On 12 April 2013, the Makah Tribal Council Chairman and the District Commander of the 13th Coast Guard District (D13) signed into effect the “Memorandum of Agreement between the United States Coast Guard and the Makah Indian Tribe Regarding Interoperability and Coordination”. The purpose of this “Makah-USCG MOA” is to establish terms by which the two parties will coordinate and collaborate in the fulfillment of their mutual trust responsibility. The MOA's focus is to enhance consultation, improve leveraging of resources within each party's authorities, and improve collective all-hazards prevention and response posture in the Makah Treaty Area. Such an agreement between a federal agency and an Indian tribe is authorized by Executive Order 13175 - Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments, signed in 2000 and is consistent with the 2011 Department of Homeland Security Tribal Consultation Policy.

This groundbreaking document represents a 20 year relationship between key members of the Makah Tribe and the oil spill response members of CG D13 and Sector Puget Sound, and the trust developed over that period while working together to mutually support each party's oil spill prevention, preparedness and response readiness, as well as the desire to help and support each other by harmonizing efforts. With recent legislation such as the 2010 Coast Guard Authorization act, authorizing resources to engage tribes into training, exercises and other spill response preparedness activities particularly in the Northwest, it became clear there was a need to memorialize the strong supportive working relationship between the Makah and the CG, and provide some structure to our planning and development efforts. The MOA lays out a minimum of semi-annual meetings during which the two parties discuss overarching items of mutual interest and determine a work list of concrete, achievable goals to complete within the next 6 month period. An initial work list of common interest issues and responsibilities are outlined in the MOA, and fall into three general categories: Prevention; Preparedness and Response. The MOA also addresses the importance of Communication with the goal of enhancing mutual situational awareness via improved communication protocols between the Coast Guard and the Makah Tribe.

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