The California Department of Parks and Recreation’s Tribal Affairs Program assists in the negotiation of Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) between California Native American Tribes and State Parks Districts. Through the Tribal MOU Program, MOUs between California Native American Tribes and California State Parks are created to systematically address cultural and natural resources of concern or interest to the tribes within Park Districts, Units, and Programs.

These MOUs between tribes and State Parks establish protocols for continuous open discussions and outline the responsibilities of each party to promote successful cooperation and partnership.

If a California Native American tribe is interested in developing an MOU with California State Parks, they should reach out to District(s) in their traditional territories. Each Park District has an assigned Tribal Liaison who works with local tribes, District staff, and the Tribal Affairs Program. A tribe may choose to include all districts within their traditional territories in their MOU.

Through the MOU process, representatives of the Tribe and the Department develop and agree upon a set of mutually beneficial activities. Examples of such mutually beneficial activities include tribal access to specific Park areas for co-management of specific resources, vegetation gathering, and interpretive support. These mutually beneficial activities can be expanded and further refined through the duration of the MOU, which is typically five years.

The Tribal Affairs Program will assist the district(s) in drafting an MOU that will be reviewed, updated, and approved by all parties. Reach out to the Tribal MOU Program Lead to learn more.

Contact the Tribal Affairs Program