Tribal Lands

News & Analysis as of

A Bridge to Reconciliation: A Critique of the Indian Residential School Truth Commission

Truth and reconciliation are separate and important elements in overcoming mass wrongs. While truth can be attached to fact finding, bridging the path to reconciliation can be far more difficult. In the Ojibway creation epic,...more

Canada (Attorney General) v. Pictou Landing First Nation: Factors to Consider on a Motion to Intervene under the Federal Courts...

On January 29, 2014, Stratas J.A. of the Federal Court of Appeal granted two motions to intervene in Canada (Attorney General) v. Pictou Landing First Nation. In deciding those motions, Stratas J.A. commented on the factors...more

Proposed Bill Seeks To Require Federal Agencies To Count Species On State, Tribal, And Private Lands Before Listing The Species...

Republican Congressman Chris Stewart (UT) recently introduced a bill that would amend the Endangered Species Act (ESA) to require federal wildlife agencies to include the number of species found on state, tribal, and private...more

Bureau of Land Management to Focus Anew on Venting and Flaring on Federal and Indian Lands

Consistent with the administration’s ongoing focus on methane emissions, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is initiating a process of inviting feedback for the anticipated rulemaking regarding Onshore Oil and Gas Order 9,...more

Tribe Files Suit to Block California Compact Referendum

The landmark ballot referendum proposing to reverse the California Legislature’s ratification of two off-reservation tribal casinos is being challenged in state court litigation seeking to block the referendum from appearing...more

Office of the Solicitor Issues Carcieri “Fix” Opinion

In response to the United States Supreme Court’s ruling in Carcieri v. Salazar, 555 U.S. 379 (2009), the Office of the Solicitor for the United States Department of the Interior issued a memorandum opinion on March 12, 2014,...more

Administrative Law Judge Rules Camera-Equipped Model Airplanes Are Cleared for Take-Off

A ruling by an administrative law judge punches a hole through the FAA's ban on the unlicensed use of commercial drones. The decision may be significant for ongoing discussions in Congress and in Indian Country about drone...more

A Precedent-Setting Ninth Circuit Victory for Tribes and Their Business Partners

In a landmark decision, the Ninth Circuit has held that state and local governments lack the power to tax permanent improvements built on non-reservation land that is held in trust by the federal government....more

The Hualapai Grand Canyon Disputes Continue

The Hualapai (pronounced wah-lah-pie) Tribe has about 2,300 members, 1,300 of whom live on the Tribe’s northwest Arizona reservation. The enormous reservation borders the Colorado River and includes portions of the West Rim...more

Tribal Sovereign Immunity Blocks Payday Lending Enforcement Action, Calif. Appellate Court Rules

In a state enforcement action alleging violations of California’s lending law and seeking to enjoin continued lending to state residents, a California Court of Appeal has ruled that tribal sovereign immunity shielded the two...more

Alberta Court Grants Six-Month Injunction Against Lubicon Blockade

On December 16, 2013, the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench granted a six-month injunction in favour of Penn West Petroleum Ltd., authorizing the RCMP to remove a road blockade erected by individuals associated with Bernard...more

Province Ordered to Pay Damages to Timber Company over Aboriginal Road Blockade

On December 23, 2013, the British Columbia Supreme Court (Court) ordered the Province of British Columbia (Province) to pay logging contractor Moulton Contracting Ltd. a sum of $1.75 million in damages for the Province’s...more

Alberta Court Grants Order Under Public Lands Act Halting Lubicon Blockade

On December 16, 2013, the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench granted a long-term Order to Penn West Petroleum Ltd. prohibiting several members of the Lubicon Lake Cree from continuing to blockade a permitted access road in the...more

The Illusion of Federal Jurisdiction in Tribal Contracts

Contracts with Indian tribes should specify a venue for disputes arising from those agreements. A common mistake for attorneys drafting agreements involving tribes is to assume that federal courts automatically have subject...more

With a New FAA "Roadmap," Drones May Soon Land in Indian Country

This week, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) released its first detailed plan for commercial use of drones in the United States. This could mean that relatively inexpensive aerial tools may become available in the...more

War Games in Wisconsin (2013 Style)

Wisconsin is home to 11 recognized Indian tribes. It is a fact that 11 tribes will not unanimously agree on all issues. It also is a fact that not all issues require unanimous agreement. However, Governor Scott Walker has...more

States and Consumers Battle Tribal Payday Lenders

The tribal payday lending business finds itself facing a flurry of class action lawsuits and state crackdowns painting the lenders as loan sharks preying upon vulnerable consumers with usurious rates and fees. The tribal...more

Federal Court Makes First Determination Of Compensation For Native Title (Australia)

SUMMARY - On 1 October 2013 in De Rose v State of South Australia [2013] FCA 988, the Federal Court made the first determination of compensation for the extinguishment of native title, in connection with a settlement...more

Taxation on Indian Reservations: To Balance or Not to Balance, That Is the Question

Introduction - The ability of the states to impose a tax upon transactions occurring on an Indian reservation has evolved substantially in the past 50 years. After numerous court decisions, the Indian preemption...more

FTC files amicus challenging arbitration provision

As industry and consumers await the results of the CFPB’s arbitration study, the FTC became the latest federal agency to weigh in on consumer arbitration issues. Recently, at the invitation of the Seventh Circuit, the FTC...more

CFPB Denies Payday Lender’s Petition to Set Aside Civil Investigative Demand

The CFPB denied two online payday lenders’ petition to set aside a civil investigative demand. The lenders claimed they are chartered under the laws of federally recognized Indian tribes and therefore, the CFPB’s...more

FTC Files Amicus Brief In Tribal Payday Lending Case

On September 26, the FTC announced that it had filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in a class action suit against a Native American payday lender. In that case, the putative class is...more

CFPB denies petition by tribal payday lenders to set aside CIDs

On September 26, the CFPB issued a 10-page order denying a petition filed jointly by three tribal payday lenders that asked the CFPB to set aside the civil investigative demands (CIDs) the lenders received from the CFPB. The...more

Fast Food Comes to Indian Country

In-N-Out Burger, the quintessentially Californian burger chain, will open its first restaurant on tribal land in early 2014 at the Morongo Casino on the Morongo Indian Reservation on the heavily trafficked Interstate 10. The...more

“Reservation Shopping” Circa 2013

The term “reservation shopping” has been coined by various anti-casino groups, some local governments, and even some gaming tribes to disparage efforts of non-gaming tribes to acquire lands in trust for gaming. Some of the...more

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