California legal opinion backs Indian preference policy
The state of California can incorporate Indian hiring preferences for transportation projects on or near tribal lands, Attorney General Jerry Brown said in an opinion.

Brown said federal law recognizes preferential treatment for American Indians and Alaska Natives for projects on or near reservations. He said Indian preference doesn't violate the state constitution, a state proposition that bans racial preferences in public contracting or employment or the U.S. Constitution.

Brown said the state Department of Transportation can require contractors to abide by Indian preference policies in tribal employment rights ordinances. But he said tribes may not force the state or its contractors to pay taxes.

Get the Story:
Hiring Preferences on Tribal Lands Are Legal, Brown Tells Caltrans (The Metropolitan News-Enterprise 3/10)

California AG Opinion:
May the Department of Transportation include Native-American hiring preferences imposed by Tribal Employment Rights Ordinances as part of its contracts? (March 8, 2010)