BOE Regulations 1616

New BOE Regulations Apply Sales and Use Tax Exemptions to Landless Tribes


Recent amendments drafted by the State Board of Equalization (BOE), with comments and feedback from California Indian Legal Services and many tribes throughout the states, will allow federally recognized tribes to enjoy a broader exemption from sales and use taxes on personal tangible property. These amendments recognize the reality that not all federally recognized tribes in California have a land base.  The state of California will no longer treat federally recognized tribes without a land base differently than all other federally recognized tribes.

The Office of Administrative Law (OAL) approved the Board’s recent amendments to Sales and Use Tax Regulation 1616, Federal Areas on January 11, 2012 and the amended regulation was then filed with the California Secretary of State.  The amendments, which become effective February 10, 2012, add a new subdivision (d)(4)(G) to Regulation 1616 describing the circumstances under which sales of tangible personal property to and the use of tangible personal property by the governments of federally-recognized Indian tribes are exempt from California sales and use tax because the tax is preempted by federal law.

The BOE website page’s ( section containing sales and use tax regulations will be revised soon to include the amended regulation.  Until then, please visit the “pending revisions” currently listed next to Regulation 1616 to review the OAL amendments.  Publication 146, Sales to American Indians and Sales in Indian Country, will also be revised to incorporate the amendments.  The BOE’s American Indian Tribal Issues page can be found at


ED’s Message 2012

Message from the Executive Director

Devon L. Lomayesva, Executive Director
With the arrival of 2012, CILS prepares to celebrate our 45th anniversary of service to the California Indian community.  With planning well under way, CILS is developing a 45th Anniversary Gala to commemorate the breadth and impact of our services to thousands of California natives and dozens of tribes and organizations over our proud history.  We have tentatively planned for a Fall 2012 event.  Please stay in touch with us for further details as they unfold.  CILS is on the web and Facebook

The new year also brings cuts to our core funding. The Legal Services Corporation has reduced our funding by nearly 15% and other funders are likely to follow. However, CILS is committed to maintaining our level of services and even hopes to increase services in certain areas. We have reached out to tribes and native organizations to develop partnerships that will bring in those needed resources.  CILS will continue to strive to diversify our funding and looks forward to much progress and success in the delivery of Indian legal services to California tribes, organizations, and individuals. CILS also plans to accomplish a comprehensive needs assessment of our tribal community to ensure we are delivering the types and levels of legal services needed most by our tribal communities. We look forward to a variety of tribal participation during this effort.

Thank you to everyone who supported our 2011 Fall Fundraising Campaign and 45th Anniversary planning campaign, to date.  It is never too late to support CILS. Please visit our website for more information on how to support CILS with a contribution.

A very happy and prosperous new year to our client community and supporters!


Rachel Joseph 2012

CILS Board of Trustees 2012

The new year begins with a new CILS Board Chair.  Rachel A. Joseph, was seated as the Chair on September 3, 2011.

Ms. Joseph is an enrolled member of the Lone Pine Paiute Shoshone Tribe and served as the Tribe’s Chairwoman and Vice-Chairwoman.

Rachel is a retired lobbyist of the California Teachers Association; and, other employment included, American Indian Coordinator in the Office of the Governor; Executive Director for the California Urban Indian Health Council; Director of the Inter-Tribal Council of California Manpower Consortium (now California Indian Manpower Consortium); Director of Program Operations for the Inter-Tribal Council of California; and, Interim Executive Director of the National Congress of American Indians.  Rachel has had numerous political appointments including the Utah Governor’s Commission on the Status of Women.

Rachel has received numerous awards and recognition which include the Civil Rights in Education Award (Leo Reano) from the National Education Association; Role Model (Women’s History Month) from the California State Legislature, the Jake White Crow Award from the National Indian Health Board and, in 2009, the Native American Leadership Award from the National Congress of American Indians.

Rachel graduated from Brigham Young University (BYU) with a B.S. in Social Work and a minor in Psychology; and did extensive graduate study at BYU and in the College of Business at the University of Utah.  Rachel is the mother of a daughter and three sons; and, nine terrific grandchildren.

Existing Indian Family

How is the Indian Child Welfare Act doing?

CILS Board member and law professor Cheyanna L. Jaffke examines ICWA’s present-day struggles with the doctrine known as the Existing Indian Family.  The abstract to her article entitled, Judicial Indifference: How Does the ‘Existing Indian Family’ Exception to the Indian Child Welfare Act Continue to Endure in the Age of Obama?appears below:

Even though Congress created the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) over thirty years ago to preserve the relationship between tribes and their members, courts created, and some continue to use, the “existing Indian family” exception to avoid application of the ICWA to children and/or parents that the courts do not believe are Indian-enough for the ICWA. The continued use of the “existing Indian family” exception shows that there is either judicial laziness, indifference, or intolerance fueling the application of the “existing Indian family” exception and blemishes those states that choose to continue to apply it.

This article first discusses the need for the ICWA after a long period between the 1800s and the 1970s wherein United States policy was to attempt to assimilate American Indian children by removing 25-35% of all American Indian children from their American Indian homes and tribes and place them with non-American Indian families.

Next, the article sets forth the pertinent provisions and application of the ICWA and argues that the ICWA is still necessary because courts are seeking to remove American Indian children from their homes and place them with non-American Indian families.

The article next sets forth the “existing Indian family” exception, phoenix-like birth, death, and subsequent resurrection into United States law.

This article discusses the need to reject the “existing Indian family” exception because it ignores the plain language of the ICWA, perpetuates stereotypes and the assimilation of American Indians, ignores tribal interests, and provides inconsistency in the application of the ICWA.

Western State University Law Review, Vol. 38, No. 2, Spring 2011

CILS wishes to thank Cheyanna L. Jaffke for allowing us to re-print this article. Professor Jaffke teaches at Western State University, College of Law in Fullerton, California.


New Year

CILS wishes everyone a happy & safe 2012!