FRAMING PAPER: FOOD, SAFETY, AND TRADEUSDA TRIBAL CONSULTATIONS ON BARRIERS/EQUITY:ANNUAL PROGRESS REPORT & FEEDBACK FOR NEXT STEPSTuesday April 12, 20222021 Barriers Progress & 2022 Next Steps:1. Revise Procurement Policies: Small Batch/Local Indigenous Foods2. Streamline Contracting for Tribal Providers3. Increase Tribal Self-Governance Opportunities4. Expand Support for Indigenous Food Sovereignty5. Increase Indigenous Foods/Incorporating Indigenous Knowledge into NutritionEducation1. Small Batch/Local Indigenous Foods Federal Purchasing.What we heard from Tribes in 2021 Consultation: Tribes are requesting USDA toidentify opportunities to modify current purchasing and distribution policies/practices tobuy and distribute Indigenous foods in smaller batches and seasonal purchasing to moretargeted clients.Example of Progress Made to Date: AMS has identified the Small BusinessAdministration’s (SBA) Historically Underutilized Business Zone (HUBZone) program asa tool to expand contracting opportunities to tribal communities. Having additionalqualified HUBZone vendors will allow USDA to apply more set-asides and pricepreferences using the authority of the HUBZone program, thus potentially increasing thenumber of awards to tribal entities.Potential Next Steps: USDA seeks Tribal input on the following discussion areas: AMS will need the help of tribal organizations and governmental entities to assist withoutreach to interested suppliers. How can AMS best partner with tribal organizationsand governmental entities to assist with conducting target outreach to interestedsuppliers?2. Streamline Contracting for Tribal Providers Serving Tribal Communities.What we heard from Tribes in 2021 Consultation: The Federal AcquisitionsRegulations (FAR) presents significant challenges for Native producers. Further, theserequirements are contrary to some treaty provisions which have “promise to purchase”provisions. We are thinking through a set of rules for tribal producers supplying tribalcommunities where USDA is in an intermediary.Example of Progress Made to Date: AMS Outreach Partnership with the Intertribal Agriculture Council (IAC) Partnership featured a series of pilot workshops aimed at providing support and1

FRAMING PAPER: FOOD, SAFETY, AND TRADE technical assistance to Native American vendors interested in becoming an AMScertified vendor.Local Food Purchase Assistance Cooperative Agreement Program – The LFPAprovides funding for states and federally recognized tribal governments to purchasefood from local and regional producers, targeting purchases from sociallydisadvantaged farmers and ranchers. LFPA allows applicants to tailor food distributionfor unique local challenges to serve the population and feeding programs, includingfood banks, schools, and organizations that target underserved communities.American Indian Foods Program – A cooperative agreement within the AmericanIndian Foods program to provide technical assistance and increase diversified marketoptions for all products made and produced by American Indians. Through thisagreement, we have an arrangement for at least 10 new Native food operations tobecome AMS certified vendors.Potential Next Steps: USDA seeks Tribal input on the following discussion areas: USDA continues to seek collaboration with tribes and tribal producers to identify waysto streamline contracting opportunities in a way that directly serves tribal communities.3. Increase Tribal Self-Governance Opportunities:What we heard from Tribes in 2021 Consultation: Tribal nations have “638” selfgovernance/compacting authority to administer DOI programs but until recently, USDAdid not have such authority. There are fewer places of more importance to tribes foradministration than their foods.Example of Progress Made to Date: FDPIR 638 Self-Determination Demonstration Project - USDA received authorityand funding to operate a 638-demonstration project for the Food Distribution Programon Indian Reservations (FDPIR). This project is an important acknowledgement ofTribal sovereignty that opens the door to food purchasing decisions that allow for moretraditional, Tribally grown, local and regionally produced foods. Of the 6 millionappropriated to date, FNS currently has a balance of funds of 2.2 million for usetowards existing FDPIR Self-Determination Demonstration Project activities and isapplying these funds to extensions of current 638 self-determination contracts.Current FDPIR participants include: Menominee Indian Tribe, Oneida Nation, AlaskaNative Health Consortium, Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, Chickasaw Nation,Red Cliff, Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians, and Lummi Nation. The FY 2022 budget provides 3 million to continue to support the FDPIR SelfDetermination Demonstration Project that is projected to be awarded by the fall of2022.USDA Review of Tribal Self-Determination Authority - On November 15, 2021,Secretary Vilsack announced that USDA will conduct a review of USDA’s currentstatutory authorities that can be used to empower tribal nations, identify possibilities2

FRAMING PAPER: FOOD, SAFETY, AND TRADEfor increased use of these statutory authorities, and report out of what additionalstatutory authorities might be needed to support tribal self-determination more broadly,where appropriate, throughout USDA programs. FNS is committed to reviewingprograms for statutory authorities that can empower Tribes.Potential Next Steps: USDA seeks Tribal input on the following discussion areas: USDA continues to seek collaboration with Tribal Leaders and Tribal Organizationson opportunities to support self-determination and food sovereignty in FNS programs. USDA welcomes tribal guidance and feedback on the cultural and economic effects ofthe FDPIR 638 contracts as they develop over time. USDA is in the early stages of discussion regarding the next Farm Bill and will lookclosely at opportunities to further support self-determination and Tribal foodsovereignty interests.4. Expand Support for Indigenous Food Sovereignty.What we heard from Tribes in 2021 Consultation: Expand support for seed saving,indigenous permaculture, subsistence hunting and fishing, wild food gathering andpropagation, indigenous animals, regenerative indigenous practices. Expand support fortribal bison and culturally appropriate mobile meat processing.Example of Progress Made to Date: USDA Programs for Small to Medium Agricultural Producers – USDA hasapproximately 50 programs that provide everything from technical assistance tofunding for small and medium size agricultural producers. Tribes and Tribalagricultural producers are highly encouraged to reach out to USDA programs such asNRCS, Rural Development, AMS, etc., to discuss needs and evaluate programsavailable. Indigenous Food Sovereignty Initiative – In November 2021, Secretary Vilsackannounced the launch of the Indigenous Food Sovereignty Initiative. USDA ispartnering with tribal-serving organizations on seven projects to reimagine federal foodand agriculture programs from an indigenous perspective and inform future USDAprograms and policies. This initiative includes projects that focus on Tribal seed saving;resources on foraging practices; cooking videos featuring Indigenous chefs; marketingIndigenous and Native-produced foods; promoting Bison production; and reviewingregulations to empowering self-governance. Bison Listening Session Series – This USDA-wide effort, in collaboration with DOI,focused on bringing together information on federal resources for tribal bison herds &processing plants, federal contracting and marketing opportunities for tribal bison meat,federal lands, tribal receipt of federal bison, and brucellosis. USDA plans to conductadditional listening sessions in the future. Small and Very Small Plant Roundtables – The Food Safety Inspection Service(FSIS) plans to host roundtables in geographic areas more convenient for Tribal leadersand citizens that will provide information and resources helpful to small and very small3

FRAMING PAPER: FOOD, SAFETY, AND TRADE plant owners and operators and those interested in establishing small and very smallplants.Partnering and collaborating with other Federal government agencies – FSIS iscollaborating with the Department of Commerce as well the Small BusinessAdministration to provide better outreach to Tribal communities to provide helpfulresources for them to establish, grow and lead successful meat and poultry slaughterand processing establishments, both mobile slaughter and brick and mortar.Grant of Inspection Webinars – FSIS will coordinate with OTR, as well as othergovernment agencies, to provide webinars to interested parties on the Grant ofInspection (GOI) process and other useful information, while also connecting Tribeswith the appropriate agency personnel to assist them with their individual businessneeds. Additionally, a list of all FSIS Headquarters and District Offices is available at:Office of Field Operations (OFO) Food Safety and Inspection Service ( at FSIS District Offices are available to help address any inspection and GOIrelated questions.Potential Next Steps: USDA seeks Tribal input on the following discussion areas: How can USDA encourage/support tribes and tribal producers as they navigate USDAprograms and services?5.Increase Indigenous Foods & Incorporate Indigenous Knowledge into NutritionEducation.What we heard from Tribes in 2021 Consultation: USDA needs to better incorporateindigenous foods into USDA food packages and better integrate indigenous traditionalecological knowledge (ITEK).Example of Progress Made to Date: Nutrition Education - In the recently enacted FY22 budget, FNS received 4M forFDPIR nutrition education administrative funds, a substantial increase in FDPIRadministrative funds. FNS is engaging with nutrition educators in Tribal communitiesas well as Tribal Leaders to discuss how these additional funds can be used to advanceFDPIR nutrition education capacity and initiatives in ways that align with indigenousknowledge and culture. Tribal Farm to School Activities – In collaboration with OTR, a team of FNS Farmto School Regional Leads and Tribal Affairs Specialists will conduct conversationswith Tribes and Tribal partners to get recommendations on how to ensure that theUSDA Farm to School Grant Program is responsive to the needs of Tribal communitiesand aligned with food sovereignty interests. Child Nutrition Meal Standards Tribal Listening Sessions - FNS will convenespecial listening sessions on child nutrition meal standards with Tribal partners to learnabout the specific concerns and needs of American Indian and Alaska Nativecommunities. FNS will use feedback during these listening sessions to help inform thedevelopment of a proposed rule on child nutrition meal standards later this year.4

FRAMING PAPER: FOOD, SAFETY, AND TRADE WIC Food Package Proposed Rule – FNS is working to publish a proposed rule onrevisions in the WIC food packages intended to ensure the WIC food packages arebased on the most recent nutritional science while providing increased flexibilities,variety, and choice for participants. FNS anticipates publication of the proposed rulelater this calendar year, with an opportunity for public comment. In addition, as part ofour partnership with Tribal communities FNS engaged with Tribal leaders on keyissues related to the proposed rule in November 2021.Promoting Traditional Foods in Child Nutrition Programs - USDA understands theimportance of serving traditional foods and encourages Tribal Nations, along with alloperators of Child Nutrition Programs, to provide children with meals that areculturally appropriate. To support these efforts, FNS has issued guidance on the use oftraditional foods in Child Nutrition Programs and how traditional foods can credittowards a reimbursable meal. FNS is available to provide technical assistance regardingthe specific ways in which these Indigenous foods can be incorporated into ChildNutrition Programs.SNAP State-Tribal Consultation and Engagement - FNS has developed a draft“Memorandum on Tribal Consultation Requirements” that will serve as a reminder toSNAP State agencies of the obligation to engage in ongoing consultation with Tribesand includes guidance and resources to assist States to adequately engage with Tribeson those aspects of SNAP operations that impact participants in Tribal communities,including SNAP nutrition education. The memorandum will be accompanied by atraining webinar for States and Tribes as well as ongoing technical assistance to supporteffective State-Tribal Consultations.Indigenous Traditional Ecological Knowledge – In November 2021, President Bidencommitted to greater integration of ITEK. FNS is looking to identify positions whereindigenous knowledge and experience can be incorporated into the hiring process.The recently enacted FY22 full-year budget included additional funds to add new staffmembers to support FDPIR in areas of nutrition education, food purchasing, capacitybuilding at both the national and regional offices. FNS is exploring options to ensurerecruitment efforts reflect interest in hiring applicants with Tribal and Indigenousknowledge and experience.Potential Next Steps: USDA seeks Tribal input on the following discussion areas: In addition to engaging in meaningful Tribal Consultation, how can USDA bestcollaborate with and leverage existing opportunities to incorporate more traditionalfoods in Child Nutrition Programs? How can USDA explore collaborative projects between SNAP-Ed and FDPIR in termsof nutrition education that further support food sovereignty and other areas of interest? USDA is committed to working with Tribal and Indigenous communities and aims toensure that Indigenous values and principles are recognized in program and servicedelivery. What values and principles should we recognize when working with tribalcommunities? How should USDA approach working with tribes in promoting anddeveloping programs that recognize these areas of alignment?5

and funding to operate a 638-demonstration project for the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR). This project is an important acknowledgement of Tribal sovereignty that opens the door to food purchasing decisions that allow for more traditional, Tribally grown, local and regionally produced foods. Of the 6 million