Zoning, Planning & Land Use Civil Procedure Indigenous Peoples

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Court Upholds First Nations’ Right to Bring Claims Based on Interference with Unproven Aboriginal Rights and Title

In its recent decision in Saik’uz First Nation and Stellat’en First Nation v. Rio Tinto Alcan Inc., the Court of Appeal for British Columbia (BCCA) confirmed that First Nations may bring actions against private parties in...more

Duty to Consult Not Triggered for Exploration Dispositions: Saskatchewan Court of Appeal

The grant of exploration dispositions for oil sands located beneath treaty lands did not trigger the Crown’s duty to consult, the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal held recently in Buffalo River Dene Nation v Ministry of Energy...more

Aboriginal Heritage Update: Supreme Court Clarifies Meaning Of 'Sacred Site' In Western Australia

In Robinson v Fielding [2015] WASC 108 the Supreme Court of Western Australia determined that the Aboriginal Cultural Material Committee, the body charged with evaluating the importance of places and objects for the purposes...more

North Dakota Requests to Intervene in Lawsuit Challenging Federal Fracking Regulations

On Wednesday, April 1, the state of North Dakota filed a motion to intervene in Wyoming’s lawsuit challenging the Bureau of Land Management’s (“BLM”) federal hydraulic fracturing regulations. (Wyoming v. U.S. Dept. of...more

BC Court of Appeal Overturns Ruling that BC Government Liable to Logging Company for Failure to Consult

In Moulton Contracting Ltd. v British Columbia, 2015 BCCA 89, the BC Court of Appeal recently overturned the trial judge’s decision (reported at 2013 BCSC 2348, and summarized in an earlier update here) which had awarded...more

BC Supreme Court to Consider Cumulative Impacts of Resource Development on Treaty Rights

On March 3, 2015, Blueberry River First Nation (“BRFN”) sued the Province of BC seeking to break new ground by considering the cumulative impacts of resource development on BRFN’s traditional territory and treaty rights....more

Provincial Licence Doesn’t Promise Adequate Consultation with First Nations

In its recent decision in Moulton Contracting Ltd. v. British Columbia, the British Columbia Court of Appeal (Court) held that the Province of British Columbia (Province) can contractually exclude liability for losses...more

Independent Producers Lead Legal Challenge Against BLM’s Hydraulic Fracturing Rule

After a regulatory review process lasting more than three years, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) issued today a final rule purporting to govern hydraulic fracturing on federal and Indian lands. Given BLM’s failure to...more

Tribe’s Gamble That Casino Land Transfer Approval Not Subject to CEQA Pays Off

Picayune Rancheria of Chukchansi Indians v. Brown, C074506 (9/24/2014) - In a recent Third District Court of Appeal published opinion, the court in Picayune Rancheria of Chukchansi Indians v. Edmund G. Brown, Jr. (3rd....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

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

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

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

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

The Wind River Reservation Treatment-as-State Controversy: How Confusion Undermines Opportunities for Cooperative Governance

Under certain statutes, tribes can exercise civil jurisdiction over non-Indians. For instance, the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act allows tribes to pursue claims for natural resource...more

Recent Supreme Court Decision Bars State from Suing Tribe Seeking to Operate an Illegal Off-Reservation Casino

On May 27, 2014, the Supreme Court ruled that under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA), states may only sue to enjoin a tribe from conducting class III gaming “on Indian lands.” Michigan v. Bay Mills Indian Cmty., 2014...more

U.S. Supreme Court Reaffirms the Doctrine of Tribal Sovereign Immunity in Bay Mills Decision

On Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision, highly anticipated by Indian tribes and Indian law practitioners, in Michigan v. Bay Mills Indian Community, et al. In a 5-4 split, the Court reaffirmed the doctrine of...more

U.S. Supreme Court Decision in Michigan v. Bay Mills Indian Community et al.

The U.S. Supreme Court (“Court”) issued a 5-4 decision Tuesday in a case with implications for Tribal-State relations and the resolution of disputes under the federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, 25 U.S.C. § 2701 et seq....more

Australia: Federal Court confirms National Native Title Tribunal's approach to future act determinations

Warning: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are advised that this article may refer to the names of people who are deceased. Summary - In Watson on behalf of Nyikina & Mangala v Backreef Oil Pty Ltd...more

Bureau of Indian Affairs Finalizes Changes to Land-Into-Trust Procedures in Light of Patchak

In response to last year’s United States Supreme Court case of Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians v. Patchak, 132 S. Ct. 2199 (2012) (“Patchak”), the Bureau of Indian Affairs (“BIA”) issued a final rule on...more

Washington State Supreme Court Issues Landmark Ruling: “Overriding Considerations Of The Public Interest” Do Not Justify...

On October 3, 2013, the Washington State Supreme Court ruled in Swinomish Indian Tribal Community v. Wash. Dept. of Ecology (No. 87672-0, Wash. Oct. 3, 2013) that the Department of Ecology exceeded its authority by applying...more

Bureau of Indian Affairs Proposes Regulations in Light of Patchak

Last year’s decisive (8-1) decision by the United States Supreme Court in Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians v. Patchak, 132 S. Ct. 2199 (2012) (“Patchak”) appeared to be a major blow to tribal gaming and...more

The Recent “Culvert Decision” in United States v. Washington Is Likely To Have Significant Implications For Governmental and...

On March 29, 2013, United States District Judge Ricardo S. Martinez ordered the State of Washington to replace culverts under State owned roads that block the passage of salmon to critical habitat. The court earlier found...more

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