DWR policy advisor receives recognition for work with California Tribes

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DWR Tribal Policy Advisor Anecita Agustinez was honored with a resolution from the California State Assembly. DWR/ 2018

With over 30 years of advocacy experience on behalf of California’s Native American tribes, Department of Water Resources Tribal Policy Advisor Anecita Agustinez was recently honored with a resolution from the California State Assembly. Her recognition is a testament to DWR’s commitment to ongoing tribal government relationships on critical state water policies.

Assembly Resolution 1779 was presented to Agustinez at the 51st Annual Native American Day on September 28, 2018 in front of thousands of people at the State Capitol. Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia, who represents the Coachella Valley, authored the resolution recognizing her outstanding contributions to the Native American community and the State of California.

While at DWR, Agustinez has collaborated with California’s Tribal Governments and Tribal Communities on the California Water Plan, the Tribal Water Summit, the Integrated Regional Water Management (IRWM) grant program, implementation of Tribal engagement in the Sustainable Groundwater Management Program, and on-going government-to-government consultation for DWR projects and programs, including the AB52 consultation process for the Fremont Weir Adult Fish Passage Project and the Central Valley Flood Program Project. She has also promoted environmental justice and disadvantaged community engagement. Her work has positively touched the lives of underserved and underrepresented communities.

“The work we do at DWR is so vast and enormous, even powerful. It wouldn’t be successful without including Tribal government partnerships,” Agustinez said.

The resolution states that “with the help of individuals such as Anecita Agustinez, California has taken concrete steps to strengthen its relationship with California tribes by improving overall communication, transparency, and government-to government engagement, all of which are essential for tribal communities to continue to protect their unique cultures and identities, which greatly enrich the economic, cultural, and social fabric of the State of California.”

“Tribal-State relationships have proven to be productive when Tribes are engaged early and often, and relationships are developed to respect Tribal Sovereignty and protect Tribal Cultural Resources. A recognition such as this makes me proud that the work and commitment at DWR to Tribal engagement can have a positive impact,” Agustinez said.