AG Ferguson announces historic Tribal Consent and Consultation policy

The policy is the first of its kind in Washington state.

  • Thursday, May 16, 2019 3:42pm
  • News
Bob Ferguson

Bob Ferguson

Attorney General Bob Ferguson last week announced a new policy that requires his office to obtain free, prior and informed consent before initiating a program or project that directly and tangibly affects tribes, tribal rights, tribal lands and sacred sites.

Ferguson also announced that his office will refrain from filing any litigation against a tribal government or tribal-owned business without first engaging in meaningful consultation to resolve the dispute, provided that doing so does not violate the rules of professional conduct.

This policy is the first of its kind in Washington state.

The Tribal Consent and Consultation policy is effective immediately.

“In furtherance of strengthening partnerships between Indian tribes and my office, I am announcing an official AGO policy requiring my office to achieve free, prior and informed consent before initiating a project or program that directly and tangibly affects Indian tribes, rights, tribal lands and sacred sites,” Ferguson said. “This is an historic step for the Attorney General’s Office and the state of Washington. I hope other government agencies across the state and the country take notice and consider similar steps.”

“Through his actions today, Attorney General Ferguson has listened to, learned from and followed through on the advocacy of countless Native American leaders nationwide and Indigenous leaders globally who have defended the sovereignty and rights of their peoples,” said Quinault Indian Nation President Fawn Sharp. “By adopting ‘free, prior, and informed consent’ as the basis of his Administration’s interactions with Tribal Governments, Attorney General Ferguson has become a global standard bearer for recognizing the full sovereignty and political equality of Indigenous peoples.”

“Today, Attorney General Ferguson took a historic step forward in the relationship between Washington state and Washington’s Tribes by adopting Tribal relations policies founded on the principle of ‘free, prior, and informed consent,’” said Samish Indian Nation Chairman Tom Wooten. “By committing to work with Washington’s Tribes on the basis of true equality and collaboration, Attorney General Ferguson is demonstrating the vision and inclusive leadership we will need to confront immense challenges like climate change, homelessness, and the opioid crisis that impact all of Washington’s communities.”

More in News

Bellevue celebrates 50th sister city anniversary with Yao, Japan

The Bellevue Sister Cities Association will welcome a delegation from Yao, Japan this November.

A homeless encampment in Bellevue. Photo courtesy of Bellevue Police Department
Why is Bellevue taking so long to finish its shelter?

Bellevue made a commitment in 2012, but its shelter won’t have a permanent site until 2022.

Bellevue will improve recreation options for people with disabilities

City and parks department is working with parents on accessibility.

Courtesy photo
                                A rendering of what Performing Arts Center Eastside (PACE) may look like.
Performing Arts Center Eastside is becoming closer to a reality

A new CEO and team are reviving the dream of creating a 21st century cultural arts hub to the Eastside.

A high tide at Raymond’s Willapa Landing Park in Grays Harbor County, Washington. Sound Publishing file photo
On the West Coast, Washington is most prone to sea level rise damage

Report by the Center for Climate Integrity shows multibillion-dollar cost of battling back the sea.

What’s next for Washington’s 2045 green energy goal?

The Legislature set the goal, but how does the state actually get there?

City aims to preserve affordable housing unit

Bellevue plans to purchase an affordable housing condo unit to save it from foreclosure on June 30.

Bellevue council plans to approve county EMS levy for the November ballot

Bellevue council will vote on bringing the King County EMS levy to voters’ ballots this November.

Most Read