Indian Affairs | OHSEM

Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Services (OHSES)


The mission of the Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Services is to provide for a coordinated and comprehensive federal response to terrorist attacks, natural disasters or other large scale emergencies in Indian Country for the protection of its citizens, lands, critical infrastructure and key resources.


  • (1997) The Department reactivated the All-Hazards Coordination Group
  • (1997) Deputy Commissioner Designated a BIA All-Hazards Coordinator for Non-Fire Emergencies, Each Regional Director also designated a Coordinator
  • (1999) First Indian Affairs Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP) completed
  • (2001) Emergency Coordinator Position established in AS-IA
  • (2002) Homeland Security Position established in BIA
  • (2003) Homeland Security Position realigned in ASIA
  • (2006) Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Services established


Homeland Security – Protecting Indian Country Information and Intelligence Sharing

  • OHSES has partnered with the Department of Homeland Security to encourage tribal Law Enforcement/Homeland Security/Emergency Management officials to apply and obtain Secret Level Security Clearances from the Department of Homeland Security.    
  • OHSES and the Department of Homeland Security are developing a Tribal Liaison Officer Program for Indian Country.  This program prepares tribal officers to serve at State Intelligence Fusion centers. This program trains officer how to collect and utilize intelligence information to keep our Nation and Indian country safe from terror attacks.
  • OHSES is assisting with improving and maintaining the information flow between the Federal Government and Federally Recognized Indian Tribes.  The exchange of information/intelligence information on Law Enforcement/Emergency Management/Homeland Security issues is critical to the security and safety of Indian Country and our Nation as a whole. 

Emergency Management & National Response Framework Responsibilities

  • The Department of the Interior carries out its emergency management responsibilities and supports the National Response Framework (NRF) through the Office of Emergency Management and the eight constituent bureaus and agencies.
  • The Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Services (OHSES) is responsible for overall coordination of Indian Affairs emergency management responsibilities and NRF support in particular Emergency Support Function #15 – External Affairs and the Tribal Relations Annex.

Physical Security Program and the National Infrastructure Protection Plan

OHSES developed a Physical Security Inspection Program for all of Indian Affairs owned, and leased facilities. This program utilizes certified and credentialed Inspectors and collaborates with security managers and assigned officials to conduct onsite physical security assessments that insure compliance with Homeland Security Presidential Directive - 7 (HSPD-7), the National Infrastructure Protection Plan, and subsequent ancillary requirements including DOI 444 DM 1&2.