Office of the Tribal Attorney
The Office of the Tribal Attorney provides support and acts as legal counsel to the Yurok Tribal Council. The OTA represents the Tribal Council and the Yurok Tribe as a governmental entity. It is this department's responsibility to give input to the Council in regard to Tribal business. Additionally, the OTA provides support and legal counsel to the various Tribal departments. At this time, due to limited resources, the OTA cannot provide legal assistance to individual Tribal members, however, upon approval from the Executive director, may provide referrals to outside legal counsel.
The Office of the Tribal Attorney, at the direction of the Yurok Tribal Council and in coordination with the Planning Department, is in consultation with the US Department of the Interior to ensure the Yurok Tribe receives Cobell settlement funds to reclaim a portion of its Tribal land base through a voluntary buy-out of select fractionated interests in trust land within the reservation. If you would like to learn more about this process and about the additional money available to individual Indian trust beneficiaries, please visit the Cobell Settlement web page here.
Graduation, Traditional Regalia and First Amendment Rights
The Office of the Tribal Attorney congratulates all Native American graduates for their educational accomplishments and encourages tribal members to exercise their freedom of religion. If you face any discrimination related to traditional regalia at graduation please contact the Yurok OTA.
American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) & Native American Rights Fund (NARF) Letter, 2008
JESSIE SHORT, ET AL v. THE UNITED STATES, ET AL
The Office of the Tribal Attorney, at the direction of the Yurok Tribal Council, is endeavoring to assist the United States Court of Federal Claims and the parties to the Jessie Short litigation to finally distribute all funds owed to Jessie Short plaintiffs and their heirs. A web page has been established to keep plaintiffs and their heirs informed of developments in the case and to assist the Probate Specialist in gathering information necessary to seeing the final payments distributed. If you believe that you may be a Jessie Short plaintiff or an heir to a Jessie Short plaintiff, please visit the Jessie Short web page here.
Marine Life Protection Act Initiative
The Office of the Tribal Attorney, in coordination with the Office of Self-Governance and other departments within the Tribe, is working to assure that the traditional fishing and gathering rights of the Tribe and the other Tribes and tribal communities of the North Coast are not diminished by the State of California's Marine Life Protection ActInitiative. Please click here for updates on this important ongoing work. You will also find select documents related to these efforts.
COBELL v. SALAZAR Settlement
The Office of the Tribal Attorney refers individuals seeking information regarding the Cobell settlement to the website set up by the Plaintiffs' attorneys. You can view the site here.
Historical and Important Documents
The Office of the Tribal Attorney has begun an effort to gather documents of importance to Yurok Tribe and to make them available online here. In the linked archive you will find documents that relate to the legal, legislative, and cultural history of the Yurok Tribe as well as some brief discussion. This is an ongoing project and the OTA welcomes comments and suggestions for inclusion in the archive. Please visit the archive here.
Land to Trust
The constitution of the Yurok tribe states among its purposes to "Reclaim the tribal land base within the Yurok Reservation and enlarge the Reservation boundaries to the maximum extent possible within the ancestral lands of our tribe and/or within any compensatory land area." The Office of the Tribal Attorney has established a webpage to provide members and the public with information on the Tribe's ongoing efforts on this most important mandate. Click here visit the page.
Note to Employees:
No legal services or advice will be given to any employee without prior approval. If an employee wishes to meet with one of the attorneys they will be required to obtain prior approval from the Executive Director. Without this prior approval no contact will be permitted. Each department or employee will be required to fill out a request form for each item to be submitted to the Office of the Tribal Attorney.