Native American Affairs
Lane Powell is a leading Pacific Northwest law firm in the complex practice of Native American Indian Law, with skilled attorneys helping tribes in a wide range of jurisdictional and economic matters. This level of expertise in tribal law requires specific knowledge of the web of federal treaties, laws and regulations that apply to Indian tribes, Indian case law, as well as the many laws, regulations and constitutions individual tribes have adopted.
Current legal issues of major importance to Northwest tribes include federal recognition of tribal status, tax and jurisdictional issues, maximizing eligibility for federal programs, grants and other funding, and placement of land into trust status, which can lead to significant economic opportunities. Tribes benefit from Lane Powell’s proven breadth of experience across many practice areas, including real estate, renewable energy, environmental law, taxation, securities and related areas of business law pertinent to tribes as they seek to solidify their economic independence and governmental autonomy.
Lane Powell attorneys are knowledgeable of historic Indian law and experienced in handling potential disputes between tribes with diplomacy, as well as disputes between tribes and federal or state governments. The Firm’s attorneys are familiar with the many variations of tribal constitutions, laws and court systems, as well as the issues tribes often confront when dealing with federal, state and local governments and school districts.
Lane Powell has handled a number of intergovernmental agreements between Northwest tribes and state and local governments, and between separate tribes. These agreements can cover relationships governing school funding, shared police resources and shared water systems, among others.
Lane Powell attorneys are experienced in a number of other areas of Native American Affairs Law, such as treaty fishing and shell-fishing rights, tribal claims of ownership to tidal and other submerged lands, tribal trust litigation, issues associated with the federal government’s management of tribal natural resources, tribal environmental regulations, and fee-to-trust issues, among several other tribal-specific matters.
Lane Powell has also served as general counsel for an Indian community and its affiliated entities.