Indigenous Peoples Zoning, Planning & Land Use

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Recent Developments in the Gold King Mine Spill

On Tuesday, May 4, 2016, the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs chair, Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY), and committee member, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) formally requested a federal criminal investigation into the Gold King Mine...more

EPA's Proposed Water Quality Standards Rule Applicable to Maine

On April 20, 2016, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed federal water quality standards that would apply to certain waters in Maine in place of existing Maine standards that EPA has disapproved. The proposed...more

Massachusetts Gaming Update: Commission Rejects Application for Resort Casino in Brockton

The wait is over and the decision is in. On Thursday, April 28, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission voted 4-1 against awarding a commercial license to Mass Gaming & Entertainment, LLC to build a resort casino in Brockton....more

Alberta’s Metis Consultation Framework

On April 4, 2016, the Government of Alberta (“GoA”) released The Government of Alberta’s Policy on Consultation with Metis Settlements on Land and Natural Resource Management, 2015 (the “Policy”) as well as The Government of...more

On Your Mark, Get Set, Build!

It has been nearly five years since Massachusetts legalized casino gambling, but the state is still without an operating resort casino. The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe, MGM Resorts International, and Wynn Resorts are all chomping...more

Current Developments Affecting Hydraulic Fracturing Operations (April 2016)

The new year brought with it several noteworthy developments in the fracking world. These include: a new lawsuit in connection with the Keystone Pipeline; legal action against the Department of Interior (“DOI”) Federal Bureau...more

Court Holds that the Bureau of Indian Affairs is Not Obligated to Ensure Migratory Bird Treaty Act or Bald and Golden Eagle...

On March 29, 2016, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California granted summary judgment in favor of the Bureau of Indian Affairs (“BIA”) in a lawsuit involving the grant of a lease to Tule Wind, LLC for...more

“All Aboriginal Peoples”: SCC Rules Non-Status Indians and Métis are “Indians” under the Constitution

Yesterday, the Supreme Court of Canada issued a unanimous decision in Daniels v Canada (Indian Affairs and Northern Development), 2016 SCC 12 declaring that non-status Indians and Métis are “Indians” under s 91(24) of the...more

Supreme Court Holds the Ninth Circuit Misinterpreted the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act

In 2007, National Park Service rangers stopped John Sturgeon from travelling by hovercraft on the Nation River within the boundaries of Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve. Park Service regulations ban the use of...more

Supreme Court Update: Hawkins V. Patterson (14-520), Tyson Foods V. Bouaphakeo (14-1146), Nebraska V. Parker (14-406), Sturgeon V....

So many announcements since our last Update. The President announced D.C. Circuit Chief Judge Merrick Garland as his pick to take the late Justice Scalia's seat on the Court; Senate Republicans promptly announced that they...more

Supreme Court Unanimously Holds that Omaha Tribe’s Reservation Not Diminished by 1882 Statute

On March 22, 2016, the Supreme Court issued a decision in Nebraska v. Parker. In this case, Nebraska challenged the Omaha Indian Tribe’s right to enforce a Department of Interior-approved liquor ordinance on parts of the...more

If Two’s A Party, Is Three A Crowd? MGC Community Hearing on Proposed Brockton Casino

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission (“MGC”) hosted a community meeting on March 1, 2016 to hear public input regarding Mass Gaming & Entertainment, LLC’s proposal to build a $677 million commercial casino in Brockton. As...more

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Updates Native American Tribe Policy

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced an updated Native American policy on January 27, 2016, which provides a framework for government-to-government relationships to further the federal government’s trust...more

Supreme Court to Hear Appeals on Role of Tribunals in Duty to Consult

The Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) has granted leave to appeal in two cases concerning the ability of a regulatory tribunal to discharge the Crown’s duty to consult. In Hamlet of Clyde River v. TGS-NOPEC Geophysical...more

Environmental, Regulatory and Aboriginal Developments in the Canadian Energy Sector: Federal Government Announces Interim Measure...

On January 27, 2016, the Government of Canada (“GOC”) introduced interim measures for pipeline reviews. The new GOC made an election promise to overhaul the current regulatory system for major natural resource projects....more

Northern Gateway: British Columbia must Issue its Own Approval and Consult with First Nations

In Coastal First Nations v British Columbia (Environment), 2016 BCSC 34, the Court decided British Columbia must issue its own environmental decision and consult First Nations on the Northern Gateway Project (NGP), instead of...more

Suspension of coal leasing

The United States Department of the Interior has announced a temporary suspension of coal leasing on public lands pending a comprehensive review of the federal coal program by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).  Public...more

Interior's Proposed Rule on Flaring Would Restrict Oil and Gas Development on Tribal Lands

The U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI), on Jan. 22, 2016, proposed a rule developed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) that would limit the flaring, leaking and venting of natural gas on public and tribal lands....more

Northern Gateway: BC Supreme Court Rules that British Columbia Must Issue its Own EA Decision and Consult First Nations

In Coastal First Nations v British Columbia (Environment), 2016 BCSC 34, the court decided British Columbia must issue its own environmental decision and consult First Nations on the Northern Gateway Project (NGP), instead of...more

Department of the Interior Releases Proposed Rule to Reduce Waste of Natural Gas

Advances in oil and gas production technology, such as horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, have dramatically increased the production of oil and gas in the United States by unlocking shale gas and other resources...more

FCC Delays Effective Date of Oklahoma Tribal Lifeline Change to June 8

This past Tuesday, the FCC’s Wireline Competition Bureau issued an Order delaying for 120 days the effective date of the agency’s new interpretation of “former reservations in Oklahoma” for purposes of delineating the area in...more

Utah Congressmen Unveil Landmark Public Land Bill

On January 20, Congressmen Rob Bishop and Jason Chaffetz unveiled a “discussion draft” of the Utah Public Lands Initiative Act. The proposed bill undertakes the difficult task of balancing economic development and...more

U.S. Supreme Court Examines Tribal Authority Over Non-Indians in Nebraska v. Pender

The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments on Jan. 20, 2016, in Nebraska v. Pender, its third Indian law case of the term. The question presented was whether Congress had diminished the Omaha Indian Reservation when it...more

B.C. Has Authority to Impose Conditions on Northern Gateway Pipeline

In its recent decision in Coastal First Nations v. British Columbia (Environment), the B.C. Supreme Court (Court) held that the provincial government retains authority to impose conditions on the proposed Northern Gateway...more

New Right-of-Way Regulations on Indian Lands

Every once in a while, infrastructure projects we’re working on involve traversing Indian lands. For those of you involved in such projects, you should take a look at the Final Rule published by the Department of the...more

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