Community Information Database


Subject Description

Native American/Tribal Law

Programs that provide assistance for Native Americans who need legal advice or representation regarding federal recognition, treaty rights, fishing and hunting rights, environmental protection, reservation boundaries, land acquisition, land and water rights, Indian gaming, housing, health, taxation or jurisdictional questions. Attorneys who practice in this area are concerned with the treaties, statutes, executive orders, court decisions and administrative actions that define the relationship among the United States, Indian tribes and individuals, and the states. Native American law attorneys are found in federal government bodies such as the Bureau of Indian Affairs and The Indian Claims Commission, which hears and determines claims against the United States on behalf of any Indian tribe. Private law firms also have lawyers who specialize in matters relating to Indian lands and reservations, tribal rights and other legal issues affecting Native Americans. Specific Indian tribes, which are recognized as sovereign entities with the power to regulate their internal and social organization, have lawyers who may be members of the tribe themselves, and/or lawyers who are hired as "general counsel" to handle the legal affairs of their tribe. Public service agencies also serve the Native American community with lawyers who specialize in the Indian Child Welfare Act, and others who serve children, people who are elderly, or indigent members of the Native American community.

Taxonomy Code: FT-5950

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