Training for Tribal Representatives

Training courses by FEMA’s Emergency Management Institute (EMI). Specific courses are tailored to tribal audiences, including tribal emergency managers, tribal community response personnel, and tribal leaders.

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FEMA's Tribal Policy, as first stated on September 25, 1998, applies to the American Indian and Alaska Native Tribal Governments as follows:

In the spirit of community, FEMA commits itself to building a strong and lasting partnership with American Indians and Alaska Natives to assist them in preparing for the hazards they face, reducing their disaster vulnerabilities, responding quickly and effectively when disasters strike, and recovering in their aftermath.

In response to the FEMA Tribal Policy, the first E580, Emergency Management Framework for Tribal Governments course was delivered January 28-31, 2002 at the EMI campus. In attendance were 21 representatives from 13 Tribal Nations, one Tribal College, FEMA staff and State representatives.


The Preparedness Branch is responsible for the delivery and management of the EMI Tribal Curriculum. The Tribal Curriculum is a series of courses designed with Tribal people, for Tribal Governments, in order to meet the unique emergency management needs of these Sovereign Nations with regard to tribal culture, tradition, sovereignty and governance.

Since that first E580 course delivery, the Tribal Curriculum has grown to five (5) courses and to date over, 4800 certificates of completion have been issued for the Tribal Curriculum courses. The familiar feather logo has become synonymous with high quality and culturally appropriate emergency management training to meet the needs of Indian Country.

The Tribal Curriculum courses are delivered by a team of instructors who are carefully selected for their extensive experience working for a tribal government in emergency management and the majority of the instructors are Native. Feedback from participants unanimously supports the cultural appropriateness and credibility of the Tribal Curriculum instructor team.

In 2009, a focus group of tribal government representatives and FEMA staff was convened to undertake revision of the three courses in the curriculum at that time. The focus group also developed an overall goal for the Tribal Curriculum:

EMI Tribal Curriculum Goal: To collaborate with tribal governments to build emergency management capability and partnerships to increase the resilience of tribal nations and communities.

In 2010, a 2-day course on Continuity of Operations (COOP) was added to the Curriculum. Revision to the original three courses was completed in 2012 to update the material and include more relevant tribal examples, videos, and photographs to the material. Finally, the development of a 4-hour short-course for Tribal elected and appointed officials rounded out the Curriculum in 2012.

There are currently five courses in the EMI Tribal Curriculum:
NOTE: There are no tuition fees for EMI on-campus (E) or off-site (L) courses. All instruction and materials are provided at no cost.

For on-campus (E) courses (in Emmitsburg, MD), housing is provided at no cost. All participants are responsible for the cost of a meal ticket for the week and for personal incidental expenses. You must purchase a 21-day advanced, non-refundable coach-class airline ticket by common carrier in order to be reimbursed. Reimbursement for air fare will be made by direct deposit into your personal account 6 to 8 weeks after the course concludes. You will be responsible for reimbursing your organization.
Click here to apply for a course at the EMI campus.
NOTE: Tribal Government representatives DO NOT need to submit applications to the State Training office or the FEMA Regional office. You may submit your signed application directly to EMI. It is recommended that you scan your signed application and e-mail it to Admissions at to ensure the application is received.

If you have questions about stipend reimbursement, please contact EMI Admissions at 301-447-1035.

Scheduling of L courses is dependent on annual availability of funding. To find out the proposed L course schedule, please contact EMI.

For more information about the EMI Tribal Curriculum, please contact Katie Hirt at 301-447-1164 or
Source: FEMA | Emergency Management Institute

Tribal Consultations

This section contains information about the Agency's active and past consultations with federally recognized Indian tribal governments (tribal governments). FEMA recognizes the nation to nation relationship between the U.S. government and federally recognized tribes. To acknowledge and honor the sovereignty of tribal nations, FEMA conducts regular and meaningful consultation and collaboration with tribal governments to ensure that FEMA policies and programs address tribal needs.

FEMA's Tribal Consultation Policy, updated in July 2019 with input from tribes, outlines the process that FEMA officials use to conduct consultation with tribal governments.