- What We Do
- Native American Law
Foster Garvey takes great pride in our long history of service to Native American and Alaska Native peoples and organizations. From public service legal programs to multi-million dollar finance and infrastructure projects, we work closely with Tribes and Alaska Native Corporations to facilitate their community development and economic growth.
With decades of experience representing Tribes, we understand the business and legal issues unique to Tribes, including the sovereign status of Tribes and their emphasis on economic development that provides employment and job training for tribal members. In addition to our work focused on treaty rights and relations between Tribes and the federal government, we offer services and guidance in a vast array of areas including bond finance, real estate and construction, employment and labor, media and communications, gaming, environmental and land use, business, health care and intellectual property protection.
As needed, we represent Tribes before Congress or federal agencies to promote the adoption of laws and regulations beneficial to Tribes. Our firm deeply values our relationships with Native communities and we recognize the importance of enhancing the opportunities and well-being of every member of the communities we serve. In addition to providing a broad range of legal services, Foster Garvey offers educational programming, pro bono assistance and legal training to our clients in the Pacific Northwest, Alaska and across the country.
Business and Economic Development Projects
Foster Garvey lawyers have worked closely with Pacific Northwest Tribes in economic development activities including drafting Tribal business codes, development planning and other business services to Tribal governments, Tribal governmentally controlled businesses and Tribal member-owned businesses. Our attorneys help Tribes plan and operate a broad range of commercial ventures including casinos, race tracks and power plants. We negotiate financing, acquisitions and management and operating agreements. We provide advice on tax issues, joint venture structures, environmental considerations and Bureau of Indian Affairs agreements.
Communications, Telecom & Media
Tribes are becoming more involved in telecommunications and media ventures including radio, television, telephone, and satellite and wireless services. We represent Tribes applying for licenses for commercial and noncommercial radio stations that provide unique news and entertainment programming, help preserve indigenous languages and provide information about social and governmental services. We work with the Federal Communication Commission’s Indian Telecommunications Initiative to help Tribes acquire spectrum and convert to digital media. Learn more about our Communications, Telecom & Media experience.
Foster Garvey has an extensive history of working with government agencies, including Tribal agencies, on construction and design issues. Our experience is broad, ranging from preparing simple construction contracts and foreclosure of liens to litigating and arbitrating multimillion dollar claims. Learn more about our Construction experience.
Employment and Employee Benefits
As Tribes’ commercial activities increase, so do the number of people they employ. Tribes increasingly need practical advice regarding labor and employment issues, as well as employee benefits. Our attorneys take a risk management approach with employment issues and work to train managers and staff about issues including discrimination and harassment, family and medical leave, drafting employment policies and handbooks, counseling on personnel decisions, developing employment-related ordinances and policies, and conducting audits to address best practices. Learn more about our Labor, Employment & Immigration practice.
Foster Garvey attorneys provide analysis and advice regarding non-casino, off-reservation gaming opportunities and the conduct of Class III gaming pursuant to the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act of 1988. We have also represented Tribal clients before the Washington Horse Racing Commission.
Land Use and Environmental
Foster Garvey’s Native American Law team work works closely with the firm’s Real Estate, Land Use & Environmental attorneys on Tribal development projects and investments. We represent Tribes in coordination with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Bureau of Indian Affairs, as well as state agencies asserting jurisdiction over certain aspects of tribal development projects.
A number of our Native American Law attorneys are also experienced Litigation & Dispute Resolution attorneys and have experience resolving disputes unique to Tribes. We represent Tribal clients in U.S. Federal Courts, before administrative agencies and in tribal courts. We have represented clients in matters including fishing rights, tribal status, environmental issues, breach of contract, contract enforceability, construction disputes, business torts, employment and ERISA claims, and sovereign immunity.
Foster Garvey has represented Native American Tribes and Alaska Native Corporations as bond counsel since 1965. We have served as bond counsel, underwriters counsel, and general and special counsel to more than 450 government agencies. Learn more about our Public Finance practice.
Foster Garvey’s attorneys are dedicated to providing pro bono services to people of limited means in Native American and Alaska Native communities. Through the firm’s pro bono efforts, attorneys work directly with nonprofit organizations and local law schools on important public service initiatives and legal projects.
News & Events
- Foster Garvey Newsroom, 6.10.19
- Foster Garvey Newsroom, 10.3.18
- SeminarTulalip Resort Casino, October 15-16, 2014
- Speaking EngagementUniversity of Washington School of Law, William H. Gates Hall, Seattle, WA, 9.12.13
- "The Affordable Care Act: Impact on Alaska Natives," Presentation to the Alaska Bar Association Alaska Native Law SectionSpeaking EngagementAnchorage, AK, 9.11.13
- "Mindfulness for Lawyers and Judges," Access to Justice ConferenceSpeaking EngagementJune 2011
- "Building Effective Tribal Environmental Programs," Eighth Annual National Tribal Environmental Management ConferenceSpeaking EngagementBillings, MT, 6.25.08
- "Representing Native Americans in Washington State: An Indian and Tribal Law Primer," Northwest Indian Bar Association and Indian Law Section of the Washington State Bar AssociationSpeaking EngagementSeattle, WA, 2.28.08
- "Working Effectively with Tribal Governments," U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Natural Resources Damages Training CourseSpeaking EngagementAlbuquerque, NM, 2.28.08
- "Overview of Broadcast Licensing and the NCE Window," Indian Telecommunications Initiative Regional Workshop and RoundtableSpeaking EngagementIndian Pueblo Cultural Center, Albuquerque, NM, 7.10.07
- "Seizing the Initiative Following San Manuel: Preparation for Union Activity at Tribal Enterprises," Garvey Schubert BarerSeminarSeattle, WA, 5.24.07
- Garvey Schubert Barer, 9.29.14
- American Property Tax Counsel, 9.1.14
- The Great Wolf Property Tax Debate Resolved: Improvements on Leased Tribal Trust Land Exempt from Property Taxes Imposed by State and Local GovernmentsInstitute for Professionals in Taxation Tax Report, 11.6.13
- The Indian Law Section of the Washington State Bar Association, 4.30.12
- Of Counsel