Tiller’s Guide to Indian Country - Third Edition

XIII Hobbs, Straus, Dean & Walker, LLP A National Law Firm Exclusively Devoted to Promoting and Defending Tribal Rights HOBBS STRAUS DEAN & WALKER A National Law Firm with offices in: 2120 L Street, NW Suite 700 Washington, DC 20037 202-822-8282 202-296-8834 Fax Portland 806 S.W. Broadway Suite 900 Portland, OR 97205 503-242-1746 503-242-1072 Fax Oklahoma City 101 ParkAvenue Suite 700 Oklahoma, OK 73102 405-602-9425 405-602-9426 Fax Sacramento 1903 21st Street 3rd Floor Sacramento, CA95811 916-442-9444 916-442-8344 Fax www.hobbsstraus.com history that Indian Country will be proud to claim as its legacy. Hobbs, Straus, Dean & Walker is one of the oldest law firms in America focused on providing legal services to American Indians and Alaska Natives, and remains at the forefront of legal and policy issues that affect Indian Country. The current firm descends directly from the firm of Wilkinson, Cragun & Barker (WCB). That firm was founded in 1951 by three early pioneers of utilizing the law to protect the rights, privileges, and immunities of American Indians and the political sovereignty of Indian tribes. The current firm was founded when WCB broke up in 1982, and Charlie Hobbs and Jerry Straus took their Indian practice and started the new firm, joined by Bobo Dean and later by Hans Walker, who also had Indian practices. In 1967, Charlie Hobbs took on the claims of individual Indian allottees on the Quinault Reservation on the Olympic Peninsula of Washington State. Charlie litigated this case for twentytwo years (without compensation unless and until the case was won) including two trips to the United States Supreme Court, before that Court finally ruled in 1983 that the individual Indians' claims could proceed against the federal government for failing to discharge the fiduciary duties owed to the Indian trust owners by the government when it manages Indian trust timber. The government eventually agreed to a settlement of $26 million in favor of the over 2,500 Indian plaintiffs, and it took another three years to determine how much each allottee was entitled to. Some idea of the significance of the firm's Supreme Court victory in Mitchell v. United States is suggested by the fact that this case has so far been cited more than 2,770 times in other published court decisions. Another landmark achievement of our attorneys includes the U.S. Supreme Court decision in 1968, that the Menominee Tribe's treaty rights to hunt and fish free of state regulation had survived the federal government's 1950's-era attempt to "terminate" the political relationship between the United States and a number of Indian tribes. In the wake of this decision, the Menominee Tribe and almost every other terminated tribe in the country, succeeded in reversing the legal effects of the disastrous "Termination Era." The social, human, and economic costs of that illfated policy, unfortunately, can still be seen in many of those communities. Jerry Straus played a major role in the yearslong effort on behalf of the Taos Pueblo of New Mexico to restore to the Pueblo a parcel of U.S. Forest Service Land in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains known as Blue Lake, which had been an area of great religious significance to the Pueblo since pre-Columbian days. Jerry, who joined the WCB firm in 1963 after leaving the U.S. Department of Justice, led this effort against federal agency resistance, before the U.S. Congress and all the way into the Oval Office in 1970 where President Nixon signed a law restoring Blue Lake to the Taos Pueblo. This paved the way for other federal actions to restore lands of religious significance to indigenous people from the Yakima Valley of Washington State to Bear Butte in the Black Hills of South Dakota. The return of Blue Lake is widely regarded as a monumental watershed event in late 20th Century federal Indian policy that culminated in the Indian Self-Determination Act ushered in by President Nixon's Special Message on IndianAffairs of July 8, 1970. Bobo Dean, a former Rhodes Scholar, is one of the most prominent experts in the country on the Indian Self Determination Act. He assisted the Miccosukee Tribe of Florida in negotiating the first ISDA contract with the BIA under which an entire BIA agency is administered by a tribal government. Partner Hans Walker was formerly in charge of Indian Affairs in the Solicitor's Office of the Interior Department, and is an enrolled member of the Three Affiliated Tribes of North Dakota (Mandan). Today our firm provides a full spectrum of legal services to Indian tribes and Alaska Natives in virtually every state where there are Indian reservations. With now 33 lawyers and offices in Oklahoma City; Portland; Sacramento; and Washington, DC, the firm currently has the privilege to represent dozens of federally recognized tribes, as well as many tribal organizations. The firm's hands-on legal representation encompasses almost every active area of Indian law, including federal agency and congressional relations; self-determination and self-governance negotiations and tribal operations; natural resource issues including water rights; development, operation, and regulatory compliance of gaming operations; economic development; health care; Indian housing; taxation; and the unique challenges facing tribal communities in Oklahoma and Alaska. Hobbs, Straus, Dean & Walker is proud of its record in promoting and defending tribal rights. We like to think we are a law firm that has made a difference, and with our Indian tribal clients we continue to write new chapters in our nation's