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Law Article: Doing business with tribes under the HEARTH Act

Filed Under: Business | Law
More on: economic development, hearth act, new mexico, pueblo

Attorney discusses new regulations issued by Sandia Pueblo in New Mexico under H.R.205, the Helping Expedite and Advance Responsible Tribal Homeownership Act (HEARTH) Act:
The Pueblo of Sandia ("Pueblo") was the first tribe in New Mexico, and the second in the United States, to receive approval by the Secretary of the Interior for its tribal leasing regulations promulgated under the Helping Expedite and Advance Responsible Tribal Homeownership ("HEARTH") Act Amendments to the Indian Long-Term Leasing Act, 25 U.S.C. § 415. The HEARTH Act authorized Tribes to promulgate regulations governing leases of tribal land for residential, business, and other purposes. The Sandia Pueblo Tribal Council unanimously approved the regulations on March 5, 2013, determining that the business leasing regulations "will serve and promote the Pueblo’s interests of sovereignty, self-determination and economic development." Resolution 2013-037. The Pueblo then submitted the regulations to the Bureau of Indian Affairs ("BIA") for approval, as required by the HEARTH Act. On March 14, 2013, then Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar approved the Pueblo’s leasing regulations at a signing ceremony held at the Tribal Council’s offices outside of Albuquerque. Sandia’s new leasing regulations govern business leases of Tribally-owned land held in trust or restricted status; the Pueblo may develop regulations for residential, agricultural, and wind and solar energy resources in the future.

Companies seeking to do business with Sandia Pueblo have much to gain from the approval of Sandia’s regulations. Because the Pueblo may now negotiate for and approve business leases for its trust and restricted land, prospective lessees no longer need to seek federal government approval prior to entering into the lease. This should lower transaction costs and speed up the process significantly. The regulations also provide the Pueblo with rightful autonomy in determining the uses to which its sovereign territory should be placed. This article reviews some of the key provisions of the regulations.

Get the Story:
Sarah M. Stevenson: The Pueblo of Sandia’s leasing regulations and what businesses need to do to enter into leases (Lexology 5/30)
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Related Stories:
Sandia Pueblo one of first to develop HEARTH Act regulations (03/15)

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