Indigenous Peoples Updates

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Ninth Circuit Upholds TERO Requirements in Indian Country Mineral Leasing

Conducting commercial operations on tribal lands can pose significant challenges for non-Indian companies. Demonstrating sensitivity to the cultural nuances of Native American society and navigating the complex web of federal...more

Governor Signs Two New CEQA Bills

Governor Brown has signed two new bills amending the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). AB 52 establishes new consultation procedures with California Native American tribes, and provides that an adverse change to a...more

Ninth Circuit Rejects EEOC's Challenge of Tribal Hiring Preferences

Tribal hiring preferences based on political classifications are permissible under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit recently held in EEOC v. Peabody W. Coal Co. The first...more

New Law Requires Formal Consultation with Native American Tribes During CEQA Process

Agencies Must, Upon Request, Consult With Tribes About “Tribal Cultural Resources” - Assembly Bill 52, signed yesterday by Gov. Jerry Brown, seeks to protect a new class of resources under CEQA: “tribal cultural...more

Governor Brown Is Not CEQA “Public Agency,” Holds Third District In Indian Casino Case

In a published decision filed September 24, 2014, the Third District Court of Appeal (per Justice Robie) held that CEQA’s definition of a “public agency” that is subject to its requirements (see Pub. Resources Code, § 21063)...more

HUD announces competition for new Promise Zones

Today, HUD announced the process and criteria for selecting 6 urban communities and at least 1 rural and 1 tribal community to participate in the Promise Zone initiative. The 6 urban communities will be designated by HUD, and...more

Negotiating with a Tribe or Tribal Entity: Practical Tips for Franchisors

Indian gaming has exploded in the more than twenty-five years since Congress passed the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA). According to the 2014 Casino City’s Indian Gaming Industry Report, Indian tribes received $28.1...more

Widespread Sexual Abuse of Children in Remote Northern Community Results in Another Priest Being Found Guilty of Sex-Related...

The press reported late last week that former Roman Catholic priest and Oblate missionary Eric Dejaeger has been convicted on 24 of 80 sex-related charges involving Inuit children from the remote community of Igloolik in the...more

Ontario Superior Court Upholds Consultation

Wabauskang First Nation v. Minister of Northern Development and Mines et al., 2014 ONSC 4424 (Decision) involved a decision of the Director of Mine Rehabilitation (Director) to acknowledge a Production Closure Plan (PCP)...more

Seventh Circuit Finds Tribal Arbitration Is Unreasonable and Unconscionable

In a victory for advocates who worry that the odds are impossibly stacked against consumers in some arbitral fora, the Seventh Circuit found that a class of borrowers did not have to proceed with arbitration conducted by the...more

Redskins Appeal TTAB Ruling

On Thursday, August 14, 2014, the Washington Redskins filed a much-anticipated appeal in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia of a June Trademark Trial and Appeal Board decision which resulted in...more

Indian Health Service Recovery Efforts Against Commercial Health Plans

Health plans across the country are increasingly receiving demands for payment from the Indian Health Service (“IHS”), tribal health programs (collectively “Indian Organizations”) and the U.S. Department of the Treasury for...more

Renewable Energy Update -- August 2014 #2

Renewable Energy Focus - Renewables provide 56 percent of new U.S. generating capacity in first half of 2014: Electric Light & Power - Jul 21: Solar, wind, biomass, geothermal, and hydropower provided 55.7 percent of...more

Redskins Ruling is Consistent with TTAB Precedent

In Blackhorse v. Pro-Football Inc., the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office once again canceled various registrations for trademarks used by the Washington Redskins football team as being disparaging to Native Americans. While...more

PTO’s Decision to Cancel Football Team’s “Redskins” Marks May Provide Only a Symbolic Victory

On June 18, 2014, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s (PTO) administrative board held for the second time that six federal trademark registrations owned by the Washington Redskins franchise must be canceled on the grounds...more

Doing Business in Canada: Aboriginal Law

ABORIGINAL LAW: Canadian law has long recognized the rights of aboriginal peoples, sometimes called First Nations, as the first occupiers of the land. With the founding of Canada in 1867 constitutional powers were...more

Trademark Review (July 2014)

Past Disparagement Results in Present Cancellation: REDSKINS Marks Cancelled by TTAB - The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (“TTAB”) cancelled six registrations for marks consisting in whole or in part of the term...more

Federal district court grants CFPB petition to enforce CIDs issued to tribal lenders

A California federal court recently issued an order granting the CFPB’s petition to enforce its civil investigative demands (CIDs) issued to three tribally-affiliated payday lenders. However, the court also granted the...more

Supreme Court Affirms in Michigan v. Bay Mills Indian Community: Don’t Roll the Dice with Tribal Sovereign Immunity

The U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision in Michigan v. Bay Mills Indian Community is a reminder to a broad range of entities, including energy companies, financial service providers, and state and local governments, that...more

Land rulings a clear message to Ottawa, provinces: It’s time to govern

The Supreme Court of Canada has delivered two significant decisions this summer regarding Aboriginal title and treaty rights. In June, the Tsilqhot’in decision affirmed Aboriginal title over a discrete area of central British...more

Native American Business Law Alert: Significant Tax and Applicable Law Ambiguity in Proposed Revisions for Indian Lands...

The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) is proposing to revise the process for obtaining and administering rights-of-way (ROWs) on Indian lands. While the proposed regulations seek to make improvements and clarifications...more

Provincial Jurisdiction Confirmed Regarding Treaty Rights – Supreme Court of Canada’s Keewatin Decision

In Grassy Narrows First Nation v Ontario (Natural Resources), 2014 SCC 48 (Decision), also known as the Keewatin Decision, the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) confirmed that provinces have the power to take up treaty lands for...more

Supreme Court Decision in Keewatin Confirms Provincial Ability to Take up Treaty Lands

On July 11, 2014, the Supreme Court of Canada delivered its decision in Grassy Narrows First Nation v Ontario (Natural Resources), 2014 SCC 48, also known as Keewatin. The decision affirms the Court’s approach in Tsilhqot’in...more

Tribal Immunity at the Supreme Court: Impact on Payday Lenders?

Could a recent Supreme Court decision on tribal sovereignty as it applied to an Indian casino have an impact on payday lenders? The case itself, Michigan v. Bay Mills Indian Community, involved a casino built by the...more

Pojoaque’s Plan to Seek an Imposed Contract: Is Interior’s Process Consistent with IGRA?

The Pueblo of Pojoaque needs a new Class III gaming compact by June 2015 in order to continue operating its casinos which are located north of Santa Fe. However, the Pueblo objected to the financial concessions being demanded...more

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