It was great to present at the recent Tribal Roundtable hosted by WA Dept of Health to discuss the Washington Environmental Health Disparities Map and ongoing tribal consultation. In the presentation, I spoke about how the EHD map is an ongoing process, in which we should continue to seek the best methods and data to inform environmental health disparitites in the state. I acknowledged that early in the process we wished there were opportunities for better engagement with the Tribes in our region to learn from their experiences and to incorporate their priorities into the map. The subsequent passage of the Healthy Environment for All (HEAL) Act was useful in fostering formal tribal consultation in the state’s environmental justice process , including having tribal membership on the state’s EJ council and the requirement that a consultation framework be developed. At the conclusion of the meeting it was clear that we still have much to do to engage with Tribes, but that we are heading in the right direction to develop a consultation framework so that Tribes’ priorities and data, and their applications of the map can be incorporated in successive versions of the map.
Future Tribal Roundtables will be announced by WA DOH to continue the conversation.