    • June 14, 2017
    • August 23, 2017
    • November 15, 2017

    The Native American Advisory Committee was established in 1996. Its purpose is to ensure that Caltrans management receives direct advice from the Indian community on issues pertaining to all modes of transportation in California. This advisory committee contributes to the Tribal Governments' ability to take advantage of transportation opportunities and to participate within Caltrans in planning, developing and implementing transportation projects and services. It offers a chance to further government-to-government working relationship.

    Each member of the NAAC is appointed to a two-year term. Membership consists of persons who are nominated by Tribes and Indian organizations throughout the State, recommended by the NAAC and appointed by the Director. Members serve as "at large" members to the tribes in their geographic regions (Northern, Central, and Southern) as drawn by the BIA regional map. Members are advocates for all Native Americans of California.

    The NAAC holds a minimum of four meetings each calendar year. Upcoming meetings will be posted on this page. You can also find upcoming agendas, meeting minutes, and any other pertinent information here.

    NAAC Application Packet

    Application packet for applying for the NAAC

    NAAC Meeting Information

    Where: Woodland Training Center, 624 N. East Street, Woodland, CA 95776.

    Time: 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM

    Directions: From Interstate 5 (I-5) take the Highway 113 N. Yuba City Exit, the training center is in the back of the Valley Oaks Inn parking lot. (Valley Oaks Inn is located right by the highway, east of the overpass). You can also call the training center for further directions, the number is (530) 662-2426.

  • Tribal Employment Rights Ordiance (TERO)

    Tribal Employment Rights Ordinance (TERO)

    The California Department of Transportation desires to work cooperatively with California Tribal Governments to increase Native American employment opportunities on transportation projects. The department encourages Native American employment opportunities on transportation projects and supports Tribal Employment Rights Ordinances (TEROs) adopted by federally recognized California Native American Tribes on the Department projects (construction and contracted maintenance) that take place on tribal lands.

    State law expressly encourages and authorizes the Department "to cooperate with federally recognized California Indian tribes on matters of economic development and improvement for the Tribes". Tribal employment policies and programs pursuant to a TERO create job opportunities for Native Americans, especially in communities with high unemployment rates. TERO fees are used to support job development and employment programs.

    Tribal Governments, as domestic dependent nations, may exercise their sovereign rights to establish and enforce their own laws on tribal lands. The Department honors tribal ordinances pursuant to the law, and as a result, follows the TERO provisions on hiring preferences for contracted State highway work conducted on tribal lands or on any State highway included in a TERO tribe's Indian Reservation Road (IRR) Inventory when a portion of the project is on tribal lands. The Department also pays TERO fees for the portions of projects on tribal lands. These fees will be based on the portion of the project that is on tribal lands.

    To support this initiative the Caltrans Native American Liaison Branch worked in collaboration with California TERO Tribes to develop a TERO policy. On December 15, 2010, Caltrans Chief Deputy Director Malcolm Dougherty signed Deputy Directive 74-R2, “Tribal Employment Rights Ordinance (PDF) ”. This policy works in conjunction with Directors Policy 19 “Working with Native American Communities (PDF)  and went into effect immediately.

    For more information, or if you have any questions, please feel free to contact HQ or your district. Scroll down to the District Information section for district contacts.

  • Tribal Engagement

    Tribal Engagement

    Caltrans Mission Statement

    Provide a safe, sustainable, integrated and efficient transportation system to enhance California’s economy and livability

    A performance-driven, transparent and accountable organization that values its people, resources and partners, and meets new challenges through leadership, innovation and teamwork.

    Native American Liaison Branch Mission Statement

    Provide Caltrans and the tribes the tools, resources, and connections needed to meaningfully consult with each other and to collaborate with stakeholders on issues of importance to Native Americans in California; ensure tribal transportation needs are reflected in statewide planning, programming and delivery processes; ensure statutes, regulations, and directives regarding work with tribes and tribal communities are followed;  and work collectively toward equitable, mutually beneficial solutions to transportation challenges in California.

    Caltrans consistently reaches out to Native American communities; integrates tribal needs and concerns as plans are developed and decisions are made; and ensures California tribes are an integral part of transportation programming, decision making, and project delivery.

    About DOTP for the Tribes

    Tribal Engagement/Consultation

    Modal Plans


  • Tribal Governments

    Tribal Governments

    Provided below is a directory of Federally Recognized Tribes in California with tribal and Caltrans District Native American Liaison contact information.  It was created in April 2013.  The list may be sorted by Caltrans District, County, Tribe, or other means and provides links to tribal websites where they are available.

    Next to some Caltrans district numbers are numbers in parentheses.  The parentheses indicate a tribe with interests in more than one district, the number in parentheses designating the additional district of interest. Depending upon the whereabouts of a project or planning concern, it may be necessary to contact the Liaison from the district in parentheses for information.

    Because there are over 100 recognized tribes in California and changes occur in their leadership periodically, this directory may not always be up-to-date.  Where there are blank spaces, Caltrans is looking to fill those in. If you see any inaccuracies or places where Caltrans can fill in information, please contact us and we will correct and/or add the information. We appreciate your assistance.

  • Native American Day

    Native American Day (NAD)

    Native American Day (NAD)

  • District Information

    Maps by District
    District Maps
    CA 1 2 3 4 5 6 8 9 10 11

    District Liaison Contacts

  • Contact

    California Department of Transportation
    Division of Transportation Planning
    1120 N Street, MS 32, Sacramento, CA 95814

    Lonora Graves
    Branch Chief
    (916) 653-6315
    Senior Transportation Planner
    Chad Riding
    (916) 653-0709
    Associate Tansportation Planner
    Bennie Lee
    (916) 654-2719
    Associate Transportation Planner
  • Resources

Statewide Alerts and Other Information

Contact Information

Physical Address:

Department of Transportation
Transportation Planning
1120 N Street
Sacramento, CA 95814

Mailing Address:

Department of Transportation
Transportation Planning
MS #32
P. O. Box 942874
Sacramento, CA 94274-0001

Gabriel Corley
Chief, Office of State Planning
Caltrans Division of Transportation Planning 
Phone: (916) 653-1305


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