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Tribal Relations

Government-to-Government: Working with Oregon's Tribes

Oregon was the first state to pass a state-tribal government-to-government relations law. In 2001, Senate Bill 770 (SB 770) established a framework for communication between state agencies and tribes. Effective government-to-government communication increases our understanding of tribal and agency structures, policies, programs, and history. These state and tribe relations inform decision makers in both governments and provide an opportunity to work together on shared interests.

The state statute created from SB 770 is ORS 182.162-168, which followed Executive Order EO-96-30. This Executive Order, established in 1996, defined a process to "assist in resolving potential conflicts, maximize key inter-governmental relations, and enhance an exchange of ideas and resources for the greater good of all of Oregon's citizens." Agencies responded to the executive order by presenting interest statements to the Governor and tribal government. In 1997, DLCD presented its interest statement at the first annual meeting between state and tribal governments.

DLCD’s Tribal Liaison program is anchored by our agency policies 06-01 (Local and Tribal Government Communication Policy) and 07-02 (Policy on Government to Government Relations with Oregon Tribes).

Today, the department actively participates in government-to-government work groups to discuss land use planning and tribal related activities. DLCD notifies tribal governments of land use grant opportunities and regional land use projects that may be of interest. The agency also invites tribes to participate in relevant rulemaking activities. 

For more specific information about DLCD tribal activities, please see the annual reports provided below.

Federally Recognized Tribes of Oregon

Archaeological Sites

The State of Oregon considers archaeological sites and their contents to be irreplaceable, finite, and non-renewable resources that are part of Oregon’s heritage.  Native American archaeological and burial sites are not simply pieces of the tribe’s cultural past - they are considered sacred and represent a continuing connection with their ancestors. The people of Oregon, and state agencies acting on their behalf, are stewards with a public trust responsibility towards these sites and their contents.  

Local developers and individuals proposing any ground disturbing work should become familiar with state laws on the protection of archaeological sites:   

The excavation, destruction or alteration of any known archaeological site or collection of archaeological objects located on public or private land without the issuance of a state archaeological permit is prohibited (ORS 358.920 and ORS 390.235).  Destruction or damage to any human burial site, human remains, or Native American sacred or special objects associated with those burial sites is also prohibited (ORS 97.745). Note that there may be criminal penalties for violating these laws.

Resources to learn more:


Brenda Bateman, Ph.D.
Director and Key Contact
Phone: 971-701-0213

Kirstin Greene
Deputy Director and Alternate Key Contact
Phone: 971-701-1584