CADR Services

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. 


  • DOI G-t-G Consultation Policy Development:
    • A contracted private facilitator and an in-house DOI facilitator teamed up to design and facilitate the agreement-seeking process to develop the first Department-wide Policy on Tribal Consultation.  The collaborative team that drafted the Policy comprised of Tribal leaders, DOI leadership and Bureau/Office-wide programmatic and subject matter experts.  In addition to the collaborative team, the process also included Tribal comment periods, public comment periods and facilitated consultation sessions in Indian country.
  • DOI Policy on Consultation with Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA) Corporations:
    • A contracted private facilitator worked with a team of DOI staff and Alaska Native leaders representing Alaska Native villages and corporations to develop a consultation policy that was tailored to the unique cultural and logistical needs of Alaska Natives.  Utilizing facilitated in-person meetings and teleconferences, the group reached consensus which resulted in the Department-wide consultation policy for Alaska Native tribes and corporations.
  • FWS Grizzly Bear Tribal Consultation:
    • Contracted with a private facilitator to design and facilitate Tribal consultations regarding the Grizzly Bear delisting.  The facilitated consultation created space for communication with and input from tribes.
  • FWS Native American Policy:
    • CADR staff provided in-house facilitation assistance to a collaborative team of Tribal members and FWS members from across the country to draft the FWS Native American Policy.  This process included an added component of coaching the federal team to be effective partners in dialogue with Tribes.  The process resulted in an agreed upon document and improved relationships amongst team members. 
  • Advisory Board to the Special Trustee for American Indians (OST)
    • CADR staff provided facilitation and planning assistance to the Office of the Special Trustee for American Indians (OST) in establishing and holding meetings of its nine-member advisory board.  The Board developed recommendations to the Special Trustee on a variety of matters related to improving OST services to beneficiaries.
  • Mediation Between BIA and Tribes
    • CADR staff assisted Tribes, BIA, and Solicitor’s Office in evaluating whether mediation was appropriate to resolve an issue between a specific Tribe and BIA.  In cases where mediation is appropriate, CADR assists the parties in identifying qualified contracted mediators and arranging payment mechanisms among the parties.  Issues that have gone to mediation have been either fully resolved or the area of disagreement has been narrowed and clarified.

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