The California Department of Parks and Recreation recognizes its special responsibility as the steward of many sites of cultural and spiritual significance to living Native peoples of California.

In 2007, State Parks issued Departmental Notice No. 2007-05, Native American Consultation Policy & Implementation Procedures, to set forth the Department’s policy and procedures for consultation with California Native Americans regarding activities that affect matters relating to their heritage, sacred sites, and cultural traditions. This policy recognizes that a collaborative approach will facilitate the management and preservation of cultural and natural resources.

Governor Jerry Brown's Executive Order B-10-11 established that each agency within California Government would have a Tribal Liaison to coordinate with the Governor’s Tribal Advisor and other agency liaisons in other departments. State Parks appointed a Tribal Liaison in early March 2013. The Department’s Tribal Liaison works to engage in open, respectful, ongoing consultation with appropriate California Native American tribes or groups in the proper management of areas, places, objects or burials associated with their heritage, sacred sites and traditional cultural properties or cultural traditions in the State Park System.

Governor Gavin Newsome’s Executive Order N-15-19 reaffirms the principles in EO B-10-11 and acknowledges and apologizes on behalf of the State for the historical violence, exploitation, dispossession and the attempted destruction of tribal communities which dislocated California Native Americans from their ancestral land and sacred practices.

Departmental Notice No. 2007-05, Native American Consultation Policy & Implementation Procedures, outlines nine primary areas where consultation is appropriate. Prior to implementing projects or policies that may have impacts to California Native American sites within the State Park System, the Department will actively consult with local California Native American tribes regarding the protection, preservation and/or mitigation of cultural sites and sacred sites in the State Park System.

Consultation between local California Native American tribes and California State Parks is required in the following nine areas of activity:

  1. acquisition of properties where cultural sites are present;
  2. during the General Plan process and/or development of Management Plans;
  3. planning, design, and implementation of capital outlay, public works and development projects;
  4. issues of concern identified by the tribes;
  5. plant and mineral gathering by Native people;
  6. access to California Native American ceremonial sites;
  7. archaeological permitting;
  8. mitigation of vandalism and development of protective measures at California Native American sites; and
  9. when using the Native voice in presenting the story of California Native American people in park units.

Other areas for tribal consultation may include aspects of park operations such as visitor use, interpretation, facility maintenance, special events, prescribed burning, and resource management.

The Department Tribal Liaison is engaged in meeting with other agency liaisons, the Native American Heritage Commission, and California tribal communities to identify and respond to issues of importance to California Native American people throughout the State Park System

Contact State Parks Department Tribal Liaison


California State Parks Native American Consultation Policy & Implementation Procedures  (November 16, 2007) 

California Natural Resources Agency Tribal Consultation Policy (November 20, 2012) 

Executive Order B-10-11 (September 19, 2011)

Executive Order N-15-19 (June 18, 2019)