November 2015                                                                        Volume 1, Number 4
Kumeyaay Cultural Repatriation Committee Received Outstanding Achievement in California Indian Law Award from California Indian Law Association
Celebration photo of Steve Banegas, Spokesperson for Kumeyaay Cultural Repatriation Committee and Paul Cuero Vice Spokesperson and Dorothy Alther, Executive Director of CILS at the CILA's 15th Annual Indian Law Conference & Gala. Congratulations to KCRC!
The California Indian Law Association has selected the Kumeyaay Cultural Repatriation Committee as the recipient of its Outstanding Achievement in California Indian Law Award for 2015.

KCRC was chosen in recognition of its work in the area of cultural rights for its twelve member tribes, their members and citizens, and all Native people  in California. CILA specifically notes the contributions KCRC has made that have positively affected the shape and implementation of the NAGPRA and Cal-NAGPRA laws. Additionally, CILA wishes to laud KCRC for its role as plaintiff in Kumeyaay Cultural Repatriation Committee v. University of California and its attendant role in the related case, White v. University of California. KCRC's work has been integral in guiding the State of California and its agencies to comply with cultural protection laws and to working with tribes more generally. Through its role in the recent litigation, KCRC's victories have created beneficial precedent in interpretation of NAGPRA, and also in the area of recognizing tribal sovereign immunity of intertribal entities. Adam Bailey, President of CILA stated, "KCRC's work shows the power tribes can wield when working in concert with one another."

The award presentation took place at CILA's 15th Annual Indian Law Conference & Gala on Thursday, October 15, 2015 at the Jackson Rancheria Resort Casino in Jackson, California.
Sharing is a Native American Tradition
We invite you to participate in this tradition by contributing to CILS. With your support, CILS can continue to achieve justice on behalf of Native Americans.

Last year, CILS assisted more than 32,000 Indians with legal services in cases unique to Native Americans. CILS also has 604 cases that benefit the entire population of Native Americans in California- some 578,623 Indians.

Why Contribute to CILS

For more than  forty-eight years, CILS has provided legal assistance to Indian tribes, organizations and individuals who may have otherwise gone without adequate representation. CILS has successfully asserted and defended the most important rights of Indians and tribes in hundreds of major cases, and has achieved significant results in such critical areas as  tribal sovereignty, natural resource protection, and Indian education.

California Indian Legal Services Seeks Community Representatives for the Board of Trustees
The Board of Trustees of CILS is currently accepting applications for appointments to the Board for Community Representatives from all regions of California. Members of the Board of Trustees play an active and significant role in shaping CILS. Serving on our Board of Trustees is both rewarding and challenging, and it offers a significant opportunity to impact the future of this organization that is so vital to California Indian individuals, families, communities and tribes.
Free Walk-in Legal Clinics at InterTribal Court 
Domestic Violence Legal Clinics
CILS is offering a free walk-in legal clinic from 9 am - 1 pm on the first Wednesday of every month at the InterTribal Court on the Rincon Indian Reservation. This clinic is staffed by a Legal Advocate and Attorney who will assist victims/survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking and sex trafficking. Services can include helping with safety planning and crisis intervention; assistance with filling out Restraining Orders; Restraining Order Hearing preparation; and other legal consultations relating to victimization.

The walk-in clinic will operate on a first come, first served basis. There are no income guidelines for assistance. The Legal Advocate and Attorney are very experienced in these areas of law and they will provide trauma victims with informed, confidential, and culturally appropriate services.
Will and Estate Planning Legal Clinic
CILS is offering a free walk-in clinic for will and estate planning from 9 am - 1 pm on Wednesday, November 18th at the InterTribal Court on the Rincon Indian Reservation. Come by the Court for a free 30 minute consultation with a CILS attorney. CILS attorneys will provide general legal advice on wills and estate planning. Get answers to questions like: do I need a will, what is required for a valid will, what are trusts and do I need one? 

Clients needing extensive services will need to schedule an appointment for a later date. CILS provides free legal services for income-eligible clients and charges a low hourly rate for over-income clients.
CILS Trains CA Department of Parks and Recreation
CILS provided two trainings for the Tribal Liaisons of the California Department of Parks and Recreation entitled "Native Americans in California: A Brief Overview of the Legal Landscape, History, Culture, and Best Practices."  The mandatory trainings, held in northern and southern California, were arranged through a contract between the State and CILS.

"It was a wonderful opportunity to engage the Tribal Liaisons in discussions of their roles and demonstrate the lasting impact their work will have on tribal communities in California," said Nicholas Mazanec, Directing Attorney of the Sacramento CILS office.

Sonia Montero, Advocate of the Sacramento CILS office, echoed this sentiment. "It was uplifting to see the Tribal Liaisons so engaged in the presentations.  Whether attendees had years of experience working with tribal communities or were relatively new to the subject, their participation was spirited.  We hope that we provided the State Park employees with insights into the impact of their work upon tribal communities.  Such dialogues and presentations are crucial to continued and better relations between tribes and the State Park systems."

The trainings included a history of California Native Americans, federal recognition, tribal governmental structures, Public Law 280, and laws applicable to Native American resource protection in California.  Also offered were cultural protocols in Indian affairs and best practices in consultation with tribes.
Balancing Tribal Sovereignty with Rights of Workers
CILS's Mark Vezzola, Escondido office Directing Attorney, wrote a guest column for the  San Francisco Daily Journal titled "Balancing tribal sovereignty with rights of workers."  Mark's article outlines how a proposed amendment to the National Labor Relations Act could change labor law in Indian country. A very good read.
Edison Awards CILS a $10,000 Grant for Conference
CILS is grateful to Southern California Edison for the recent gift of $10,000 to support our conference October 8 & 9, 2015 concentrating on establishing tribal justice systems. The conference was focused on Public Law 280, the jurisdictional interaction between state, local, federal and tribal governments, what is needed to establish a tribal court and law enforcement department and much more. The conference was divided into two days, the first day was open to the general public and the second day was limited to tribes and members. 

Tammy Tumbling, Director, Philanthropy & Community Investment of  Southern California Edison said, " We are committed to investing in programs such as yours which aim to make the strongest impact." 

CILS Hires New Employees
Rachel (Chapman) Bilodeau
The CILS Escondido office is pleased to announce that Rachel (Chapman) Bilodeau is once again working at CILS after a three-year hiatus. Rachel joined the program in 2010 as an I-CAN worker and later became an Intake Advocate. She left CILS in 2012. In her new position Rachel will be providing support as a legal secretary.

Rachel holds a degree in criminal justice from Chico State and earned a paralegal certificate from the University of San Diego. Her positive attitude, candor and willingness to pitch in are well known throughout the Escondido office. We're thrilled to welcome back Rachel Bilodeau.
Elizabeth Pacheco
The CILS Eureka office is happy to announce their newest addition, Elizabeth Pacheco. Elizabeth comes to CILS with nearly a decade of experience and considerable ICWA/dependency knowledge. During 2011-2014 she completed a three-year exclusive contract for Humboldt County representing children and parents from arraignment through permanency. Most recently she worked with the Leigh Law Group primarily handling education law (discipline and special education) cases, disability rights claims, and discrimination and civil rights actions in administrative, state and federal court. We welcome Elizabeth Pacheco to the CILS family.

Providing representation in cases that involve issues unique to Native Americans .
These include:
 Individual trust allotments
 Will drafting and probate of Indian Land/trust assets
 Indian students' rights
 Civil rights related to race or Indian religion
 Indian income-related tax benefits and exemptions
 Tribal representation in  Indian Child Welfare Act cases
 Tribal customary adoption
 Eligibility of Indians for special benefits programs
"California Indian Legal Services is an essential element in improving the quality of life for the most underserved Native American communities in California. We salute CILS and its dedicated staff for representing the essential rights and benefits of all Native Americans for forty-eight years."
Quote from Robert Smith,
Chairman,  Pala Band of Mission Indians

Did You Know

When you support CILS, you support the rights of individual Native Americans and tribal self-determination, self-empowerment and justice. CILS's victories and accomplishments in Indian Country require your generous support. We encourage you to support our Indian legal advocacy efforts.

California Indian 

Legal Services

609 S. Escondido Blvd.
Escondido, CA 92025
Phone (800) 743-8941

Phone (760) 746-8941
Fax (760) 746-1815



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