The Tribal Assistance Coordination Group (TAC-G) is a collaborative effort between various federal agencies and tribal governments aimed at improving emergency management and response in tribal communities. The TAC-G was created to address the unique challenges and needs of tribal communities during emergency situations, and it provides a forum for tribal leaders and federal agencies to work together to enhance emergency response capabilities.
What is the Tribal Assistance Coordination Group?
The Tribal Assistance Coordination Group (TAC-G) is a federal interagency group that coordinates federal agency efforts to assist American Indian and Alaska Native tribes. The TAC-G was established in 1992 by the Department of the Interior and includes representatives from more than 20 federal agencies.
The TAC-G’s primary purpose is to help tribes access federal programs and services by coordinating and streamlining the delivery of these services. The group works to improve communication and collaboration among federal agencies and tribal governments and to identify and address gaps in services and resources for tribes.
Some of the areas that the TAC-G focuses on include natural resource management, education, health care, economic development, and law enforcement. The TAC-G also works to ensure that federal policies and programs respect tribal sovereignty and are responsive to the unique cultural and historical experiences of Native communities.
Importance of TAC-G
The TAC-G is important for several reasons. First, it recognizes the sovereignty of tribal governments and their role in emergency management and response. Second, it acknowledges the unique challenges that tribal communities face during emergency situations, such as their isolation, limited resources, and cultural considerations. Third, it promotes collaboration and communication between tribal governments and federal agencies, which enhances the effectiveness of emergency response efforts.
The TAC-G has played a crucial role in several emergency situations, including natural disasters like hurricanes, wildfires, and floods, as well as public health emergencies like the COVID-19 pandemic. By bringing together tribal leaders and federal agencies, the TAC-G has helped to ensure that tribal communities receive the resources and support they need to respond to emergencies and recover from their impacts.
In the next sections, we will delve deeper into the history, membership and governance, functions, and role in promoting tribal sovereignty of the Tribal Assistance Coordination Group.
History of TAC-G
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) started the Tribal Assistance Coordination Group (TAC-G) in 1999 to help tribal communities deal with the unique problems they face during crises. The TAC-G was made to make it easier for tribal governments and federal agencies to work together and talk to each other during emergencies.
Over time, the TAC-G has grown to include more federal agencies and tribal organizations, which shows how important it is for tribe governments and federal agencies to work together. Today, the TAC-G is made up of people from FEMA, BIA, the Indian Health Service (IHS), the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), as well as tribal organizations like the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) and the Native American Rights Fund (NARF).
The TAC-G has been very important in a number of emergencies, such as Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the H1N1 flu pandemic in 2009, and the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. In each of these situations, the TAC-G gave tribal leaders and government agencies a place to meet and talk about how to deal with the unique problems that tribal communities face.
One of the most important things that the TAC-G has done is make the tribe Declarations Pilot Guidance. This document gives advice to tribal governments that want the president to declare an emergency or major disaster. This advice acknowledges that tribal governments are sovereign in their own right and that they can ask the federal government for help in times of emergency.
Membership and Governance of TAC-G
Membership of TAC-G:
The Tribal Assistance Coordination Group (TAC-G) is made up of people from a number of government agencies and tribal groups. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), the Indian Health Service (IHS), the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) are some of the federal departments that are part of the TAC-G. The National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) and the Native American Rights Fund (NARF) are two tribal groups that are part of the TAC-G.
Representatives from each tribal government are also part of the TAC-G. These people are chosen by their own tribes to take part in TAC-G events. Tribal representatives are chosen in different ways by each tribe, but in general, tribal leaders or people in charge of disaster management are chosen to serve on the TAC-G.
Governance Structure of TAC-G:
The TAC-G is governed by a steering committee, which is composed of representatives from federal agencies and tribal organizations. The steering committee provides guidance and direction for the TAC-G and is responsible for setting the priorities and objectives of the group.
The steering committee is co-chaired by a tribal representative and a federal representative, who are selected by the steering committee. The co-chairs are responsible for leading the steering committee meetings and ensuring that the TAC-G is fulfilling its mission.
Responsibilities of TAC-G Members:
Members of the TAC-G have several responsibilities, including:
1. Participating in TAC-G meetings and activities
2. Sharing information and resources with other members of the TAC-G
3. Providing input and feedback on TAC-G initiatives and projects
4. Supporting the mission of the TAC-G and promoting collaboration between tribal governments and federal agencies.
Functions of TAC-G
The Tribal Assistance Coordination Group (TAC-G) serves several important functions in enhancing emergency management and response capabilities in tribal communities. These functions include:
1:Coordinating Federal Resources
One of the primary functions of the TAC-G is to coordinate federal resources to support tribal communities during emergencies. This includes ensuring that federal agencies are aware of the needs of tribal communities and working together to provide the necessary resources and support.
The TAC-G works to enhance communication between tribal governments and federal agencies during emergencies. This includes facilitating regular communication and information sharing between tribal leaders and federal officials to ensure that all parties are informed and engaged in the response efforts.
3:Providing Technical Assistance
The TAC-G provides technical assistance to tribal governments to enhance their emergency management and response capabilities. This includes providing training, resources, and expertise to help tribal governments develop and implement emergency plans and protocols.
4:Supporting Tribal Declarations
The TAC-G supports tribal governments in their efforts to obtain presidential emergency or major disaster declarations. This includes providing guidance and assistance to tribal governments in the application process and advocating on behalf of tribal communities to ensure that their needs are addressed in the response efforts.
5:Promoting Collaborative Relationships
The TAC-G works to promote collaborative relationships between tribal governments and federal agencies. This includes fostering trust, mutual respect, and understanding between tribal leaders and federal officials to enhance the effectiveness of emergency management and response efforts.
Overall, the TAC-G plays a critical role in enhancing emergency management and response capabilities in tribal communities. By coordinating federal resources, enhancing communication, providing technical assistance, supporting tribal declarations, and promoting collaborative relationships, the TAC-G helps to ensure that tribal communities are prepared and able to respond effectively to emergencies.
TAC-G and Tribal Sovereignty
Tribal sovereignty is a foundational principle of the United States government-to-government relationship with Indian tribes. The TAC-G recognizes the importance of tribal sovereignty and works to ensure that tribal governments are fully engaged in emergency management and response efforts.
One way that the TAC-G supports tribal sovereignty is by promoting the involvement of tribal governments in all aspects of emergency management and response. This includes providing technical assistance and resources to tribal governments to develop their own emergency plans and protocols, as well as ensuring that tribal governments are involved in the coordination and decision-making processes during emergencies.
The TAC-G also recognizes the unique needs and challenges faced by tribal communities during emergencies. This includes cultural and language barriers, as well as the impact of historical trauma and ongoing systemic issues. By recognizing and addressing these challenges, the TAC-G helps to support tribal sovereignty and promote more effective emergency management and response in tribal communities.
In addition, the TAC-G recognizes the role of tribal governments in disaster recovery and rebuilding efforts. This includes ensuring that tribal communities have access to the resources and support needed to recover from emergencies and rebuild their communities in a way that is consistent with their cultural values and traditions.
In conclusion, the Tribal Assistance Coordination Group (TAC-G) is a critical resource for tribal communities in the United States. As a collaborative effort between tribal, state, and federal agencies, the TAC-G provides a platform for effective communication and coordination to ensure that tribal communities receive the assistance they need during emergency situations.
Through the TAC-G, tribal communities have access to a wide range of resources, including technical assistance, training, and funding opportunities. This support can be invaluable in helping tribal communities respond to emergencies, such as natural disasters or public health crises.
The TAC-G also helps to ensure that tribal perspectives are incorporated into decision-making processes that impact their communities. By facilitating communication and collaboration between tribal, state, and federal agencies, the TAC-G helps to create a more inclusive and effective response to emergency situations.