Dear USET/USET SPF Family,
On September 30, 2021 the Department of Justice (DOJ) issued a Dear Tribal Leader Letter announcing two Tribal consultations on risk management in the context of Tribal economic development. Risk management topics DOJ plans to discuss during these consultations include loss prevention, the resolution of tort claims, alternative dispute resolution, and protecting and managing Tribal sovereign immunity. DOJ has stated that they will share a Framing Paper prior to the consultations.
Details regarding the upcoming Tribal consultations are as follows—
Written comments will be accepted until the 5:00pm ET on November 12, 2021 and can be submitted to OTJ@usdoj.gov. If you have any questions, please contact the DOJ Office of Tribal Justice at (202) 514-8812, or via email at OTJ@usdoj.gov.
USET SPF has been active in the space of protecting Tribal sovereign immunity in torts claims. In March 2019, USET SPF’s member Tribal Nations adopted USET SPF Resolution No. 2019 SPF:016, “Protecting Tribal Sovereign Immunity by Committing to Risk Management Solutions for Tort Victims”. This Resolution urged Congress to reaffirm Tribal sovereign immunity and work with Tribal Nations to identify a fair and reasonable process for resolving potential tort claims arising from Tribal government-owned and operated enterprises. This Resolution was adopted in response to an increasing number of challenges and attempts to limit Tribal sovereign immunity in the courts and Congress, especially in off-reservation and other economic activity.
Additionally, in February 2020 USET SPF joined and help draft an Joint Inter-Tribal Organization letter urging Congress, the Secretary of the Interior, and the Attorney General to preserve Tribal sovereign immunity. The letter also requested appropriations in the Fiscal Year 2021 Interior and the Commerce Justice Science (CJS) Appropriations bills to for the Secretary of the Interior and the Attorney General to consult with Tribal Nations to develop best practices for Tribal Nations to use on risk management, loss prevention, tort claim resolutions, and protecting Tribal sovereign immunity.
USET SPF will be attending these consultations scheduled by DOJ and will keep you updated regarding these proceedings. We also intend to submit comments in response to these consultations to emphasize the directives of USET SPF Resolution No. 2019 SPF:016 and our White Paper on “Protecting Tribal Nations’ Sovereign Immunity from Tort Claims”.
For more information, please contact Brian Howard, USET SPF Senior Policy Analyst, at email@example.com.