Training for Public Law 280 Tribes

Federal Re-Assumption of Criminal Jurisdiction under the Tribal Law and Order Act: The White Earth Experience

Upcoming training: January 31, 2014 from 8:30am – 4:00pm at the Catamaran Hotel, San Diego, CA

The Tribal Law and Policy Institute and California Indian Legal Services are hosting this one-day training with presentations by representatives from the White Earth Nation. This training will focus on the provisions of the Tribal Law and Order Act (TLOA) that allow tribes, under Public Law 280 jurisdiction, to request the federal government re-assume certain criminal jurisdiction on the tribe’s reservation. The morning session will include information on Public Law 280 and the TLOA followed by an afternoon presentation by tribal representatives from the White Earth Nation, the only tribe whose request has been granted for federal re-assumption of jurisdiction under Section 221 of the TLOA. This training is for tribes that may be interested in submitting a formal request for re-assumption to the Office of Tribal Justice or are interested in learning more about the re-assumption process.

Participants will:

  • Gain a better understanding of TLOA Section 221
  • Gain a better understanding of other sections of TLOA that are relevant to Public Law 280 tribes
  • Learn about the White Earth Nation’s process to secure federal jurisdiction
  • Review White Earth’s request to the Office of Tribal Justice
  • Organize into working groups to develop an action plan for pursuing federal criminal jurisdiction


There is no registration fee. Space is limited and so pre-registration is strongly encouraged. Registration form


This event is held in conjunction with the Tribal Judicial Institute’s (TJI) training on Tribal Law and Order Act Enhanced Sentencing and Prosecuting DUI Offenders in Tribal Court TLOA. For more information on this larger TJI event, see:

Event Location:

Catamaran Resort Hotel

3999 Mission Blvd

San Diego, CA 92109


Room block Group Code: Tribal Judicial Institute (rate of $139 per night)

For questions, please contact Heather Valdez Singleton at 323-650-5467.

Please note: The formal Bureau of Justice Assistance approval for this event is pending.

Download PDF flier

Questions in Health Care Law Changes and Applications?

Happy 2014! With the new year come questions about medical coverage laws and requirements. For more information please view our new Health Web Links page or skip to the California Rural Indian Health Board’s Covered California Native American page. Looking for health insurance applications? Click on subsidized or unsubsidized OR exemption information and exemption application paper applications. Click on the links or view all through our Health Web Links page.

Don’t forget CILS in your end-of-the-year donation plans

As another year comes to a close and you reflect upon the events of 2013, we hope you will help promote the mission of CILS and make a donation online through Just Give or using our mail in Contribution Form. CILS is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization and donations to CILS are tax deductible to the extent allowable by law. Every donation is valued and appreciated.

Tribal and State Justice Summit

California Indian Legal Services (CILS) would like to thank all those who attended and contributed to the “Tribal and State Justice Summit” held at the Rincon Harrah’s Casino and Resort on November 18 and 19.

CILS sponsored the Summit in conjunction with the California Attorney General’s Office, the California State Sheriff’s Association and the California Tribal Police Chiefs Association. Attendees included tribal leaders and members, sheriffs from six counties, including San Diego Sheriff Bill Gore, Tribal police chiefs from ten tribal law enforcement departments, the Assistant U.S. Attorney’s Tribal Liaison for the Southern District of California, San Diego District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis; a Special Agent from the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Office of Justice Service; and other honored guests and speakers.

photo 2photo 3













Our goal in holding the Summit was to bring tribal and state law enforcement stakeholders together to share ideas, best practices, and collaborative efforts that are working to protect tribal communities. As law enforcement in Indian Country remains a challenge for both tribes and local law enforcement, we hope to see future gatherings to build on what was shared and learned at the November Summit.

Materials from the Summit will be made available on the CILS website ( and the California Attorney General’s site ( A big thank you to all the participants and CILS staff who made the Summit a success! photo 1

Release of Tribal Law & Order Commission’s Report


Dear Tribal Leaders and Tribal Members;

The Tribal Law and Order Commission has released its 2013 report entitled “A Roadmap to Making America Native Safer.” Preparation of the report is required under the Tribal Law and Order Act of 2010, Public Law 111-211 (TLOA). The report sets forth a number of recommendations that speak to many of the tribal law enforcement funding issues faced by California tribes and other tribes in Public Law 280.

The following are some of the more relevant recommendations:

1. Congress should eliminate the Office of Justice Services (OJS) within the Department of the Interior Bureau of Indian Affairs, consolidate all OJS criminal justice programs and all U.S. Department of Justice Indian country programs and services into a single “Indian country component” in the U.S. Department of Justice.

2. Congress and the executive branch should direct sufficient funds to Indian country law enforcement to bring Indian country’s coverage numbers into parity with the rest of the United States.

3. Tribes would be allowed to opt out immediately, fully or partially, of Federal Indian country criminal jurisdiction and/or congressionally authorized State jurisdiction, except for Federal laws of general application.

4. Congress should establish a new Federal Circuit Court, the United States Court of Indian Appeal.

5. Funding should be made equally available to:

a) Tribes whose lands are under Federal criminal jurisdiction and those whose lands are under State jurisdiction through P.L. 83-280;

b) Tribes that contract or compact under P.L. 93-638 and its amendments or not; and

c) Tribes that do or do not opt out (in full or in part) from Federal or State criminal jurisdiction

6. To generate accurate crime reports for Indian country, especially in Tribal areas subject to P.L. 83-280, Congress should amend the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Criminal Justice Information Services reporting requirements for State and local law enforcement agencies’ crime data to include information about the location at which a crime occurred and on victims’ and offenders’ Indian status.

7. Create a federally subsidized insurance pool or similar affordable arrangement for tort liability for Tribes seeking to enter into a deputation agreement for the enforcement of State law by Tribal police;

8. For Tribal officers using a SLEC, amend the Federal Tort Claims Act to include unequivocal coverage (subject to all other legally established guidelines concerning allowable claims under the Act), not subject to the discretion of a U.S. Attorney or other Federal official;

The report can be found at If you have further questions please contact Dorothy Alther, Executive Director, 760-746-8941 ext. 122 or

For a .pdf version of this CILS announcement click here.