CILS is partnering with Kevin Washburn, former Assistant Secretary of the BIA and now Dean of the University of Iowa College of Law, to ensure that all tribes are aware of the opioid settlement reached in several different cases throughout the country and their eligible to receive funds from the settlement even if the tribe was not a party in the litigation.

Currently, there are four tribal opioid settlements, and Dean Washburn and his team are using a single website (linked here) to share information about all four settlements. If you want to participate in the settlements, your tribe will need to complete, sign and send both the Distributors Participation Agreement and J&J/Janssen Participation Agreement forms to

Settlement funds must be used for “tribal programs, services and activities to address the opioid crisis in that tribe’s community.” However, this requirement has been given broad definition and includes a list of 100 or more authorized uses of the funds. For example, tribes can fund culturally appropriate and traditional healing programs and activities, wellness courts and other tribal-specific programs and services through its Indian health clinic that the tribe determines will promote healing, recovery and abatement in that tribe’s community.

There is no hard deadline set for submitting the forms but once the parties (the tribal plaintiffs) to the litigation have all signed on to the settlements the distribution process will begin. Make sure you tribe has submitted your participation forms so that you can be considered to share in the award.

If you would like more information about the facts of the potential settlements, more information about the Distributors Settlement is available here, and more information about the the J&J/Janssen Settlement is available here. There are also a Frequently Asked Questions available here, and broader information about each of the settlements can be found here.

If you have questions or need more information you can contact Dean Kevin Washburn and his team at 1-888-616-3880 and at or CILS’ Legal Director Dorothy Alther at