S. 140 - Tribal Labor Sovereignty Act Coalition Letter

Monday, April 16, 2018 - 12:00pm

April 16, 2018

TO THE MEMBERS OF THE UNITED STATES SENATE:

We, the undersigned Indian tribal nations, tribal corporations, and tribal trade
associations—collectively organized as the Coalition for Tribal Sovereignty—write in strong
support of S. 140, which includes H.R. 986, the “Tribal Labor Sovereignty Act of 2017
(TLSA),” as a provision of the bill. TLSA would promote tribal sovereignty by affirming the
rights of tribal governmental employers to determine their own labor practices on their own
lands.

In 1935, the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) was enacted to ensure fair labor
practices. However, it 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 close to seventy years before abruptly abandoning its own precedent and reversing course in
2004.

Since its decision in San Manuel Indian Bingo, the NLRB has aggressively asserted
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 S. 140 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, S. 140 would provide corrective guidance to the NLRB and bring
parity to tribal government employers across the nation.

The Coalition for Tribal Sovereignty strongly supports S. 140 and strongly urges you to
support this important bill.

Sincerely,

Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians OR
Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians CA
American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association (AIANTA) NM
American Indian Chamber of Commerce of New Mexico NM
American Indian Chamber of Commerce of South Carolina SC
American Indian Infrastructure Association WY
Arctic Slope Native Association AK
Arctic Slope Regional Corporation AK
Barona Band of Mission Indians CA
Bear River Band of Rohnerville Rancheria CA
Big Valley Band of Pomo Indians of the Big Valley Rancheria CA
Bishop Paiute Tribe CA
Bois Forte Band of Chippewa MN
California Association of Tribal Governments CA
Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska AK
Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe SD
Chickasaw Nation OK
Chippewa Cree Tribe MT
Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma OK
Chuathbaluk Traditional Council AK
Citizen Potawatomi Nation OK
Coeur d’Alene Tribe ID
Comanche Nation OK
Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes MT
Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation WA
Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians OR
Confederated Tribes of the Chehalis Reservation WA
Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation WA
Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation OR
Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs OR
Coquille Indian Tribe OR
Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement HI
Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians OR
Delaware Nation OK
Diné Development Corp a wholly owned Navajo Nation business AZ, NM
Doyon, Limited AK
Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma OK
Eastern Shoshone Tribe WY
Elk Valley Rancheria CA
Ely Shoshone Tribe NV
Ewiiaapaayp Band of Kumeyaay Indians CA
Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria CA
Forest County Potawatomi Community WI
Fort Belknap Indian Community MT
Great Plains Tribal Chairman’s Association SD
Habematolel Pomo of Upper Lake CA
Ho-Chunk Nation WI
Iipay Nation of Santa Ysabel CA
Inter Tribal Association of Arizona AZ
Intertribal Timber Council OR
Jamestown S'Klallam Tribe WA
Kalispel Tribe of Indians WA
Karuk Tribe CA
Keweenaw Bay Indian Community MI
Kenaitze Indian Tribe AK
Kickapoo Traditional Tribe of Texas TX
Lac du Flambeau Tribe WI
Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe MN
Little River Band of Ottawa Indians MI
Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians MI
Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe WA
Lummi Nation WA
Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation CT
Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians (Gun Lake Tribe) MI
Metlakatla Indian Community, Annette Islands Reserve AK
Midwest Alliance of Sovereign Tribes (MAST) WI
Minnesota American Indian Chamber of Commerce MN
Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians MS
Mohegan Tribe of Connecticut CT
Mooretown Rancheria CA
Morongo Band of Mission Indians CA
Muscogee (Creek) Nation OK
Naknek Native Village AK
National American Indian Housing Council (NAIHC) DC
National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development (NCAIED) AZ
National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) DC
National Indian Gaming Association (NIGA) DC
National Native American Bar Association AZ
National Native American Chamber of Commerce MO
Native American Contractors Association (NACA) DC
Native American Development Corporation (NADC) MT
Native American Enterprise Initiative (NAEI) DC
Native Village of Afognak AK
Native Village of Karluk AK
Native Village of Kiana, Kiana Traditional Council AK
Native Village of Koyuk AK
Native Village of Nuiqsut AK
Native Village of Ouzinkie AK
Native Village of Tununak AK
Navajo Nation AZ, NM, UT
New Stuyahok Traditional Council AK
Nez Perce ID
Northern Arapaho Tribe WY
Oglala Sioux Tribe SD
Ohkay Owingeh NM
Oklahoma Indian Gaming Association OK
Oneida Indian Nation NY
Osage Nation OK
Otoe-Missouria Tribe of Indians OK
Pala Band of Mission Indians CA
Pascua Yaqui Tribe AZ
Paskenta Band of Nomlaki Indians CA
Pauma Band of Mission Indians CA
Pawnee Nation OK
Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians CA
Penobscot Indian Nation ME
Poarch Band of Creek Indians AL
Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe WA
Prairie Island Indian Community MN
Pueblo of Acoma NM
Pueblo of Isleta NM
Pueblo of Laguna NM
Pueblo of Pojoaque NM
Pueblo of Tesuque NM
Puyallup Tribe WA
Qagan Tayagungin Tribe of Sand Point AK
Quapaw Tribe of Oklahoma OK
Quinault Nation WA
Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians WI
Red Lake Nation MN
Reno-Sparks Indian Colony NV
Rincon Band of Luiseño Indians CA
Rocky Mountain Indian Chamber of Commerce CO
Rocky Mountain Tribal Leaders Council MT
Sac and Fox Nation OK
Sac and Fox Tribe of the Mississippi in Iowa IA
Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe MI
Samish Indian Nation WA
San Manuel Band of Mission Indians CA
Santa Clara Pueblo NM
Santee Sioux Nation NE
Sauk-Suiattle Indian Tribe WA
Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians MI
Seldovia Village Tribe AK
Seminole Nation of Oklahoma OK
Shingle Springs Band of Miwok CA
Shinnecock Indian Nation NY
Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community MN
Shoalwater Bay Tribe WA
Shoshone-Bannock Tribes of the Fort Hall Reservation ID
Soboba Band of Luiseño Indians CA
Sokaogon Chippewa Community, Mole Lake Band of Lake Superior Chippewa WI
Southern Ute Indian Tribe CO
Sovereign Councils of the Hawaiian Homeland Assembly HI
Spokane Tribe of Indians WA
St. Croix Chippewa Indians of Wisconsin WI
Stockbridge-Munsee Community WI
Swinomish Indian Tribal Community WA
Susanville Indian Rancheria CA
Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Tribe CA
Table Mountain Rancheria CA
Tanana Chiefs Conference AK
Thlopthlocco Tribal Town OK
Tonkawa Tribe of Oklahoma OK
Torres Martinez Desert Cahuilla Indians CA
Tribal Alliance of Sovereign Indian Nations (TASIN) CA
Tulalip Tribes WA
Tunica-Biloxi Indian Tribe LA
Tuolumne Band of Me-Wuk Indians CA
Ugashik Traditional Village Council AK
United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians in Oklahoma OK
United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians in Oklahoma Corporation OK
United South and Eastern Tribes Sovereignty Protection Fund (USET) TN
Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians CA
Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah) MA
White Earth Band of Chippewa Indians  MN
Wichita and Affiliated Tribes OK
Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska NE
Wyandotte Nation OK
Yavapai-Prescott Indian Tribe AZ
Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation CA