Tribal Affairs

ACF Tribal logoWelcome to the Administration for Children and Families’ Tribal and Native American Resources page.  Here you will find information about ACF's work on behalf of Native American children, families and communities including upcoming events or trainings, federal funding opportunities, and resources of interest to Tribal and Native communities.  ACF is committed to working with Tribal Governments in building strong partnerships for our programs and the services they provide.  ACF provides the largest amount of funding to Native Americans located throughout the nation and the territories of Guam, American Samoa and the Northern Marianna Islands outside of the funds provided by the Indian Health Service.  Out of a budget of $50 Billion, ACF awards on the average $647 Million to Native Americans through programs like Head Start, Child Care, TANF, LIHEAP, Child Support and the Administration for Native Americans, to name a few.

By Federal Register notice of December 5, 2016, the Commissioner of the Administration for Native Americans was elevated to the dual role of Deputy Assistant Secretary for Native American Affairs. The incumbent serving in this dual role is responsible for handling a variety of assignments requiring knowledge and expertise in advising the Assistant Secretary, ACF, in the formulation of policy views, positions, and implementation strategies related to American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Americans as delineated in the Native American Programs Act (NAPA). The incumbent also serves as a key liaison and representative to all ACF program and staff offices on behalf of the Assistant Secretary related to tribal and Native American Affairs.


Working with Tribal Leaders


  • Tribal Advisory Committee (TAC) supports the Acting Assistant Secretary as he carries out his duties and responsibilities that affect Native Americans.  ACF TAC Membership List.  Recently the TAC approved the attached ACF TAC ACF TAC Charter and ACF TAC Rules of Order.
  • ACF Is soliciting for new TAC members to fill in vacancies. Please see the attached Solicitation Letter for more information about how you can become a part of the Committee
  • Tribal Consultation  ACF is required to consult with Indian Tribes in accordance with E.O. 13175 and President Obama’s memorandum of November 9, 2010.  ACF has a ACF Tribal Consultation Policy that aligns with the HHS Tribal Consultation Policy and annually we hold a consultation session.  ACF posts our written response to testimony below under "Spotlight".
  • ACF developed Principles for Working with Federally Recognized Tribes as a supplement to our consultation policy. These principles establish a policy standard governing ACF’s relationships with federally recognized Indian tribes.  They are designed to build upon, complement ACF’s Tribal Consultation Policy, and to articulate ACF’s commitment to promote and sustain strong government-to-government relationships, foster Indian self-determination, support tribal sovereignty, and to demonstrate transparency in ACF’s actions as public servants.
  • In January 2017, ACF published in the Federal Register a Request for information to identify issues and challenges facing AI/AN populations as well as inform ACF of tribe’s and tribal organizations’ recommendations, promising practices, and innovations to address the needs of AI/AN children, youth, families, and communities. Here is the Dear Tribal Leader Letter was sent out providing an analysis to the tribal input.

Tribal Initiatives at ACF

     Intra-Agency Work

  • Native American Affairs Advisory Council (NAAAC): At the Council, we share information about what is happening within each office and within HHS that may affect Native American communities, and coordinate activities.  The NAAAC is responsible for the Native American Affairs Liaisons who serve as tribal liaisons and are the points of contact on tribal related matters affecting their programs.


  • Looking for economic development resources?  ACF has funding available from the Administration for Native Americans, Office of Family Assistance, and Office of Community Services. See our ACF Economic Development Resource Guide.
  • For information about the impact of the ACA on Native Americans, please visit our Healthy Tribes page.



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