Dear Tribal Leaders and Tribal Community Statewide, 

What an incredibly exciting time at CILS! There has been tremendous growth over the last few years that made it necessary to streamline, automate and modernize. I began as Executive Director in the last quarter of 2021 and spent the last year working on organizational infrastructure and strategic planning. CILS is a legacy organization that’s made major impacts throughout California tribal communities and fought for Native American rights for over five decades. It has been my honor to build upon the solid foundation built by my predecessors and be charged to create the future CILS as a modern day tribal non-profit legal organization, protecting and advancing Indian rights, Indian self-determination and tribal nation building.  

2023 is jam packed with exciting developments and initiatives! In the first month we launched our new branding – a strong connection to regions and people – that is reflective of the tribal communities we serve. We commissioned Hupa/Yurok/ Karuk artist, Carl Avery, to design a new logo that is reflective of justice, land, and tribes. We also have rolled out our new website that will serve as easy access to our services and in-depth resource for areas of Indian law and learning what CILS can do for you.  

Our first major initiative will be kicking off the year with the “What Can CILS Do for You?” campaign. Although CILS has been around for 55 years, we are still receiving questions about how we can meet the needs of the tribal communities we serve. We will be answering those questions through social media, newsletters, marketing, website and at community events. Please look out for those and interact with us! 

By far though, the most exciting part of 2023 will be implementing the 2023-2028 CILS Strategic Plan visiting Tribes throughout the state. The CILS team is meeting with Tribal Councils and Tribal Chairpersons Associations to share the strategic plan, CILS impacts and the exciting vision for the future. We plan to live our values of excellence, respect, and advocacy and that begins with true engagement with those we serve. We are embarking on an exciting future in partnership with Tribes, and we can’t wait to be a part of making major legal gains on behalf of California Tribes and Native Americans statewide. 

In partnership,

Heather Hostler (Hupa),

CILS Executive Director