Construction and Transportation
The Firm is a leader in the arena of Tribal infrastructure, construction and transportation law. We provide a wide range of services to our Tribal clients to help them successfully develop major infrastructure projects within their reservations and communities. We have assisted tribes in negotiating innovative self-determination contracts and agreements for a wide range of infrastructure projects -- including Municipal, Rural and Industrial (MR&I) water systems; irrigation facilities, health clinics, Indian reservation roads and bridges, public safety facilities and schools. We have also represented tribes in tribal-state-federal cooperative agreements and subcontracts that provide greater financial benefits and legal protections for our tribal clients, while at the same time ensuring greater accountability from the federal agencies and construction contractors involved in these projects. These projects have generated jobs, improved outdated tribal infrastructure, enhanced tribal services to members and grown reservation economies.
To ensure that Congress provides adequate funding for tribal construction projects and transportation programs, we also regularly engage in legislative and lobbying activities on behalf of our clients. Our firm has played a leading role in legislative effort to seek increased Indian Reservation Roads (IRR)/Tribal Transportation Program funding and to establish programs specifically for tribes (addressing, for example, transit and highway safety) in federal highway reauthorization legislation – including TEA-21 (the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century), SAFETEA-LU (the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users), MAP-21 (Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century) and most recently in the reauthorization of MAP-21. We have been at the forefront in advocating for greater tribal involvement and autonomy, including our negotiation of the first-of-their-kind agreements between tribes and the Federal Highway Administration, and in improved agreements with the BIA. We have also worked closely with Federal Transit Administration officials concerning the Tribal Transit Grant Program to facilitate the maximum participation by tribes in the program.