190516 coalition hr779 tlsa house


May 16, 2019



            The 181 undersigned Indian tribal nations, tribal corporations, and tribal trade associations—collectively organized as the Coalition for Tribal Sovereignty—write in strong support of H.R. 779, the “Tribal Labor Sovereignty Act of 2019 (TLSA),” and request your cosponsorship of the bill.  TLSA would respect and promote tribal sovereignty by affirming the rights of tribal governmental employers to determine their own labor practices on their own lands. TLSA is sponsored by Rep. John Moolenaar, and passed the House in the 114th and 115th Congresses with bipartisan support.

            In 1935, the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) was enacted to ensure fair labor practices, but excluded federal, state and local governmental employers from its reach.  Though the Act did not expressly treat Indian tribes as governmental employers, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) respected the sovereign status of tribal governmental employers for nearly 70 years before abruptly abandoning its own precedent and reversing course in 2004.

            Since its decision in San Manuel Indian Bingo, the NLRB has been aggressively asserting jurisdiction over tribal labor practices when it determines tribal government employers are acting in a “commercial” rather than a “governmental” capacity – an analysis it does not apply to state or local government employers.

            TLSA builds upon a principle that has been amply demonstrated by Indian tribes across the country:  when tribal sovereignty is respected and acknowledged, economic success follows.  Enactment of H.R. 779 would prevent an unnecessary and unwarranted overreach by the NLRB into the affairs of tribal governments.  By amending the NLRA to expressly treat tribal government employers and their enterprises and institutions the same as it treats state, local and federal government employers, H.R. 779 would provide corrective guidance to the NLRB and bring parity to tribal government employers across the nation.

            The Coalition for Tribal Sovereignty strongly supports H.R. 779 and urges you to cosponsor this important bill.


Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians

Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians

American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association (AIANTA)

American Indian Chamber of Commerce of New Mexico

American Indian Chamber of Commerce of South Carolina

American Indian Infrastructure Association

Arctic Slope Native Association

Arctic Slope Regional Corporation

Barona Band of Mission Indians

Bear River Band of Rohnerville Rancheria

Berry Creek Rancheria of Maidu Indians

Big Valley Band of Pomo Indians of the Big Valley Rancheria

Bishop Paiute Tribe

Blue Lake Rancheria Tribe

Bois Forte Band of Chippewa

Cahuilla Band of Indians

California Association of Tribal Governments

Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska

Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe

Chickasaw Nation

Chippewa Cree Tribe

Chitimacha Tribe of Louisiana

Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

Chuathbaluk Traditional Council

Citizen Potawatomi Nation

Coeur d’Alene Tribe

Comanche Nation

Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes

Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation

Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians

Confederated Tribes of the Chehalis Reservation

Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation

Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation

Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs

Coquille Indian Tribe

Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians

Delaware Nation

Diné Development Corp a wholly owned Navajo Nation business

Doyon, Limited

Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma

Eastern Shoshone Tribe

Elk Valley Rancheria

Ely Shoshone Tribe

Ewiiaapaayp Band of Kumeyaay Indians

Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria

Forest County Potawatomi Community

Fort Belknap Indian Community

Great Plains Tribal Chairman’s Association

Habematolel Pomo of Upper Lake

Ho-Chunk Nation

Iipay Nation of Santa Ysabel

Inter Tribal Association of Arizona

Intertribal Timber Council

Jamestown S'Klallam Tribe

Jamul Indian Village

Kalispel Tribe of Indians

Karuk Tribe

Keweenaw Bay Indian Community

Kenaitze Indian Tribe

Kickapoo Traditional Tribe of Texas

Lac du Flambeau Tribe

Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe

Little River Band of Ottawa Indians

Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians

Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe

Lummi Nation

Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation

Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians (Gun Lake Tribe)

Metlakatla Indian Community, Annette Islands Reserve

Midwest Alliance of Sovereign Tribes (MAST)

Minnesota American Indian Chamber of Commerce

Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians

Mohegan Tribe of Connecticut

Mooretown Rancheria

Morongo Band of Mission Indians

Muscogee (Creek) Nation

Naknek Native Village

National American Indian Housing Council (NAIHC)

National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development (NCAIED)

National Congress of American Indians (NCAI)

National Indian Gaming Association (NIGA)

National Native American Bar Association

Native American Contractors Association (NACA)

Native American Development Corporation (NADC)

Native American Enterprise Initiative (NAEI)

Native Village of Afognak

Native Village of Karluk

Native Village of Kiana, Kiana Traditional Council

Native Village of Koyuk

Native Village of Kwigillingok

Native Village of Nuiqsut

Native Village of Nunapitchuk, IRA Council

Native Village of Ouzinkie

Native Village of Tununak

Navajo Nation

New Stuyahok Traditional Council

Nez Perce

Northern Arapaho Tribe

Noorvik Native Community

Oglala Sioux Tribe

Ohkay Owingeh

Oklahoma Indian Gaming Association

Oneida Indian Nation

Osage Nation

Otoe-Missouria Tribe of Indians

Pala Band of Mission Indians

Pascua Yaqui Tribe

Paskenta Band of Nomlaki Indians

Passamaquoddy Tribe - Indian Township

Pauma Band of Mission Indians

Pawnee Nation

Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians

Penobscot Indian Nation

Peoria Tribe of Indians of Oklahoma

Poarch Band of Creek Indians

Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe

Portage Creek Village (Portage Creek Village Council)

Prairie Island Indian Community

Pueblo of Acoma

Pueblo of Isleta

Pueblo of Laguna

Pueblo of Pojoaque

Pueblo of Tesuque

Puyallup Tribe

Qagan Tayagungin Tribe of Sand Point

Quapaw Nation

Quinault Nation

Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians

Red Lake Nation

Reno-Sparks Indian Colony

Rincon Band of Luiseño Indians

Rocky Mountain Indian Chamber of Commerce

Rocky Mountain Tribal Leaders Council

Sac and Fox Nation

Sac and Fox Tribe of the Mississippi in Iowa

Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe

Samish Indian Nation

San Carlos Apache Tribe

San Manuel Band of Mission Indians

Santa Clara Pueblo

Santee Sioux Nation

Sauk-Suiattle Indian Tribe

Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians

Seldovia Village Tribe

Seminole Nation of Oklahoma

Shingle Springs Band of Miwok

Shinnecock Indian Nation

Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community

Shoalwater Bay Tribe

Shoshone-Bannock Tribes of the Fort Hall Reservation

Soboba Band of Luiseño Indians

Sokaogon Chippewa Community, Mole Lake Band of Lake Superior Chippewa

Southern Ute Indian Tribe

Sovereign Council of Hawaiian Homestead Associations

Spokane Tribe of Indians

St. Croix Chippewa Indians of Wisconsin

Stockbridge-Munsee Community

Swinomish Indian Tribal Community

Susanville Indian Rancheria

Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Tribe

Table Mountain Rancheria

Tanana Chiefs Conference

Thlopthlocco Tribal Town

Tonkawa Tribe of Oklahoma

Torres Martinez Desert Cahuilla Indians

Tribal Alliance of Sovereign Indian Nations (TASIN)

Tulalip Tribes

Tunica-Biloxi Indian Tribe

Tuolumne Band of Me-Wuk Indians

Ugashik Traditional Village Council

United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians in Oklahoma

United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians in Oklahoma Corporation

United South and Eastern Tribes Sovereignty Protection Fund (USET)

Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians

Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah)

White Earth Band of Chippewa Indians  

Wichita and Affiliated Tribes

Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska

Wyandotte Nation

Yavapai-Prescott Indian Tribe

Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation

190516 coalition hr779 tlsa house