Caltrans Tribal Planning

The Division of Research, Innovation and System Information (DRISI) at Caltrans has identified a need to study the transportation planning needs of the 109 federally recognized Native American Tribes (referred to as the Study Group) in California. The primary goal of this project is to assess the planning needs of all federally recognized American Indian tribes in California, and in doing so, how to ensure the Study Group is adequately included in transportation planning and programming processes in California. To inform its efforts to ensure the 109 tribes in California are included in planning and programming processes, Caltrans has to assess the understanding and ability of the Study Group to engage with Caltrans, Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs), and local governments in the early phases of the development of long term transportation plans and in receiving awards for, and implementing projects that benefit tribal communities. The project methods include construction of a database of the Study Group with transportation related information, develop a survey questionnaire, conduct in-person and phone interviews with the Study Group, data compilation and analysis, followed by a report of the findings. The results of the study will improve the ability of Caltrans to target guidance and assistance to improve the ability of the Study Group to assess and articulate their transportation needs. Recommendations, developed after analysis of the data collected by this project, can be used by the Caltrans Native American Liaison Branch (CTNALB) to develop programs that will identify appropriate and effective outreach resources and provide the appropriate level of guidance to the Study Group.