Happy Thanksgiving


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Native American Concert Friday in Bellingham, WA

This should be a good antidote to Thanksgiving. I’ve gone in past years and highly recommend it.

scan Cindy

Posted in Announcements, Author: Ann Tweedy, News | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Culverts Case Implementation

Washington Dept. of Fish & Wildlife (WDFW) now has a website where you can learn more about their efforts to remove fish-blocking culverts. Facebook users can also access a time-lapse video of WDFW’s removal and replacement of a fish-blocking culvert pursuant to the district court’s order.

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Fredericks Peebles Seeking Transactional and Governmental Attorney

Here (PDF):

Transactional and Tribal Government Attorney

Join our growing Firm……….                                                                                                                                         Fredericks Peebles & Morgan LLP is a nationwide law firm dedicated to the representation of American Indian tribes and organizations. We represent tribes and tribal entities in a wide spectrum of services including business transactions, litigation and governmental affairs, in many forums, including state, federal and tribal courts. FPM is seeking an Associate Attorney for the Omaha, Nebraska office.


Responsibilities will include:

  • Tribal corporate law and tribal government work.
  • Experience regarding Economic Development, Business Law, and Corporate law.
  • Experience regarding tribal gaming and gaming regulations.

Requirements include:

  • Juris Doctorate degree from an ABA accredited law school.
  • Status as an active member in good standing of the bar in at least one state jurisdiction and willing to obtain licensure in Nebraska.
  • Minimum of 3 – 5 years’ experience as an Associate Attorney
  • Must have Indian law experience and experience working with tribes/tribal business/organizations
  • Excellent analytical, research and writing abilities
  • Proven communication skills including verbal, written and listening skills; Superior interpersonal skills; Proven record of maintaining a positive attitude
  • Organized; Detailed; Flexible; Accurate; Reliable and Dependable
  • Ability and willingness to do whatever it takes to meet tight and unexpected deadlines; Work well independently and as a team in a fast paced environment

Your contributions are rewarded with a “Total Compensation” Package including a competitive salary, bonus potential and excellent Firm paid benefits.

Send your resume, cover letter with salary requirements, writing example, law school transcript (if graduated from law school less than 5 years ago) to:

Ann Hacker, Director of Human Resources                           ahacker@ndnlaw.com

3610 N 163rd Plaza

Omaha, NE 68116

Position is open until January 12, 2015

Posted in Author: Matthew L.M. Fletcher, jobs | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Two Additional Unpublished Notice Cases out of California

Apparently this is the week for notice cases with particular cause for posting.

Here. While the court in this case remands for notice violations in a guardianship case, it sadly does not also hold that Wikipedia is not a solid source for determining whether a tribe is federally recognized or not.

Here. And in this case, the appellate court wrote:

We begin with a concern not addressed by either party. California Rule of Court, rule 5.481(b) mandates that in asection 300 proceeding, the social services agency must send a “Notice of Child Custody Proceeding for Indian Child.” This form is designated ICWA–030. The ICWA–030 form sent by the Bureau here, however, differs from the ICWA–030 form available on the Judicial Council website.7 Significantly, that ICWA–030 form, which consists of 10 pages, requests identifying information on the biological mother (section 5c), the mother’s biological mother (section 5c), and the mother’s biological grandmother (section 5d).8 The ICWA–030 used by the Bureau, which was 12 pages, appears at first glance to be the same, but upon closer examination materially differs. It requests information on the biological mother (section 5c) and the mother’s biological mother (section 5c), but it then skips to the mother’s biological great grandmother and great, great grandmother (section 5d). Nowhere does it contain a section for information on the mother’s biological grandmother.9 By using what may be a faulty ICWA–030, the Bureau completely omitted all information on R.K.’s grandmother—Robin’s great grandmother.10
*6 Additionally, although the ICWA–030 requested information regarding R.K.’s mother, the Bureau omitted all information for her, stating “No information available” for every single category, including her name. This is, quite simply, inexplicable. At the very least, we can only assume that an inquiry of R.K. would have revealed her mother’s name and, quite likely, additional information called for by the notice. But it is also probable that the Bureau could have obtained the information from R.K.’s mother herself. At the outset of the dependency proceeding, R.K. informed the social worker that her mother was involved in her own dependency proceeding. Additionally, R.K.’s mother was present at the June 5, 2013, 12–month review hearing, as evidenced by the reporter’s transcript from the hearing. At one point, the court interrupted the proceeding to ask audience members to identify themselves, and one person responded, “I’m the mother of [R.K.]” Both of these circumstances suggest that R.K.’s mother was accessible had the Bureau made an effort to speak with her. Additionally, the Bureau omitted the current and former addresses and the place and date of birth for R.K.’s great, great grandmother.
Posted in Author: Kate E. Fort, Child Welfare, ICWA | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

New York Court of Appeals Finds Seneca-Owned Company Not Cloaked with Tribal Immunity

Here is the opinion in Sue/Perior Concrete and Paving v. Lewiston Golf Course Corp.

An excerpt:

Defendant Lewiston Golf Course Corporation (Lewiston Golf) is an indirect, wholly owned subsidiary of the Seneca Nation of Indians, a federally recognized Indian tribe. We are asked to decide whether that corporation is protected from suit by the Seneca Nation’s sovereign immunity. Applying the factors set out in Matter of Ransom v St. Regis Mohawk Educ. & Community Fund (86 NY2d 553 [1995]), we hold that it is not.

Briefs and other materials here:








Lower court materials here. My commentary on the appellate division’s reasoning applies here as well.

Posted in Author: Matthew L.M. Fletcher, economic development, Research, sovereign immunity | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Ninth Circuit Briefs and Oral Argument Audio in EXC Inc. v. Jensen

Here is the oral argument audio.

Here are the briefs:

Opening Brief

Navajo Nation Amicus Brief

NCAI Amicus Brief

EXC Answer Brief

Jensen Reply

Lower court materials here.

Posted in Author: Matthew L.M. Fletcher, Research, tribal courts | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Published (!) Notice Case out of Illinois


A long, complicated, aggravating notice case from the Illinois court of appeals.

Posted in Author: Kate E. Fort, Child Welfare, ICWA | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Unpublished Notice Case Out of Michigan


In this case, the Kalamazoo court did not make an inquiry on the record.

Respondent accurately notes that the circuit court failed to make the required inquiry on the record. However, respondent suffered no prejudice as a result. There is no record evidence to support that the child had any Native American heritage.

Posted in Author: Kate E. Fort, Child Welfare, ICWA | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Unpublished Notice Case Out of California


In one line, this case summarizes why the Department’s failure to do notice properly harms kids and families:

[Infant]’s adjudication hearing was initially set for October 2013 but was continued approximately five months (due to the Department’s failure to properly serve notice under the ICWA) during which time the infant remained out of mother’s care.

And, for the record, in this case, “mother and maternal relatives had tribal enrollment numbers, and mother claimed father had Cherokee heritage. None of the ICWA notices sent reflected all of this information.”

Posted in Author: Kate E. Fort, Child Welfare, ICWA | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment