A 2014 hunting expedition by members of the Crow Tribe in Montana has led to a Supreme Court decision impacting federal land management and Indian treaty rights. Clayvin Herrera and other Crow tribal members pursued elk they were hunting in Montana into the neighboring Bighorn National Forest in Wyoming. They shot a bull elk and returned to Montana with their prized meat. The State of Wyoming charged Mr. Herrera with taking elk off-season or without a state hunting license and for being an accessory to both.
The vast Tribal Digital Divide was the focus of a recent Senate Indian Affairs hearing on a newly released Government Accountability Office (GAO) report, GAO 19-75, regarding the lack of broadband access in Indian Country. The GAO study and report was requested by Senators on the Committee with large Native constituencies in their districts. The hearing focused on the lack of access to licensed spectrum broadband across tribal lands. One of the findings was that the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) relies on insufficient data about Indian Country, which the FCC says it is trying to
The urgency of energy independence has long been recognized as an important goal by the United State's military branches. Southern Ute Tribal member, Kevin Frost, who now heads up the Dept. of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Indian Energy Policy and Programs, shares that same sense of urgency. Frost, formally trained as an attorney, is now a dedicated public servant who initially served his people as an elected council member but has now sacrificed the grandeur of Colorado for the halls of DOE.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently experienced a number of taxpayers attempting to reduce their federal income tax liability by claiming tax exempt status based on a general “Native American Treaty.” The IRS recognized the rise in return preparers claiming tax exemption on the basis of a “Native American Treaty” is likely due to promotors, even fellow returners, that are giving unsubstantiated and bad advice.
Recently, Andrew Simpson, a Navajo Nation member, a Vietnam Veteran and Board Chairperson of Sage Memorial Hospital in Ganado, Arizona presented testimony to U.S. Dept. of Veteran Affairs (VA) and Indian Health Service (IHS) Administrators at the National Indian Health Board meeting in Temecula, CA. Mr. Simpson called for the VA to have a continued presence at every IHS in order to meet the unique needs of Native veterans.
Read your local newspaper. Do not underestimate the value of subscribing to a local daily or business newspaper and reading its legal advertisements. The Navajo Nation’s failure to do that was the important lynch-pin in the ongoing, historical wrangling between the Hopi Tribe and Navajo Nation in a dispute that landed before the Interior Board of Indian Appeals (IBIA) of the Bureau of Indian Affairs.