Indigenous Peoples Updates

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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

Could Offensive Trademarks Find Refuge in Common Law?

The 177-page tome the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) just issued in Blackhorse v. Pro-Football Inc. is remarkable for its length and its subject matter, cancellation of the controversial REDSKINS mark as disparaging...more

Implications of the Supreme Court Decision on Aboriginal Title

On June 26, 2014, the Supreme Court of Canada delivered a unanimous decision in Tsilhqot'in Nation v British Columbia, 2014 SCC 44. The decision marks the first time that Aboriginal title has been granted – until now, the...more

A Football Team, by Any Other Name…: USPTO Decision Illustrates that Law is More than Hard & Fast Rules

At Meadowlawn Elementary in the 1960s, my West Michigan friends and I would boast about things that made us "better" than each other. It was the golden age of Superman comics and, while I didn't have super strength or x-ray...more

Gaming Legal News - June 2014 • Volume 7, Number 10

In This Issue: - INDIAN COUNTRY AWAITS 9TH CIRCUIT’S EN BANC REHEARING IN BIG LAGOON CASE: In January, a split 9th Circuit panel shocked Indian Country with its holding in Big Lagoon Rancheria v. California that...more

Indian Country Awaits 9th Circuit’s En Banc Rehearing in Big Lagoon Case

In January, a split 9th Circuit panel shocked Indian Country with its holding in Big Lagoon Rancheria v. California that the State’s failure to negotiate in good faith for a tribal-state gaming compact with the Big Lagoon...more

Tsilhqot’in Decision: The Sky Is Not Falling

Despite the significant media attention that the recent Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) decision in Tsilhqot’in Nation v. British Columbia, 2014 SCC 44 (Decision) has received, it represents a reiteration of established law...more

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