Dave Palermo: California AG battles land-into-trust applications

California Attorney General Kamala Harris has opposed at least 15 land-into-trust applications before the Bureau of Indian Affairs:
American Indian tribes are being told California Gov. Jerry Brown will monitor what has been a series of letters from Attorney General (AG) Kamala Harris objecting to federal land/trust applications for housing, water treatment plants and other largely non-casino purposes.

That does not mean AG opposition letters to the Pacific Regional Office of the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) will cease, which is what tribes were hoping for when they met last month with newly appointed Brown aide Joginder Dhillon.

But at least tribal leaders and lawyers can rest assured the AG, which represents the governor’s office on legal matters, is communicating with its client.

Brown and outgoing senior aide Jacob Appelsmith both told tribes they were unaware Harris’ office had sent at least 15 land/trust objection letters to the BIA since Brown took office in 2010.

This may at least partially explain why Brown has worked cooperatively with Indian tribes on tribal-state compacts and other matters while the AG’s office has been rejecting land/trust applications on legal grounds that leave Indian law scholars shaking their heads in dismay.

Get the Story:
Dave Palermo: Progress on Land/Trust in California, But There’s a Ways to Go (Pechanga.net 2/23)

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