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Tribal Curriculum

For latest information on the FEMA Tribal Consultation Policy and the new Disaster Declaration process, click the following link:

FEMA Tribal Affairs Web Page


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.

Door with Sign that says Emergency Management Operations for Tribal Governments opening to a classroom

Since that first E580 course delivery, the Tribal Curriculum has grown to five (5) courses and to date, over 5800 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.

Revision to the original three courses was completed in 2022 to update the material in alignment with the updated NIMS and the National Tribal Strategy. A new Tribal Train the Trainer seminar was added in 2022, providing Tribes with the opportunity to deliver training to their own tribal members in their own communities.

There are currently six courses in the EMI Tribal Curriculum:

E/L0580Emergency Management Framework for Tribal Governments
E/L0581Emergency Operations for Tribal Governments
E/L0582Mitigation for Tribal Governments
L0583Emergency Management Overview for Tribal Leaders
L0552Continuity of Operations (COOP) for Tribal Governments
L8585Tribal Train the Trainer Seminar

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.

To apply for a course at the EMI campus, click on this link

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 Mary Reevis at 202-765-7806 or

For information about tribal community and family preparedness, go to

Ready Indian Country
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