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Tribal Relations

Hello and welcome to RD’s Tribal Relations Page!

USDA Rural Development (RD) places a high value in its relationship with Tribes, American Indians, and Alaska Natives. We collaborate and partner with Tribes to realize a brighter future for families, children, and Tribal communities. We make critical investments in infrastructure, schools, health clinics, housing, and businesses, to benefit Native families and communities across rural America.

RD also promotes external impact by connecting and collaborating with our partners at Rural.gov. The Rural Partners Network (RPN) lists the programs and resources developed exclusively for Tribes, Native Americans, and Alaska Natives.

Our RD Tribal Relations Team champions and coordinates our work with Tribes. Through consultation, coordination, and collaboration, we honor our government-to-government relationships with Tribes and enhance access to our various programs and services to Tribes, Tribal members, and Tribal organizations.

News & Announcements

This section contains information on Tribal-specific programs, programs with set-aside Tribal funding, and other useful information for Native Americans and Tribal communities.

Publications and Brochures
Tribal News Releases

RD's Tribal Relations Office

The Rural Development Tribal Relations office is a part of the Innovation Center's Strategic Engagement Division, which ensures relevant programs and policies are efficient, easy to understand, accessible, and developed in consultation with the American Indians and Alaska Native constituents they impact. For inquires about Rural Development’s programs and services for Tribes email us at aian@usda.gov. To contact staff members directly, select their image below.

Tribal Relations Team

Tedd Buelow

Tribal Relations Team Lead and Tribal Coordinator
Phone: 720-544-2911

Melissa Sturdivant

Tribal Relations Specialist
Phone: 325-245-1781

Gabriel Jackson

Tribal Relations Specialist
Phone: 202-941-6981

Gentri White

Tribal Relations Specialist

Our Commitment to Tribes

The United States Government has a unique legal and political relationship with federally-recognized Tribal governments and the citizens or members of those Tribes as defined in treaties, statutes, court decisions, Executive Orders, and Departmental Regulations. Because of this legal and judicial precedence, the U.S. government recognizes these Tribes as domestic, sovereign nations with a responsibility to develop and administer programming to the benefit of Tribes and Tribal members: continue reading