On July 28, 2017, the Department of Interior circulated the attached “Dear Tribal Leader” letter from Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy and Economic Development Dr. Gavin Clarkson seeking further input on “the need to update the ‘Licensed Indian Traders’ regulations.” The letter reports that the Department received comments from 37 tribes and eight tribal organizations in response to the Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) published in the FEDERAL REGISTER on December 9, 2016. (See our General Memoranda 16-077 of December 22, 2016.) The July 28 letter requests additional comments from tribes on the Indian Trader regulations and sets the following dates and locations for a series of “listening sessions and Tribal consultations”:
• August 17 – Albuquerque, NM
• August 22 – Portland, OR
• August 24 – Anchorage, AK
• August 28 – Salamanca, NY (Seneca Allegany)
• August 29 – Green Bay, WI
In particular, the Department seeks further comment and documentation of jurisdictional conflicts that impede tribal business development and economic development. The letter requests tribal comments and information in three areas:
(1) projects that have been constrained or cannot be carried out due to burdensome regulatory requirements (and that would move forward if there were greater regulatory flexibility);
(2) economic impact studies showing benefits of tribal economic development on surrounding communities; and
(3) treaty provisions requiring the United States to protect tribal economic interests.
Comments are due August 30, 2017. Please let us know if we may provide additional information or assistance regarding “Licensed Indian Traders” rulemaking process.