In March 2016, First Nations’ own Jackie Francke (Navajo), vice president of programs and administration, was appointed to the USDA Regional Tribal Conservation Advisory Council (RTCAC) for the West Region. This is an advisory body for the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service. Jackie will serve as a tribal organization representative, along with others who were appointed as tribal representatives.
The RTCAC will provide communications between the tribal entities and the conservation service, and gather feedback on tribal issues. Representatives provide a direct line of communication between tribes, tribal affiliates and Native organizations such as First Nations, and the conservation service. The RTCAC provides a needed platform under which the conservation service and tribes can work together at the state and local levels on conservation issues. The advisory council will assist the conservation service in identifying ways to improve relationships with tribes as it relates to these and other issues:
- Providing quality service through programs and service, including technical and financial assistance.
- Promoting strong partnerships and teamwork.
- Providing tribes the opportunity to offer feedback on agency programs and services.
- Assisting tribes in enhancing their capacity in natural resources conservation.
- Delivering the most effective resource conservation technology.