Community Education

Trainings And Clinics

We provide tailored virtual and in-person training as well as other educational services to communities, tribes, and other organizations in
a wide range of topics and specialties. Get in touch with us using the
form below to request training or clinic.


Title IV-D Tribal Child Support

Title IV-D is federal funding available to Tribes to support or
help establish a tribal child support enforcement program. CILS
offers training on how to apply for Title IV-D from the federal
Office of Child Support Enforcement and how to build a child
support enforcement program that is compliant with federal
child support laws and regulations.

CILS additionally offers legal representation and assistance
on Title IV-D Child Support for under our Legal Services for

Title IV-E Tribal Foster Care

Tribes may apply for federal funds to support their foster families when Native children are placed with the family by the Tribe’s Court. CILS provides training on the process for applying for Title IV-E planning grant funds from the federal Children’s Bureau and
how to establish a tribal social services agency that is compliant with federal laws and regulations. Our training will “walk through” the drafting of a tribal dependency law and Policy Manual, and how to negotiate with the federal, state and/or county
governments on a Title IV-E agreement

American Indian Probate Reform Act (AIPRA)

The American Indian Probate Reform Act of 2006 (AIPRA) provides a probate process for trust assets of Native Americans. AIPRA creates a nationwide probate code focusing on reducing fractionation of individual trust and restricted land. Our training
provides the history of AIPRA and why the law was needed. Our AIPRA presentation emphasizes what happens if a death occurs without a will (i.e., who are the predetermined heirs?), the definitions of “Indian” and “eligible heirs” for purposes of inheriting in trust lands under AIPRA, the “single heir rule,” and opportunities for Indians or Tribes to purchase interests in trust or restricted land at probate.

Public Law 280 (PL 280)

Public Law 280 (PL 280) is incredibly important to Tribes and
tribal people, but many may not understand what the law is or its
impact. Our PL 280 training breaks down the law in clear and
understandable terms to provide clarity and addresses
commonly asked questions. CILS will provide answers on how PL
280 covers criminal, civil and regulatory jurisdiction in Indian
Country and how PL 280 has directly and indirectly impacted
Tribes in developing their own Tribal Justice Systems. In doing so,
we cover the interplay between state and tribal jurisdiction on
tribal lands, areas of exclusive tribal jurisdiction, and the process
for the state to retrocede (“retrocession”) out of PL 280.

Tribal Court Development

Our training on Tribal Court Development addresses key aspects
of establishing a Tribal Court. Trainings include information on
how to obtain community support for a Court and the type of
cases the community views as priority; what tribal laws will be
needed to be developed and establish the Court; and what
substantive laws will need to be adopted or amended to allow
the Court to hear disputes under these tribal laws. Additionally,
CILS will provide guidance on the logistics of how to fund the
Court, what Court staffing will be needed, developing the
qualifications for the Court’s Judge, and the Procedures and
Policies needed to operate the Court.

CILS additionally offers legal representation and assistance
on Tribal Court Development under our Legal Services for

Tribal Law Enforcement Development

CILS provides training on Tribal Law Enforcement Development in
an effort to create safer tribal communities. Our training provides
a step-by-step presentation on establishing tribal law
enforcement departments. CILS addresses commonly asked
questions such as: the role of law enforcement on tribal land;
laws that tribal police can enforce (tribal, state, federal); interplay
of tribal and state law enforcement; and legal limits of tribal law
enforcement officer’s authority. CILS’s training provides current
and recent developments in the area of tribal law enforcement,
liability for the actions of tribal law enforcement officers, and
working partnerships between tribal and state law enforcement a
win-win for safer tribal communities.

CILS additionally offers legal representation and assistance on
Tribal Law Enforcement under our Legal Services for Tribes.


CILS offers a range of trainings on the Indian Child Welfare Act
(ICWA). Trainings include a general overview or introduction to
ICWA to in-depth training focused on specific areas of ICWA.
Examples of our in-depth trainings include topics such as: what
is a “Qualified Expert Witness”; Active Efforts; tribally approved
homes; criminal background checks; Tribal Customary
Adoptions, tips for agencies working with tribes; skill
development for Tribal Advocates; and more. Our training
materials are regularly updated to include recent developments
to ensure our training incorporates current ICWA law,
regulations and policies.

CILS additionally offers legal representation and assistance
on the Indian Child Welfare Act under our Legal Services for

California Judges Benchguide: The Indian Child Welfare Act

Housing (i.e. 184 Loans)

For Tribes with significant tribal member populations off-
reservation or other community groups, CILS provides virtual
trainings on California housing law and the various protections
available to California residents, including Native Americans living
off-reservation. For on-reservation housing matters, CILS can
provide training on drafting housing ordinances, policies and
procedures for Housing Authorities or Housing Departments, and
navigating the Indian Home Loan Guarantee Program (Section 184

Domestic Violence

Our Escondido and Eureka offices each host a victim legal
services program for individuals in their service areas. Trainings
are offered on a limited basis and must be given prior approval
by the LAV program, with the possibility that the trainings are
only available for our partner tribes under the grant. Training
topics include legal issues and scope of services as they relate
to domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking. Our Escondido
office also presents on sex trafficking issues.

CILS additionally offers legal representation and assistance
on Domestic Violence Protection and Support for individuals
in the service area of our Escondido and Eureka offices under
our Legal Services for Individual Native Americans.

Tribal Customary Adoption

Our Tribal Customary Adoption training helps Tribes to identify,
evaluate and assess which state dependency cases that they are
a party to are best suited for a Tribal Customary Adoption.
Training includes in-depth analysis of the benefits and
disadvantages of Tribal Customary Adoption and when and how a
Customary Adoption is presented in a dependency case.
Following our training, Tribes will know how to create and
implement policies, procedures, or tribal law for developing and
finalizing a Tribal Customary Adoption Order that is tailored to
the Tribe’s current resources and judiciary structure.

CILS additionally offers legal representation and assistance on
Tribal Customary Adoption under our Legal Services for Tribes.

Federal Indian Law 101

As one of our most popularly requested trainings, CILS has
developed an overview of Federal Indian Law to teach the
historical federal policies that have shaped and defined Indian
law. The historical policies and events cover the periods of
segregation, assimilation, termination, self-determinations and
the current federal laws that remain as a by-product of these
historical policies. Our in-depth training includes the historical
and generational trauma that are the results of these historical
federal policies, and how federal Indian law today touches every
area of tribal life—housing, land management, child welfare, the
environment, cultural resource protection, education, and more.

For more information about Federal Indian Law and how and
when it applies to our work, check out our Frequently Asked

Indian Taxation

If your Tribe provides per capita payments or other monetary
benefits to enrolled members, CILS provides training regarding
tax exemptions and benefits that may apply to tribal members
under federal and California state law. With limited and specific
circumstances where tribal members may be eligible for state
income tax exemptions or federal tax benefits, and we guide
tribal governments and individual tribal members alike on what
tax exemptions and benefits members may be eligible for.

Cultural Resource Protection

Tribes now have many opportunities to consult with federal and
state entities on a government-to-government basis prior to the
approval of government projects or “undertakings”. CILS offers
training on existing state and federal laws that protect tribal
cultural resources. With our training, Tribes will learn how to use
these cultural protection laws and be proactive in achieving
better outcomes. Our training covers: meaningful tribal
consultation; achieving important mitigation measures; ensuring
tribal monitoring of the project is in place; and protocols for
inadvertent discoveries of cultural resources during
construction activities.

CILS additionally offers legal representation and assistance
on Cultural Resource Protection through AB 52 and
CALNAGPRA under our Legal Services for Tribes.

Tribal Regalia at Commencement

Despite federal and state laws protecting public high school
students’ rights to wear traditional tribal regalia at graduation,
California’s Native students still get pushback from school
districts when attempting to wear tribal regalia at
commencement. CILS provides training and tools to help
graduates understand their rights and advocate for themselves
under state law AB 1248.

Water Rights


Criminal Record Clearing (Expungement) Clinic

Our experience indicates Native American communities in
California suffer disproportionate criminal charges and more
severe penalties upon conviction as compared to non-Native
communities. Criminal records can limit employment and
housing opportunities, but recent state law has provided
mechanisms to solve this problem. CILS provides clinics to
assist California Native Americans to understand their
employment rights even with a criminal record and how they
can further improve their employment opportunities by clearing
(aka “expunging”) their criminal record. We also provide direct
representation to Native Americans in clearing their criminal
record, both in a clinic setting and individually.

CILS additionally offers legal representation and assistance
on Expungement under our Legal Services for Individual
Native Americans.

Need a Training in Another Area?

We offer trainings and clinics beyond what we’ve listed
above. Reach out to us using the contact form below to
explain what you are looking for and we can organize a
tailored training that meets the needs of your tribe,
organization, or community.

Indian Will & Simple Estate Planning Clinic

Native Americans experience unique circumstances when
preparing their estate plans since their property and assets
maybe subject to federal, state, and tribal laws. CILS offers an
Indian Wills/Simple Estate Planning Clinic to meet with Native
Americans to discuss their estate planning  including drafting
an Indian will provide assistance on how to designate an
agent under a Financial Power of Attorney and Advanced Health
Care Directive. We provide direct representation to Native
Americans on their estate planning in a clinic setting or through
individual representation.

CILS additionally offers legal representation and assistance to
Draft Indian Wills for Estate Planning under our Legal Services
for Individual Native Americans.

Request a Training

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