PO Box 15004, Flagstaff, AZ 86011-5004
Phone: (928) 523-9555
Fax: (928) 523-1266


Tribal Lands & Environment Forum

2015 Tribal Lands & Environment Forum

We are very excited to once again offer the annual Tribal Lands and Environment Forum (TLEF). This year’s forum will be taking place in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota, August 17-20, 2015.

Once again, the forum will feature special trainings, field trips, and breakout sessions focused on solid/hazardous waste management, brownfields, UST/LUSTs, Superfund sites, and emergency response. However, this year we will also be including breakout session tracks related to tribal water programs – water quality, drinking water, and habitat restoration (including wetlands, streams and fisheries). We are very pleased to welcome tribal and federal water professionals this year!

On this website you will find information on registering for the forum, making hotel reservations, navigating transportation options, securing vendor/exhibitor tables, and the forum draft agenda. You may also access presentations and agendas from past forums.

We will be continually updating this website, so be sure to check back often. We look forward to seeing you at the 2015 TLEF!

This year we are offering twelve different training opportunities on Monday, August 17, as part of the Tribal Lands and Environment Forum. These trainings do require that attendees sign up in advance, and many of them are filling up fast. To see what trainings we are offering this year, please click HERE.

To sign up for one or more of these trainings, please contact Todd Barnell at

Field Trip Opportunities at the TLEF:

We are very excited to be offering several field trip opportunities at this year’s TLEF. Please be aware these field trips are first come, first served, and will be limited to around 25 people each. If you are interested in signing up for a field trip, please email Todd Barnell at and let him know which one you would like to attend.

  • A Tour of Several Projects Undertaken by the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe: This trip will take place on Monday, August 17 and will be an all-day event. Attendees will visit a wild rice restoration project on Ogechie Lake, the Buckmore dam removal project, and a brownfields reclamation project involving the tribe’s old wastewater lagoons. This trip will be taking place during the training sessions offered on Monday, and will be primarily of interest to those working in tribal water programs, habitat restoration, and brownfields.

  • Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary: This beautiful park is the result of an extensive brownfields reclamation project that involved several local tribes, the USEPA, the city, and non-profit groups. We are currently finalizing plans for this field trip, but it will take place in the afternoon of Monday, August 17. A special group of speakers, representing various tribal, federal, city and non-profit perspectives, will guide attendees through the process as they visit this excellent green reuse of a contaminated site. This trip will be taking place during other afternoon trainings on Monday, and will be primarily of interest to those working on brownfields, Superfund, and green reuse projects.

  • Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community’s Compost Facility: This special visit to a state of the art composting facility will take place in the afternoon of Tuesday, August 18. Facility staff will be on hand to show attendees the process, types of equipment use, and explain the history of creation of the facility and the tribe’s commitment to reducing their waste stream and selling a high quality product. This trip will be taking place during the afternoon breakout sessions on Tuesday, and will be primarily of interest to those working solid waste management and source reduction programs.

  • The Reilly Tar and Chemical Corporation/St. Louis Park Plant Site: This trip will take place in the afternoon of Thursday, August 20. For many years this site was used for coal tar distillation and wood preservation, which led to contamination of multiple aquifers. On this tour you’ll visit two large groundwater treatment plants and reclaimed land that now has a community park, soccer fields, and both residential and commercial buildings. The Public Works Superintendent and a field technician will discuss the process the City of St. Louis Park went through to tackle regulatory hurdles, the steps they took to remediate the site, and the struggles and successes of the overall project. This trip will take place following the closing ceremony on Thursday afternoon, and will be primarily of interest to those working in Superfund and brownfields programs.

Exciting Opportunity on weekend prior to the Tribal Lands and Environment Forum!

The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community is hosting the 2015 Annual WACIPI. Dancers, singers, and visitors from across the country will gather at the SMSC Annual Wacipi for a weekend of dancing, singing, visiting, and shopping. Wacipi is the Dakota word for powwow!

The WACIPI is being held on the SMSC WACIPI Grounds located just north of the Mystic Lake Casino and south of County Road 42 between County Road 83 and County Road 17 (Marschall Road). The address is 3212 Dakotah Parkway, Shakopee, MN 55372.

Click on the links below for more information!

WACIPI flyer [pdf]


You will need to register here in order to attend the 2015 TLEF. The registration fee to attend this year’s TLEF is $50 if registration is completed before August 6th. Starting August 7th the cost of registration goes up to $100. Please note that if you register after August 6th you will not have a nametag for the conference.

Registration is now Closed!


DRAFT Agenda [pdf]

This year’s Tribal Lands and Environment Forum will include four full days of sessions and field trips opportunities.

  • Monday, August 17th. There are 13 sessions to choose from on Monday, including two field trips, some certification based trainings, a one-on-one opportunity for data management, as well as other trainings. Please note that all of the Monday session REQUIRE that you sign up ahead of time and many sessions are capped at 25. To register for one of the Monday sessions please email Todd Barnell at

  • Tuesday, August 18th. This day will begin with a two hour plenary session, followed by a 90 minute period of concurrent breakout sessions covering solid waste, brownfields, Superfund, USTs, cross media issues, and tribal water programs. The afternoon will be given over to two 90 minute breakout session periods as well. There will be an optional field trip to the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community Composting Facility. This field trip will be capped at 29 and requires that you sign up ahead of time.

  • Wednesday, August 19th. This day will feature multiple breakout sessions in the morning and afternoon, as well as an optional field trip opportunity to an Underground Storage Tank site.

  • Thursday, August 20th. Breakout sessions and a special meeting of the Tribal Superfund Working Group will take place in the morning. This will be followed by the closing session and a luncheon. There will be an optional field trip to a Superfund Site in the afternoon. You must sign up ahead of time for this field trip.

Session Proposal

We are excited to be expanding the 2015 Tribal Lands and Environment Forum to include tribal water topics with a special focus on how tribal land and water program work together to maintain healthy tribal lands. In addition to topics on solid/hazardous waste management, brownfields, UST/LUSTs, Superfund, emergency response, and cross-over land/water issues associated with these fields we are requesting proposals on the areas of ground/surface water quality and management, habitat restoration (including wetlands, streams, and fisheries for example), and drinking water/wastewater systems.

We will be offering five to seven training sessions on Monday, August 17. We will also be offering 90 minute breakout sessions in the afternoon of Tuesday, August 18, all day on Wednesday, August 19, and in the morning of Thursday, August 20. Optional hands on field events are also planned. Proposals for the Monday training sessions may be for presentations either four or eight hours in length. Proposals for breakout sessions may be for either 45 or 90 minutes in length. (All breakout sessions will be 90 minutes in length, so accepted proposals for 45 minute presentations will be grouped with another 45 minute presentation on a similar topic.)

The proposal submission process for the 2015 TLEF has now CLOSED!


The 2015 TLEF will be taking place at the Hyatt Regency, 1300 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis, Minnesota. They have set up a special website for you to use in order to make your hotel reservations. The Hyatt Regency is offering a special rate for TLEF attendees. For those of you who may want to come early, or stay late, and enjoy Minneapolis, the Hyatt Regency is offering this special rate for a few days prior and following the TLEF. Please be aware that once the rooms at the Hyatt Regency are taken, you will need to make accommodations at a nearby hotel which may be charging higher rates. So the sooner you make your reservations at the Hyatt the better!

To make your reservation please visit:

This reservation website will close on the Wednesday before the Forum. Beginning Thursday, August 13th, please call the Toll Free Hyatt number at 888-421-1442 to make your reservation. Be sure to tell them you are coming for the Tribal Lands and Environment Forum to get the special conference rate.


The Tribal Lands and Environment Forum will be held this year at the Hyatt Regency, 1300 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis, Minnesota. If you are flying in to the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, the easiest and least expensive option is to the take the light-rail. You will want to take the Blue Line to downtown Minneapolis and get off at the Nicollet Mall stop, which is on 5th Street. You can then either walk down Nicollet Mall to the Hyatt Regency, or take the bus that runs up and down Nicollet Mall. For other ground transportation options you can visit the airport’s transportation website at: If you prefer to use the SuperShuttle from the airport, you can visit a special website they set up for TLEF attendees at:

If you are driving, the Hyatt Regency offers valet parking. For information on parking at the Hyatt Regency, please visit:

Vendor/Exhibitor Registration

The 2015 TLEF will be attracting tribal professionals involved in solid waste, brownfields, Superfund, USTs, and all types of tribal water programs, as well as their federal colleagues from a variety federal agencies. If you would like to reserve a vendor/exhibitor table, please fill out the online reservation form below.

Click HERE for Vendor/Exhibitor Form.

Click HERE for Vendor/Exhibitor Booth Service Agreement.

Past TLEFs:

2013 TLEF: Hyatt Regency Tamaya
Pueblo of Santa Ana
August 19-22, 2013
    Click HERE for Presentations.

    Click HERE for Booklet.

    Click HERE for List.

2012 TLEF: Mill Casino and Hotel, Coquille Indian Tribe
Coos Bay, OR
August 20-23, 2012
    Click HERE for Presentations.

    Click HERE for Attendee Networking List. [pdf]

    Click HERE for Presenter Bios. [pdf]

    Click HERE for Agenda Booklet. [pdf]

2011 TLEF: Radisson Hotel and Conference Center
Oneida/Green Bay, WI
August 23-25, 2011
    Click HERE for Presentations.

2010 TLEF: US Grant Hotel
San Diego, CA
August 24-26, 2010
    Click HERE for Presentations.

For more information please contact:

Todd Barnell, Program Manager
Julie Jurkowski, Program Coordinator