Additional Blogs of Interest

Federal Court Dismisses Case Allowing Banishment of Tribal Members

Posted by Whitcomb, Selinsky, PC on Jan 8, 2020 11:00:00 AM

In 2018, the Ute Indian Tribe of the Uintah and Ouray Reservation in Utah filed a lawsuit in federal court alleging the United States violated federal law by treating reservation lands “as though they were owned by the United States (US) outright, rather than in trust for the Tribe.” The Northern Ute Tribe (Tribe), as they are commonly known by, claimed the US wrongfully appropriated revenue related to the sale or lease of lands within the Uintah and Ouray Reservation. It added, the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) employees entered and trespassed onto the Reservation lands without the Tribe’s authorization.

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Tags: Federal Indian Law

Shoshone-Bannock Tribes Prevail Against FMC

Posted by Kimberly Craven on Dec 9, 2019 2:18:00 PM

Twenty-two million tons of radioactive and carcinogenic hazardous waste were generated and stored on the Shoshone Bannock Reservation by the FMC Corporation's (FMC) phosphorus plant operating there from 1949 to 2001. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) declared FMC’s plant and storage area a Superfund Site.

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Tags: Federal Indian Law

FCC Announces When 2.5 GHz Window Opens For Tribes

Posted by Kimberly Craven on Dec 2, 2019 5:32:43 PM

It was good news for Indian Country today as the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced that a six month window will open, starting in February, 2020, to allow some eligible, rural Tribes the opportunity to obtain for free unused 2.5 GHz broadband spectrum on their reservations as long as they agree to build out a telecommunications' systems within five years.

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Tags: Federal Indian Law

House Hearing on Native 8(a) Contracting: Emerging Issues

Posted by Kimberly Craven on Nov 26, 2019 3:11:32 PM

Fueled by Los Angeles Times reporting on “fake” Indians reaping millions of dollars of contracts set aside for minority contractors, the reauthorization of the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Native 8(a) program was the focus of an October 22, 2019 hearing before the House Investigations, Oversight, and Regulations Sub-Committee of the House Committee on Small Business.

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Tags: Federal Indian Law

Late Breaking Updates

Posted by Kimberly Craven on Nov 26, 2019 3:11:10 PM

Don’t miss the opportunity to apply for funding from the Dept. of Energy Tribal Energy Program to kick -start that renewable energy project on your reservation. Here is a link to the funding announcement called “Energy Infrastructure Development on Indian Lands - 2020."  If we can assist with your application or reaching your energy goals, please let us know. Proposals are due by Feb. 6, 2020.

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Tags: Federal Indian Law

Supreme Court Decides in Favor of Yakama Nation

Posted by Whitcomb, Selinsky, PC on Oct 31, 2019 5:00:00 AM

The U.S. Supreme Court decided a case in March of this year regarding a conflict between treaty rights and state taxes. An 1855 treaty between the United Sates and the Yakama Nation forbid the State of Washington from imposing a tax on fuel importers. Cougar Den., a wholesale fuel importer owned by a member of the Yakama Nation, argued the state’s requirement to pay the tax infringed the Yakamas’ reserved treaty "right, in common with citizens of the United States, to travel upon all public highways.”

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Tags: Federal Indian Law

Supreme Court Decides Case Upholding Indian Treaty Rights

Posted by Whitcomb, Selinsky, PC on Oct 16, 2019 5:00:00 AM


A 2014 hunting expedition by members of the Crow Tribe in Montana has led to a Supreme Court decision impacting federal land management and Indian treaty rights. Clayvin Herrera and other Crow tribal members pursued elk they were hunting in Montana  into the neighboring Bighorn National Forest in Wyoming. They shot a bull elk and returned to Montana with their prized meat. The State of Wyoming charged Mr. Herrera with taking elk off-season or without a state hunting license and for being an accessory to both.

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Tags: Federal Indian Law

Bridging the Tribal Digital Divide

Posted by Kimberly Craven on Oct 4, 2019 2:29:02 PM

The vast Tribal Digital Divide was the focus of a recent Senate Indian Affairs hearing on a newly released Government Accountability Office (GAO) report, GAO 19-75, regarding the lack of broadband access in Indian Country. The GAO study and report were requested by Senators on the Committee with large Native constituencies in their districts. The hearing focused on the lack of access to licensed spectrum broadband across tribal lands. One of the findings was that the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) relies on insufficient data about Indian Country, which the FCC says it is trying to address. Witnesses from across Indian Country presented testimony and the entire hearing may be watched here.

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Tags: Federal Indian Law, Broadband in Indian Country

National Tribal Energy Summit Concludes With New Funding Announcement

Posted by Kimberly Craven on Oct 2, 2019 8:11:54 AM


The urgency of energy independence has long been recognized as an important goal by the United State's military branches. Southern Ute Tribal member, Kevin Frost, who now heads up the Dept. of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Indian Energy Policy and Programs, shares that same sense of urgency. Frost, formally trained as an attorney, is now a dedicated public servant who initially served his people as an elected council member but has now sacrificed the grandeur of Colorado for the halls of DOE.

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Tags: Federal Indian Law, Energy in Indian Country

Native American Vets Face Unique Challenges

Posted by Kimberly Craven on Sep 19, 2019 5:00:00 AM

Recently, Andrew Simpson, a Navajo Nation member, a Vietnam Veteran and Board Chairperson of Sage Memorial Hospital in Ganado, Arizona presented testimony to U.S. Dept. of Veteran Affairs (VA) and Indian Health Service (IHS) Administrators at the National Indian Health Board meeting in Temecula, CA. Mr. Simpson called for the VA to have a continued presence at every IHS in order to meet the unique needs of Native veterans.

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Tags: Federal Indian Law, Native American Veterans, Indian Health Service

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