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Native American Law Blog

Welcome to the Holland & Knight Native American Law Blog, that provides insights and analysis on issues facing Native American governments and organizations, including Indian tribes, tribal entities, Alaska Native Corporations and nonprofits. Our Native American Law Group offers comprehensive legal and public policy services in Indian Country, from the exercise of tribal sovereignty and governance to the development and operation of hotels, clinics, retail centers, renewable and non-renewable energy, casinos, infrastructure and utilities. 

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Holland & Knight's Native American Law Group is committed to keeping you up-to-date on the latest developments in federal Indian law, federal procurement, policy and regulatory matters that move Indian Country and its enterprises forward. Ten of our team members will be present at important conferences and gatherings in September.
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AB 398 passed in both the California State Senate and Assembly with a two-thirds majority of bipartisan lawmakers. It received support from businesses and environmental advocates alike. Governor Jerry Brown signed the bill into law this Tuesday, July 25, 2017. The legislation extends California’s cap-and-trade program from December 31, 2020 through December 31, 2030.
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July 31, 2017
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As the Trump Administration focuses on promoting American energy independence, it has made available new funding opportunities to deploy tribal energy projects on tribal lands.
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In the past month, members of Congress have introduced two important bills that promote parity for tribal governments and their tribal council members.
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There are four steps a tribal member can take in order to reduce the federal and state taxes on their income. By making distributions from nontaxable sources of tribal revenue, making payments pursuant to general welfare programs, adopting a deferred per capita savings plan and conducting a tax-efficiency audit of the Tribeis Minors Trust a tribal member is able to avoid facing big tax cuts in the future.
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The Drone Federalism Act of 2017, introduced in the U.S. Senate on May 25, 2017, would allow any state, local, or tribal government to protect its citizens and private property rights with respect to overflights by unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), or drones.
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The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has ruled that the Navajo Nation is entitled to $15.7 million in additional annual funding for its judicial system pursuant to its Indian self-determination contract with the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA).
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Section 106(a) of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code provides for abrogation of the sovereign immunity of "governmental units" for purposes of certain bankruptcy-related litigation. Trial and appellate courts, however, are not in accord regarding whether Native American tribes are included in the definition of "governmental unit."
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Holland & Knight team members attend the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development's National Reservation Economic Summit (RES) in Las Vegas on March 13-16, 2017.
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March 2, 2017
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As efforts continue on Capitol Hill to repeal and replace the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), Congressman Ruiz and other Democratic Members of Congress are hosting a tribal policy roundtable to hear directly from tribal leaders on the impact that the ACA has had on Indian Country.
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February 9, 2017
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Indian Country is on high alert as it watches President Trump begin to move into the Executive Branch.
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January 23, 2017
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The California Indian Law Association has announced that it is partnering with the California Bar Foundation to provide a 3L Diversity Scholarship to a graduating Native American law student preparing to take the July 2017 California Bar Exam.
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January 17, 2017
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Attorney John Haney will present a session titled "The Importance of Comprehensive Employment Policies and Agreements" for the Seventh Annual Native American Human Resources Conference in Anaheim, CA.
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January 12, 2017
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The United States Supreme Court recently heard oral arguments in Lewis v. Clarke, the first Indian Law Case of 2017, which holds that an employee of the Mohegan Tribe was protected by the Tribe’s sovereign immunity when sued in his individual capacity for alleged negligence related to an automobile accident involving non-Indians outside of the Tribe’s Reservation.
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January 10, 2017
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The U.S. House of Representatives, Office of the Law Revision Counsel reorganized portions of Title 25 “Indians” of the United States Code by reclassifying and renumbering certain sections, including the provisions of the Indian Reorganization Act.
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December 29, 2016
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President-Elect Donald Trump has nominated Rep. Ryan Zinke (R-Mont.) for Secretary of the U.S. Department of Interior (DOI). During his time in Congress, Zinke has addressed various DOI issues regarding tribal law enforcement needs, Indian water settlements and other matters of importance to Indian Country.
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December 16, 2016
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Congressman Markwayne Mullin, chairman of President-Elect Trump’s Native American Coalition, along with other Coalition members, will host a tribal listening session on December 14, 2016 in Washington, D.C.
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On December 15, the U.S. Department of Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service will hold a listening session to discuss the income tax treatment of leases pursuant the Helping Expedite and Advance Responsible Tribal Home Ownership Act of 2012 (HEARTH Act).
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With Republicans in control of the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House of Representatives and the White House starting in 2017, the federal government is now better positioned to move forward on comprehensive tax reform. It is expected that upcoming tax reform efforts will build on the principles set forth in the House Republicans' "A Better Way" proposal, as well as the tax proposals advanced by President-Elect Donald Trump during the course of his campaign.
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While it always is important to defend tribal sovereignty and protect the gains tribes have achieved, it also is important for tribal advocates to take advantage of opportunities for advancing tribal government parity that the new Trump Administration will present. There are several key legislative opportunities made possible by the new Administration's promises and priorities that are worth discussion.
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