Tribal Policy and Advocacy

The Indian Tribal Governments group at Powers Pyles Sutter & Verville provides a full range of legal and government services to Indian tribal governments, national Indian organizations, tribally-owned corporations, and private business entities.

The Tribal Group is led by three principals and a government relations specialist who together have six decades of experience and expertise in federal Indian law, congressional advocacy, regulatory policy and rulemaking, and project finance and development on Indian lands. Since 2006, we have been recognized by Chambers USA in Native America Law. Our philosophy of service emphasizes integrity, trust, and teamwork — values we believe are consistent with those held by our clients.

Business and Economic Development

The Tribal group works closely with Indian tribal governments, tribally-owned corporations, investors, and private entities doing business with tribes on a broad array of economic and business development projects, including gaming and hospitality, energy development, feature film production, and others. Combining our knowledge of federal Indian law with our expertise in corporate, financing, and tax matters, we provide our clients with a highly integrated approach to business entity formation and operation. We have represented borrowers, underwriters, issuers, bondholders and providers of credit enhancement in thousands of private and tax-exempt financings. We have been retained by mature gaming tribes that are seeking to diversify their portfolios into new businesses, to acquire new businesses, and to enter into partnerships with the private sector.

Lobbying and Government Relations

All of the members of the Tribal group actively participate in the Washington, D.C. government affairs community. We have stellar, bipartisan relationships with key committees of jurisdiction in both the House and the Senate, including the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, the House Committee on Natural Resources, and the Appropriations Subcommittees on Interior, Environment and Related Agencies.

Our ability to serve our clients’ legislative and policy interests is enhanced by the experience we gained serving in leadership positions on Capitol Hill, and over the past two decades we have been part of virtually every major Native American legislative effort in Washington, D.C. These efforts resulted in legal reforms to Indian energy, tax-exempt bond financing, criminal jurisdiction on Indian lands, the Stafford Act, Native American housing and infrastructure, land acquisitions, surface leasing, Indian land and water settlements, trust asset management, congressional reference resolutions, and many others.

The members of the Tribal group draft legislation, testimony and briefing papers; assist clients prepare for oversight and legislative hearings; organize advocacy coalitions; devise and implement strategies for House and Senate passage of key legislation; and other activities. We maintain our relationships on Capitol Hill and in federal agencies through social, professional, and political associations with current and former Members of Congress and staff.