Native American Trust Lands matters involve a complex interplay between public lands, environmental, and Indian law, as well as other federal laws and regulations. Land and resource management, governance, sovereignty, and protection of treaty rights are central concerns. Development goals are impacted by an intricate legal framework that is constantly evolving, with equitable considerations playing a substantial role. Indian tribes, tribal businesses, and Native Alaskan corporations—and even non-tribal entities whose projects are only adjacent to trust lands—must consult with the US government on what might initially be viewed as a simple or mundane question.

Often, while the legal concepts in this space draw from familiar legal frameworks, their specific application can be complicated.

Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP’s team is experienced with the unique aspects of large scale infrastructure and energy projects on these lands and can assist tribes, corporations, and state and local governments in navigating the difficult jurisdictional and regulatory issues surrounding these projects. Our attorneys have worked at or with key US governmental agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Department of Interior (DOI), and the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Environment & Natural Resources Division.

In addition to supporting development projects, our team has experience with managing cleanups under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) on Native American Trust Land. This work includes engaging with both the federal and tribal governments, as well as providing support for community involvement efforts.

Our experience, combined with our understanding of the distinct features of Indian law, positions us to provide regulatory, litigation, and transactional counsel, strategic policy and rulemaking advice, and other fundamental representation on trust lands-related issues including: acquisition, access, use, development, sale, leasing, financing, permitting, construction, energy, environmental, resource conservation and protection, labor and employment, compliance, bankruptcy, taxation, and M&A.