The concept of federal-state and tribal transportation partnerships is to build trust and establish long term relationships, which is vitally important to assist in transportation consultation, coordination and improvement project implementation.
In 2004, an Arizona Governor’s Tribal Summit on Transportation, resulted in the initiative to formally establish a long-term transportation partnership process with the Navajo Nation. This led to partnerships being established with three other tribes. Each partnership is structured to include a steering committee or working group, which consist of management level representatives from the partner agencies. The steering committee or working group guides the partnership activities in accordance to the partnership mission, goals, and objectives. When an issue is identified that needs further research or additional partners and resources, task teams are formed. Task team members can consist of volunteers from the committee or temporary partnership members. The team will work on the issue and report back to the steering committee or working group. Those entities in turn report back to the partnership as a whole at an Annual Partnership Meeting. The Annual meeting attendees include: tribal leaders, officials and partner directors, the steering committee, working group and others.
There are currently three Federal – State – Tribal Transportation Partnerships working in Arizona:
These partnerships provide significant opportunities for FHWA and ADOT to earn the trust essential to establishing excellent long-term working relationships with the tribes involved. Each partnership has its own unique missions, goals, and objectives. Information on the membership, charters, history, and meetings about these three partnership groups is found on the individual partnership webpages. The ADOT Partnering Office Facilitators and ADOT Tribal Liaison oversee these efforts.