Brief of Professors and Historians as Amici Curiae Supporting Respondents, Yellen v. Confederated Tribes of the Chehalis Reservation, No. 20-543, 2021 WL 2599432 (U.S. June 25, 2021)
47 Pages Posted: 21 Jul 2021 Last revised: 25 Jul 2022
Date Written: March 31, 2021
The US Treasury Secretary sought to disburse a portion of CARES Act funds reserved for “Tribal Governments” to Alaska Native Corporations. Respondents, several federally recognized Indian tribes, sued to enjoin the disbursement.
Under the Cares Act, a Tribal Government is defined as the recognized governing body of an Indian Tribe. To define “Indian Tribe,” The CARES Act references the ISDEAA, which requires federal recognition of eligibility for special programs and services to be considered an “Indian tribe” under the ISDEAA. As Respondents rightly argue, because Alaska Native Corporations have never been recognized as such, Alaska Native Corporations are not Indian tribes under the ISDEAA and are therefore not tribal governments under the CARES act.
Amici curiae are law professors who teach and write in the area of federal Indian law and Native American legal history. In support of Respondents, the amici explain the history of the federal government’s practice of “recognizing” Indian tribes generally, as well as the specific history of recognition of Alaska Native tribes.
Keywords: Tribal Governments, Amicus Brief, Indian Law, Native American, Legal History, CARES Act, ISDEAA, U.S. Supreme Court
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