What we do
The DOI Office of Collaborative Action and Dispute Resolution (CADR) supports all DOI Bureaus and Offices and Tribal Nations in the use of collaborative problem-solving, consensus building, facilitation and mediation tools to further the government to government relationship between the Department and federally recognized American Indian and Alaska Native tribes.
CADR also provides coaching services to Bureau and Office leadership and staff to prepare them to work with Tribes. Each Tribe is different and brings with it its own unique culture and history. The coaching focuses on developing the skills and ability to best engage in dialogue with a particular sensitivity to the history, culture, and power dynamics that are embedded in Tribal-Federal interactions.
How we work
We are impartial on the substance of issues. Our expertise and interest is in the process of collaboration and dialogue no matter what the substance. As consensus-building professionals we follow “The Basic Principles for Agency Engagement in Environmental Collaboration and Conflict Resolution” as set forth in the CEQ-OMB 2012 Memorandum on Environmental Collaboration and Conflict Resolution.
We start by listening. For every group, we want to understand the issues before you, your goals, and your concerns. We ask questions to gain understanding, uncover assumptions and to clarify intent. Through this conversation we are able to determine what type of process may best fit your needs and if CADR can assist.
Using a third party neutral
A key part of the way we work is to talk with principal parties about what kind of skills, expertise and knowledge are important for a facilitator or mediator to have. From there CADR makes use of either its in-house expertise or its contractors to design a forum for safe, constructive, and civil dialogue that enables everyone to be heard, to identify common interests, and to begin developing options and strategies that meet common interests. Where interests diverge, we facilitate dialogue to build an understanding of the issues in disagreement and identify next steps e.g., gather more information, re-evaluate issues at a later date or pursue different avenues for resolution.