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Office of Tribal Transportation

The Office of Tribal Transportation (OTT) administers the Tribal Transportation Program (TTP) and provides stewardship and oversight for direct funding agreements with 135 federally recognized Tribes. The OTT also provides support for all FHWA activities affecting tribal transportation. This support includes the administration of the Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) discretionary grants program awarded to Tribes, and the transfer of funds from States and other local governments to Tribes through the 202(a)(9) transfer process.

In addition, the FHWA Office of Tribal Transportation manages the Tribal Transportation Program Bridge Program and the Tribal Transportation Program Safety Fund for all federally recognized Tribes. These grant programs are set-asides from the overall Tribal Transportation Program.

The mission of the FHWA Office of Tribal Transportation is:

Through mutual respect and understanding, enhance the quality of life in Tribal communities by supporting the Tribes’ delivery of transportation programs.

National Native American Heritage Month (NAHM)

November is National Native American Heritage Month! It’s a time to celebrate the rich histories, diverse cultures, and important contributions of our Nation’s First People.  In observance of NAHM, the Office of Tribal Transportation is hosting two webinars. Please join us to learn about FHWA’s relationship with Tribes and experience the unique and diverse Tribal cultures through the projects that they are implementing in their communities.  Connection information for the following webinars is forthcoming:

“The FHWA Consultation Role in Government-to-Government Relationships with Tribes”

Wednesday, November 16th, 2022 from 2:30 to 4:30 ET (USDOT only)

“Noteworthy Tribal Projects Built in 2022”

Wednesday, November 30th from 1:30-3:00 ET (Open to the public)

Also, please be on the lookout for the upcoming “Wow Wednesday Factoids” for Tribal Transportation trivia!

For more information on National Native American Heritage Month:

The Library of Congress and the National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and U.S. National Archives and Records Administration developed a portal dedicated to this annual observation and offers a brief history of the origins of National Native American Heritage Month:

“What started at the turn of the century as an effort to gain a day of recognition for the significant contributions the first Americans made to the establishment and growth of the U.S., has resulted in a whole month being designated for that purpose.

One of the very proponents of an American Indian Day was Dr. Arthur C. Parker, a Seneca Indian, who was the director of the Museum of Arts and Science in Rochester, N.Y. He persuaded the Boy Scouts of America to set aside a day for the “First Americans” and for three years they adopted such a day. In 1915, the annual Congress of the American Indian Association meeting in Lawrence, Kans., formally approved a plan concerning American Indian Day. It directed its president, Rev. Sherman Coolidge, an Arapahoe, to call upon the country to observe such a day. Coolidge issued a proclamation on Sept. 28, 1915, which declared the second Saturday of each May as an American Indian Day and contained the first formal appeal for recognition of Indians as citizens.

The year before this proclamation was issued, Red Fox James, a Blackfoot Indian, rode horseback from state to state seeking approval for a day to honor Indians. On December 14, 1915, he presented the endorsements of 24 state governments at the White House. There is no record, however, of such a national day being proclaimed.

The first American Indian Day in a state was declared on the second Saturday in May 1916 by the governor of New York. Several states celebrate the fourth Friday in September. In Illinois, for example, legislators enacted such a day in 1919. Presently, several states have designated Columbus Day as Native American Day, but it continues to be a day we observe without any recognition as a national legal holiday.

In 1990 President George H. W. Bush approved a joint resolution designating November 1990 “National American Indian Heritage Month.” Similar proclamations, under variants on the name (including “Native American Heritage Month” and “National American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month”) have been issued each year since 1994.”

Tribal Transportation Program

TTP is the largest program in the Office of Federal Lands Highway. Established in 23 U.S.C. 202 to address the transportation needs of Tribal governments throughout the United States, the program is receiving $465 million in FY 2016, with increases of $10 million per year to $505 million in FY 2020, as established in Public Law 114-94, Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act (the FAST Act). The purpose of the TTP is to provide safe and adequate transportation and public road access to and within Indian reservations, Indian lands, and Alaska Native Village communities. A prime objective of the TTP is to contribute to the economic development, self-determination, and employment of Indians and Native Americans.

The Tribal Transportation Program is funded by contract authority from the Highway Trust Fund and is subject to the overall Federal-aid obligation limitation. Funds are allocated among Tribes using a statutory formula based on tribal population, road mileage and average tribal shares of the former Tribal Transportation Allocation Methodology (TTAM) formula.

Updated: Tuesday, November 1, 2022