Piliero Mazza &
Pargament, PLLC


Vol. 2, Issue 9
October 2000


Addressing Tribal and Alaska Native Corporation
Legal and Business Issues


The articles shown here
are excerpts --
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A R T I C L E S


FEDERAL
Bureau of Indian Affairs Proposes Amended Indian Trust Resource Regulations

BIA Issues Proposed Rules on Loan Guaranty, Insurance and Interest Subsidy Programs



COURT WATCH
Federal Court Upholds Tribe's Right to Sue State Officials Over Sales Tax Assessment



UPDATE
Final Land Acquisition Regulations to be Issues by the End of 2000



EMPLOYMENT
Ask the Advocate




H O M E


P U B L I C A T I O N S




FEDERAL

Bureau of Indian Affairs Proposes Amended Indian Trust Resource Regulations

In response to President Clinton's stated goal of improving the administration and management of individual Indian and tribal trust resources, the Department of the Interior ("DOI"), Bureau of Indian Affairs ("BIA") has issued proposed revisions to current regulations that will clarify and standardize DOI policy. The revisions are proposed in an effort to strengthen the services provided to federally-recognized tribes and individual Indians and in recognition of its fiduciary responsibility to such tribes and individuals. Subjects addressed in the proposed rules include the following: probate regulations for Indian decedents' estates; regulations dealing with funds held in trust for tribal governments and individual Indian monies; leasing/permitting regulations; and grazing permit regulations.





COURT WATCH – SOVEREIGN IMMUNITY

Federal Court Upholds Tribe's Right to Sue State Officials Over Sales Tax Assessment

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently held that State of California officials were not immune from a suit brought by a tribe seeking to prohibit the state from collecting sales and use taxes from the tribe. This ruling could prove to be a valuable precedent to tribes that become embroiled in disputes with states over the high-profile issue of sales taxes.


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FEDERAL

BIA Issues Proposed Rules on Loan Guaranty, Insurance And Interest Subsidy Programs

On September 6, 2000, the Bureau of Indian Affairs ("BIA") issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in the Federal Register regarding proposed revisions to the regulations that implement the Loan Guaranty, Insurance, and Interest Subsidy Program ("Program"). Under the Program, which has been in existence since 1994, the BIA assists individual Indians and Indian-owned organizations in obtaining financing by guaranteeing and insuring loans made by private lenders. By guaranteeing and insuring loans, the Program encourages private lending to individual Indians and Indian-owned organizations by reducing the potential risks faced by private lenders. In so doing, the Program is intended to promote the development of viable Indian businesses through conventional lender financing. The Program also assists qualified borrowers with a portion of their interest payments.


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UPDATE

Final Land Acquisition Regulations to Be Issued By the End of 2000

The Tribal Advocate has been informed that the final Land Trust Regulations will likely be issued by the end of October, 2000. The proposed regulations were initially published in the Federal Register on April 12, 1999. In response to the proposed regulations, the Department of the Interior received over 750 comments. As previously reported in the Tribal Advocate, the Bureau of Indian Affairs ("BIA") has been reviewing these comments over the past several months. Currently, the BIA is working toward a late October target for issuance of the final regulations. The Tribal Advocate will continue to monitor this matter and provide updates as additional information becomes available.

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EMPLOYMENT

Ask the Advocate

Q: Does the Americans With Disabilities Act apply to Indian tribes?

A: Generally, the employment discrimination provisions of the Americans With Disabilities Act ("ADA" or "Act") are not applicable to Indian tribes as the Act specifically excludes Indian tribes from its definition of "employer."


However, courts have held that Title III of the ADA, which requires that public facilities be accessible to the disabled, does apply to Indian tribes. Title III states as follows:

No individual shall be discriminated against on the basis of disability in the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations of any place of public accommodation by any person who owns, leases (or leases to) or operates a place of public accommodation.


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