Tribal law is a complex and unique field, one that has become a truly vital area with the growth of population and the escalation of commercial development. The enforcement of tribal law plays a very important role in guaranteeing that the resources within tribal lands are utilized to the advantage of tribal communities. It also factors heavily into decisions regarding cases that relate to tribal rights.
How Understanding Tribal Law Reduces Conflicts
When conflicts arise within reservations, it is important to have an understanding of tribal law and how it is juxtaposed in relation to federal and state legislation. Such an understanding will ensure a balance between tribal rights on one hand, and development projects necessary on the other hand.
In addition to this, knowledge of tribal law will help Native American communities exercise better local governance and help set parameters for investments and resource extraction.
Tribal Concerns Over Groundwater in Coachella Valley
A case in point is the legal tug-of-war over the Coachella Valley groundwater, which has been drawn to supply water for approximately 260,000 people. The Coachella Water Valley District and the Desert Water Agency are the agencies that have been managing the extraction of groundwater from the Coachella aquifer, but the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians of Coachella Valley filed a lawsuit against them to prevent the degradation the groundwater quality.
With this affirmation of tribal rights, the Coachella Valley tribal law will become a stronger force to reckon with. The signing of the Tribal Law and Order Act of 2010 also strengthens its sway over tribal lands and tribal governance. This law gives tribal courts the authority to increase jail sentences for criminal cases, allowing them to incarcerate offenders longer.
Why Seek Assistance from Tribal Attorneys in Coachella Valley
This implies that more than ever, there is a need to seek the assistance of a Coachella Valley tribal attorney when there is legal conflict within reservation lands.
A lawyer experienced in Coachella Valley tribal law will know how and when to use litigation or mediation to settle legal issues in consonance with tribal codes and regulations. This lawyer should also be conversant with trust land acquisitions and divestitures, and the agencies involved in the life of Native Americans, such as the Bureau of Indian Affairs.