I. Preamble and Guiding Principles
This ACCORD dated August 4, 1989, is executed between the federally recognized Indian tribes of Washington signatory to this ACCORD and the state of Washington, through its governor, in order to better achieve mutual goals through an improved relationship between their sovereign governments. This ACCORD provides a framework for that government-to-government relationship and implementation procedures to assure execution of that relationship.
Each party to this ACCORD respects the sovereignty of the other. The respective sovereignty of the state and each federally recognized tribe provide paramount authority for that party to exist and to govern. The parties share in their relationship particular respect for the values and culture represented by tribal governments. Further, the parties share a desire for a complete accord between the State of Washington and the federally recognized tribes in Washington reflecting a full government-to-government relationship and will work with all elements of state and tribal governments to achieve such an accord.
There are twenty-six federally recognized Indian tribes in the state of Washington. Each sovereign tribe has an independent relationship with each other and the state. This ACCORD provides the framework for that relationship between the state Washington, through its governor, and the signatory tribes.
The parties recognize that the state of Washington is governed in part by independent state officials. Therefore, although this ACCORD has been initiated by the signatory tribes and the governor, it welcomes the participation of, inclusion in and execution by chief representatives of all elements of state government so that the government-to-government relationship described herein is completely and broadly implemented between the state and the tribes.
III. Purpose and Objectives
This ACCORD illustrates the commitment by the parties to implementation of the government-to-government relationship, a relationship reaffirmed as state policy by gubernatorial proclamation January 3, 1989. This relationship respects the sovereign status of the parties, enhances and improves communication between them, and facilitates the resolution of issues.
This ACCORD is intended to build confidence among the parties in the government-to-government relationship outlining the process for implementing the policy. Not only is this process intended to implement the relationship, but also it is intended to institutionalize it within the organizations represented by the parties. The parties will continue to strive for complete institutionalization of the government-to-government relationship by seeking an accord among all the tribes and all elements of state government.
This ACCORD also commits the parties to the initial tasks that will translate the government-to-government relationship into more-efficient, improved and beneficial services to Indian and non-Indian people. This ACCORD encourages and provides the foundation and framework for specific agreements among the parties outlining specific tasks to address or resolve specific issues.
The parties recognize that implementation of this ACCORD will require a comprehensive educational effort to promote understanding of the government-to-government relationship within their own governmental organizations and with the public.
IV. Implementation Process and Responsibilities
While this ACCORD addresses the relationship between the parties, its ultimate purpose is to improve the services delivered to people by the parties. Immediately and periodically, the parties shall establish goals for improved services and identify the obstacles to the achievement of those goals. At an annual meeting, the parties will develop joint strategies and specific agreements to outline tasks, overcome obstacles and achieve specific goals.
The parties recognize that a key principle of their relationship is a requirement that individuals working to resolve issues of mutual concern are accountable to act in a manner consistent with this ACCORD.
The state of Washington is organized into a variety of large but separate departments under its governor, other independently elected officials and a variety of boards and commissions. Each tribe, on the other hand, is a unique government organization with different management and decision-making structures.
The chief of staff of the governor of the state of Washington is accountable to the governor for implementation of this ACCORD. State agency directors are accountable to the governor through the chief of staff for the related activities of their agencies. Each director will initiate a procedure within his/her agency by which the government-to-government policy will be implemented. Among other things, these procedures will require persons responsible for dealing with issues of mutual concern to respect the government-to-government relationship within which the issue must be addressed. Each agency will establish a documented plan of accountability and may establish more detailed implementation procedures in subsequent agreements between tribes and the particular agency.
The parties recognize that their relationship will successfully address issues of mutual concern when communication is clear, direct and between persons responsible for addressing the concern. The parties recognize that in state government, accountability is best achieved when this responsibility rests solely within each state agency. Therefore, it is the objective of the state that each particular agency be directly accountable for implementation of the government-to-government relationship in dealing with issues of concern to the parties. Each agency will facilitate this objective by identifying individuals directly responsible for issues of mutual concern.
Each tribe also recognizes that a system of accountability within its organization is critical to successful implementation of the relationship. Therefore, tribal officials will direct their staff to communicate within the spirit of this ACCORD with the particular agency which, under the organization of state government, has the authority and responsibility to deal with particular issue of concern to the tribe.
In order to accomplish these objectives, each tribe must ensure that its current tribal organization, decision-making process and relevant tribal personnel is known to each state agency with which the tribe is addressing an issue of mutual concern. Further, each tribe may establish a more detailed organizational structure, decision-making process, system of accountability, and other procedures for implementing the government-to-government relationship in subsequent agreements with various state agencies. Finally, each tribe will establish a documented system of accountability.
As a component of the system of accountability within state and tribal governments, the parties will review and evaluate at the annual meeting the implementation of the government-to-government relationship. A management report will be issued summarizing this evaluation and will include joint strategies and specific agreements to outline tasks, overcome obstacles, and achieve specific goals.
The chief of staff also will use his/her organizational discretion to help implement the government-to-government relationship. The Office of Indian Affairs will assist the chief of staff in implementing the government-to-government relationship by providing state agency directors information with which to educate employees and constituent \groups as defined in the accountability plan about the requirement of the government-to-government relationship. The Office of Indian Affairs shall also perform other duties as defined by the chief of staff.
V. Sovereignty and Disclaimers
Each of the parties respects the sovereignty of each other party. In executing this ACCORD, no party waives any rights, including treaty rights, immunities, including sovereign immunities, or jurisdiction. Neither does this ACCORD diminish any rights or protections afforded other Indian persons or entities under state or federal law. Through this ACCORD parties strengthen their collective ability to successfully resolve issues of mutual concern.
While the relationship described by this ACCORD provides increased ability to solve problems, it likely will not result in a resolution of all issues. Therefore, inherent in their relationship is the right of each of the parties to elevate an issue of importance to any decision-making authority of another party, including, where appropriate, that party's executive office.
Signatory parties have executed this ACCORD on the date of August 4, 1989, and agreed to be duly bound by its commitments.