December 15, 2011

Now Available: The United States Tribal Courts Directory, 4th Edition

Considered by many to be the best resource of its kind, The United States Tribal Courts Directory recently released its fourth edition.  This resource brings together a variety of useful information about the courts, including history, jurisdiction, contact information, administrative staff, and judges.  The new edition can be ordered at

NILL added new content to 6 Indian Law Bulletins on 12/15

* U.S. Supreme Court Bulletin for certiorari was granted in Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians v. Patchak which was consolidated with Salazar v. Patchak (Quiet Title Act, sovereign immunity). Petitions were recently filed in Ute Mountain Ute Tribe v. Padilla (severance tax) , Shavanaux v. United States (right to counsel) , Nielson v. Ketchum (tribal membership, Indian Child Welfare Act), Gustafson v. Estate of Poitra (jurisdiction) and Cavanaugh v. United States (uncounseled prior convictions in tribal court).

* U.S. Trial Courts Bulletin featured:
Northwestern Band of Shoshone v. United States (tribal trust funds)
Lower Brule Sioux Tribe v. United States (tribal trust funds)
Yakama Nation Housing Authority v. United States (reduction in Housing and Urban Development funding)
Brandt v. United States (railroad right of way)

* State Courts Bulletin v. Ivanof Bay Village (federal recognition of Alaska Native tribes, tribal sovereign immunity)
State v. Comenout (selling cigarettes without a license, taxation)
Girod v. Kroger (state ballot measure on harvesting and selling salmon)

* News Bulletin the "Health & Welfare" section we feature an article about a case brought before the U.S. Supreme Court relating to whether a federally recognized Indian tribe’s membership criteria determine whether a child is a “member” of that tribe for ICWA purposes.

* U.S. Legislation Bulletin
he following new bill was added: H.R. 3604: Alaska Native Veterans Land Allotment Equity Act.

* Law Review & Bar Journal Indian Law Bulletin feature an article discussing Indigenous peoples and right to free, prior, and informed consent within international law.

December 8, 2011

NILL added new content to 6 Indian Law Bulletins on 12/08

* U.S. Trial Courts Bulletin
Cases featured:
Prairie Band of Potawatomi Indians v. United States (tribal trust funds)
Rosebud Sioux Tribe v. United States (tribal trust funds)
Muscogee (Creek) Nation of Oklahoma v. United States (tribal trust funds)

* State Courts Bulletin
Stephen H. v. State of Alaska, Department of Health & Social Services, Office of Children's Services (termination of parental rights)
Yavapai-Apache Nation v. Iipay Nation of Santa Ysabel (loan agreement, tribal sovereign immunity)

* News Bulletin
In the "Land & Water" section we feature an article related to federal legislation that allows tribal land development relating to national security to be approved without the consent of tribes.

* U.S. Legislation Bulletin
The following new bills were added: H.R. 3568 Native Culture, Language, and Access for Success in Schools Act; H.R. 1550 National Security and Federal Lands Protection Act; H.R. 3532 American Indian Empowerment Act of 2011; S. 1925 Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2011; and H.R. 3496 America's Wildlife Heritage Act.

* Law Review & Bar Journal Indian Law Bulletin
We feature an article discussing how federal jurisdiction over sexual predators on Indian reservations hobbles effective law enforcement.

* Regulatory Bulletin
We feature an adopted rule on the assumption of concurrent federal criminal jurisdiction in certain areas of Indian country.

December 7, 2011

FEMA Supports Stafford Amendment

Today, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced their support for a legislative amendment to the Stafford Act to allow federally recognized tribal governments to choose whether to request emergency assistance directly from FEMA or to receive assistance under a declaration of a state (as they currently are required to do).  Read more about the proposed change in the FEMA press release or see the related FEMA memo.

December 2, 2011

Dept. of Interior Enacts Policy of Tribal Consultation

On December 1, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs Larry Echo Hawk announced a Tribal Consultation Policy for the Department of the Interior.  The new policy provides guidelines for consulting with all tribes that might be affected by any change in departmental matters such as regulations, rulemaking, policy, guidance, legislative proposal, grant funding formula change, or operational activity that will directly affect those tribes.  See pictures of the signing ceremony  here. The policy is available here.

December 1, 2011

NILL added new content to 7 Indian Law Bulletins on 12/01

* U.S. Supreme Court Bulletin
Petition was filed in San Carlos Apache Tribe v. United States (water rights) and denied in Lomas v. Hedgpeth (ineffective assistance of counsel) and Evans v. Wapato Heritage (trust funds).

* U.S. Trial Courts Bulletin
Cases featured:
Thorpe v. Borough of Jim Thorpe (Native American Graves and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA))
City of Duluth v. Fond Du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa (Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA))

* State Courts Bulletin
State ex rel. M.J. (Indian Child Welfare Act, termination of parental rights)
State v. Smith (jurisdiction, police "hot pursuit")

* News Bulletin
In the "Health & Welfare" and "Environment & Energy" sections we feature articles related to an attempt by the Obama administration to facilitate and expedite renewable energy projects and housing development in Indian country.

* U.S. Legislation Bulletin
Six new bills were added.

* Law Review & Bar Journal Indian Law Bulletin feature an article relating to a recent Navajo water rights settlement.

* Regulatory Bulletin
We feature proposed rules by the Obama administration to improve the approval process for renewable energy and housing projects in Indian country.