2013 CILS Annual Report Available Online

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“The last year has been challenging but extremely rewarding for CILS. Our staff engaged in several major federal impact cases, advocated on behalf of tribal members and tribes in state court and before administrative agencies, canvassed the state making presentations and providing community education on a wide variety of topics and issues affecting California tribal communities, and continued to build tribal justice systems to ensure safer tribal communities.” – Dorothy Alther, Executive Director of CILS. Take a look at CILS highlights in our latest Annual Report. (Note: .pdf may take a few minutes to load.)

CILS celebrates the life of Amos Merrill Tripp

1943-2014

Former CILS attorney Amos M. Tripp left a legacy of change throughout the Native American communities that he served. CILS was among the Native organizations where Mr. Tripp worked during his long law career. He was part of CILS when the organization was still a fledgling Native legal aid service, struggling to attend to the many battles in Indian Country. The Lost Coast Outpost published an obituary that provides more on the highlights of this outstanding leader.

21st Annual State ICWA Conference

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Are you owed money from the Department of the Interior or from the Cobell Settlement?

You may have an Indian trust account you don’t know about or you may have settlement moneys owed to you from the Cobell v. Salazar settlement. The Department of the Interior has more than $65 million dollars in accounts to distribute to more than 48,000 individuals whose whereabouts are unknown. Many of these individuals are from California tribes. Many trust funds are held by people who moved and did not leave a forwarding address, or funds that have been inherited through a probate. To find out if you have an account call the Trust Beneficiary Call Center toll-free at (888) 678-6836 OR click on the Department of the Interior’s “Locating IIM Account Holders” link. See the Department of the Interior’s Public Service Announcement. To view a list of those owed money through the Cobell case, click on the Cobell v. Salazar Indian Trust Settlement’s “Whereabouts Unknown” link and select the state where your tribe is located to view a list of tribes, then select your tribe to see all tribal members with whereabouts unknown.

BIA Pacific Regional Budget Meeting

The BIA Pacific Regional Office is holding a Tribal Budget meeting on February 11, 2014 at the Graton Resort & Casino. Click here for the meeting announcement. This meeting allows Tribes to set funding priorities for the FY 2016 Pacific Region’s budget. California Indian Legal Services strongly encourages all Tribes to attend this important meeting to discuss pressing funding needs such as tribal law enforcement, tribal courts, Indian Child Welfare Act programs, natural resource protection including water rights and many other tribal programs.