It is the goal of the Service to include federally-recognized Tribes in its decision-making process, from initiation to completion, for actions that may affect those Tribes or their membership. Consultation, as outlined herein, leads to information exchange, mutual understanding, and informed decision-making. To achieve this goal, and to the extent practicable and permissible by law, it is essential that the Service and Tribes engage in open, continuous, and meaningful communication throughout the relationship.

Federal tribal policy and federal-tribal relations are topics deeply rooted in the history of the political relationship between the United States and Tribes. As such, they touch upon and are influenced by the Constitution, treaties, statutes, executive orders, court decisions, and administrative actions.