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  • 2019 Brings Key New State and Federal Statutes and Regulations Critical to Native American Communities

    By Procopio Attorneys Gabriela Rios and Sara Neva Every New Year brings new statutes and regulations, and 2019 is no exception. Among the many state and federal laws and regulations that are going into effect in 2019 or carrying over from 2018, many directly impact Native American individuals and tribal nations. From new state regulations on the wearing of tribal regalia and water use to federal laws regarding gaming and Social Security benefits, we find ourselves in a new legal landscape...

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  • How to Improve Your Tribal Consultation Practice

    In the aftermath of the fight to prevent the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline and continuing efforts to reverse the actions taken by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, many people are wondering how a future conflict such as this might be prevented. Much of the problem—i.e., the desecration of cultural and religious sites–lies with inadequate consultation by the federal, state and local governments under federal law and policies, as well as a misunderstanding of or even a comp...

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  • Appreciating Diversity in Graduation Ceremonies

    High School Graduation is a significant accomplishment for every high school student and their families. The graduation ceremony honors those students for that accomplishment and is a time when their families and communities can take pride in their accomplishments. Schools want their students dressed “appropriately” for the occasion. But, what is “appropriate”?  For many schools, this means prohibiting students from altering their cap and gown and/or restricting the types of ...

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  • SUN SETTING ON SOLAR RESIDENTIAL INCENTIVES IN CALIFORNIA: HAVE TRIBAL CITIZENS BENEFITED?

    In California, rooftop solar has largely been a success under the Million Solar Roofs Initiative (SB 1, 2006). Senate Bill No.1 includes the California Solar Initiative, an incentive program that is run by investor-owned utilities, and the New Solar Homes Partnership, which supports solar energy on new homes.  However, many Tribal citizens have not taken advantage of the financial incentive programs at the state, county, and local levels.  One of the reasons may have been outreach a...

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  • A Method to Expand Renewable Energy Capabilities on Indian Reservations

    California has committed to expanding the use of renewable energy in the state, with a goal of generating 33 percent of the state’s electrical energy from renewable sources by 2020. But, it may be missing an opportunity for expansion of the use of solar energy in Indian Country. Most tribes receive their electricity from the major providers in California–SDG&E, Southern California Edison and Pacific Gas & Electric–and the cost of electricity and bringing utility services to ...

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