Indian Lawyers

Disenrolling the Dead

Your dead cease to love you and the land of their nativity as soon as they pass the portals of the tomb and wander away beyond the stars. They are soon forgotten and never return. Our dead never forget this beautiful world that gave them being. They still . . . yearn in tender fond affection over the lonely hearted living, and often return from the happy hunting ground to visit, guide, console, and comfort them. -- Chief Seattle

There is perhaps nothing more reviling about disenrollment, than the disenrollment of ancestors, or what offending tribes call "posthumous disenrollment."

It has happened at Saginaw Chippewa, at Las Vegas Paiute, at Robinson Rancheria, and most recently, at Grand Ronde. And it could happen to your ancestors, and to you.

The reason the offending tribes--or more precisely, their lawyers--or even more precisely, their non-Indian lawyers--disenroll the dead is because many IRA tribal constitutions include language that says if you descend from an enrolled tribal member (and satisfy other requirements, like blood quantum), you are entitled to tribal membership too.


As such, in order to disenroll large swaths of tribal members, as is happening at now epidemic levels, an offending tribe must go back multiple generations on a family's tree, to disenroll not only the living, but the dead.

Beyond rightful moral outrage to so disturbing and dishonoring the ancestors, the maneuver raises due process questions, especially insofar as an offending tribe does not give even the ancestors' living descendants notice or opportunity to be heard.

To some tribes death is so sacred that the community can never again utter an ancestor's name; they are to be left in peace.

To other tribes, nothing is sacred.

Gabriel “Gabe” Galanda is the Managing Partner at Galanda Broadman. He is a citizen of the Round Valley Indian Tribes. Gabe can be reached at 206.300.7801 or


Gabe Galanda Honored by WSBA for Excellence in Diversity

AwardsHorizontalIdentity2014-PNG Gabe Galanda has been honored with the Excellence in Diversity Award by the Washington State Bar Association. He will be given the award at the WSBA's annual awards dinner in downtown Seattle on September 18, 2014.

Gabe is an enrolled member of the Round Valley Indian Tribes of California. He currently sits on the National Native American Bar Association Board of Directors, and is a past President of the Northwest Indian Bar Association and past Chair of the Washington State Bar Association Indian Law Section.  

Gabriel S. Galanda

He is being primarily honored for his work associated with Huy, a non-profit that provides economic, educational, rehabilitative and religious support for American Indian, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian and other indigenous prisoners in the Pacific Northwest and throughout the United States.

In 2012, Gabe founded Huy--pronounced "Hoyt" in the Coast Salish Indian Lushootseed language, to mean "see you again/we never say goodbye."  He serves as the Chairman of Huy's Board of Advisors, and runs the non-profit through his law office.

Huy's most notable recent activities include two amicus curiae efforts before the U.S. Supreme Court, and advocacy before the United Nations and its Human Rights Committee, on behalf of American indigenous prisoners vis-a-vis their fundamental human rights to engage in traditional tribal religious worship.

Gabe is the Managing Partner of Galanda Broadman, PLLC, an American Indian-owned law firm dedicated to advancing and defending Indian rights.  The firm has offices in Seattle, Washington and Bend, Oregon.

Galanda and Broadman Each Receive SuperLawyers Honor

Tribal lawyers Gabe Galanda and Anthony Broadman were each honored by Super Lawyers magazine for 2014; Gabe as a Washington “Super Lawyer” and Anthony as a “Rising Star.”


The award follows several recent honors for Galanda Broadman and its founding partners.  Galanda Broadman has received a prestigious Tier 1 ranking from U.S. News – Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms,” in the arena of Native American Law.

Gabe has also been named to The Best Lawyers in America in the practice areas of both Gaming Law and Native American Law, in 2014 and for the prior seven consecutive years. He was recently named a “Difference Maker” by the American Bar Association, too, with Anthony having been honored for his outstanding service by the Washington State Bar Association.

Galanda Broadman, “An Indian Country Law Firm,” is dedicated to advancing tribal legal rights and Indian business interests.  The firm, with six lawyers and offices in Seattle, Washington and Bend, Oregon, represents tribal governments, businesses and members in critical litigation, business and regulatory matters, especially in matters of Indian Treaty rights, tribal sovereignty and taxation.

Gabe is an enrolled member of the Round Valley Indian Tribes of California. He currently sits on the National Native American Bar Association (NNABA) Board of Directors, and is a past President of the Northwest Indian Bar Association and past Chair of the Washington State Bar Association (WSBA) Indian Law Section.

Anthony  is a past Chair of the WSBA Administrative Law Section, and author of “Administrative Law in Washington Indian Country.”  He is a former Trustee of the WSBA Indian Law Section, and also serves as Editor-in-Chief of the Section’s Indian Law Newsletter.

Dreveskracht, Galanda Publish ABA Tribal Court Litigation Guide

The American Bar Association Business Law Section just published the 2014 edition of Annual Review of Developments in Business and Corporate Litigation, which includes a 41-page Tribal Court Litigation chapter co-authored by Indian litigators Ryan Dreveskracht and Gabe Galanda of Galanda Broadman. photo-1 An excerpt from the chapter's introduction:

“Indian law,” a body of tribal, state, and federal law, is the foundation for every transaction arising in or from Indian Country.  Almost every arena of commercial practice now intersects with Indian law, including tax, finance, merger and acquisition, antitrust, debt collection, real estate, environmental, energy, land use, employment, and litigation.  Therefore, virtually every business lawyer or litigator needs to have some working knowledge of Indian law.  This chapter seeks to provide that basic understanding.

Gabe served as the Editor-in-Chief of Annual Review for the 2007 through 2010 editions, and has co-authored the Tribal Court Litigation chapter each year since 2006. This is Ryan’s third year co-authoring the chapter, and his first year as its lead author.

Truth & Reconciliation Re: The Fish Wars

Yesterday Governor Jay Inslee signed Washington HB 2080, which vacated pre-1975 state court convictions of tribal members who were engaged in Treaty fishing activities.  Reconciliation. 10169270_506936746079167_1872452355_n

Today a piece by Gabe Galanda, "Washington Tribal/State Relations Evolving, But Further Work Is Needed," was published in the Spring 2014 edition of Indian Law Newsletter.  Truth.

A passage:

Over the next decade Washington’s “fish wars” ensued, with state and local law enforcement utilizing criminal arrest to deprive Indians of Treaty-reserved fishing rights, making matters even worse.  An epic clash of sovereigns ensued in the U.S. v. Washington litigation, resulting in a controversial decision by U.S. District Court Judge George Boldt that guaranteed the Tribes half of the fish harvest and by 1979, a momentous Indian victory before the U.S. Supreme Court.

The state was so resistant of Judge Boldt’s decision that the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals compared it to states in the Deep South that refused to abide by federally mandated desegregation.  “Except for some segregation cases . . . the district court has faced the most concerted official and private efforts to frustrate a decree of a federal court witnessed in this century,” appellate court justices said of the Boldt Decision.  In the end, the judicial affirmation of the Tribes’ reserved Treaty right to fish, expressed as “their source of food and commerce,” solidified a foundation for the economic development we are witnessing today throughout Washington Indian Country.

Above all, though, “the Boldt Decision” entrenched Washington Tribes as a legal and political force to be reckoned with.

And a Tribute:

He dedicates this article to those Washington Indians who fought the fish wars and to the tribal lawyers who won the Boldt Decision.

Gabriel “Gabe” Galanda is the Managing Partner at Galanda Broadman. He is an enrolled member of the Round Valley Indian Tribes of Covelo, California. Gabe can be reached at 206.691.3631 or

Seattle Indian Lawyer Amber Penn-Roco Featured By Indian Country Today

New Galanda Broadman Associate Amber Penn-Roco is featured by Indian Country Today in an article titled, "Galanda Broadman Add to Indian Lawyer Bench With Addition of Penn-Roco."DSC_4292

The bright young mind of Amber Penn-Roco, an enrolled member of the Chehalis Tribe, has joined the team of Galanda Broadman.

The Indian lawyer deepens the already strong bench at the Washington state-based law firm, and comes from K+L Gates, Seattle’s second largest law firm, where she was an associate for three years.

“Amber is one of the best and brightest young Indian lawyers around,” Gabe Galanda, the firm’s managing partner said. “As our tribal law firm continues to grow, we remain very grateful to our tribal clients for the trust they put in us and the opportunity to fight for Indian country.”

Amber’s practice focuses on complex land and environmental issues and multi-party litigation involving tribal sovereignty, torts and hazardous materials. Her experience also includes work on transactional matters, including entity formation, environmental compliance and permitting. Amber’s work includes facilitating business developments in Indian Country.

Joe Sexton Featured as Attorney "Super-Commuter" in NWLawyer Magazine

Joe Sexton, Of Counsel at Galanda Broadman, is featured in this month’s edition of NWLawyer magazine as an attorney "super commuter."cover

Joe considered two factors as central to his decision to super-commute: time with his family and acquisition of his dream job. "I just had my first child," said Joe, "and my working from home provides flexibility in helping my wife care for our newborn." The arrangement also enables him to work for Seattle-based firm Galanda Broadman, which he describes as "one of the leading Indian law firms." . . .

Joe's firm is pretty high-tech. The five attorneys maintain near-constant contact via video chat and instant message. They also text and email. "Actually, I'm more in contact with my colleagues than I've ever been before in my career," Joe observed. Screenshot 2014-03-13 17.38.14 Joe has found that working remotely has actually strengthened his personal relationships. He reflected that most attorneys have put effort into maintaining a balance between their work and personal lives. "It's a constant work in progress," he observed, but "I think my love for what I do and for the clients I serve also helps me feel balanced and fulfilled in my personal relationships."

Joe Sexton is Of Counsel with Galanda Broadman, PLLC.  Joe’s practice focuses on tribal sovereignty issues, including complex land and environmental issues, and economic development matters.  He can be reached at (509) 910-8842 and

Gabe Galanda to Lecture on Tribal Disenrollment Law at Berkeley

On Monday, March 17, Gabe Galanda will lecture at UC Berkeley regarding the legalities associated with tribal disenrollment controversies. His remarks will be for the “Native American Critical and Legal Policy” seminar taught by Ethnic Studies professor, Thomas Biolsi. Gabe will speak from two essays recently published by his law firm: “An Essay on the Federal Origins of Disenrollment” and “An Essay on the Modern Dynamics of Tribal Disenrollment.” Professor Biolsi has included Roberts v. Kelly, a disenrollment controversy involving the Nooksack 306 that is currently pending before the Nooksack Judiciary, in his course syllabus. Gabriel “Gabe” Galanda is the Managing Partner at Galanda Broadman. He is an enrolled member of the Round Valley Indian Tribes of Covelo, California. Gabe can be reached at 206.691.3631 or

Seattle Tribal Lawyer to Again Teach Minority Lawyers How To Build a Book of Business

On March 27, Gabe Galanda will help teach the King County Bar Association's annual Building a Book of Business: For Attorneys of Color program in Seattle. He delivered the same teachings last year.

KCBA's Diversity Committee is proud to host this annual seminar designed to give recently admitted attorneys of color the skills they need to advance in their careers.unique program is a closed door session where you will learn to effectively market yourself and acquire new clients for your firm. You'll gain valuable networking contacts and receive guidance from some of the most well-respected and successful leaders in our region's minority bar community.

In 2010, Gabe co-founded Galanda Broadman, PLLC, an American Indian owned law firm with six lawyers, and offices in Seattle, Washington and Bend, Oregon. Prior to that. Gabe founded the Tribal Practice Group at Williams Kastner, where he was a "first ballot" equity partner and an elected member of the firm's Board of Directors. Gabe has been named to the prestigious "40 Under 40" listing by Puget Sound Business Journal, and the "Native American 40 Under 40" listing by the National Center for American Indian Economic Development.

Gabriel "Gabe" Galanda is the Managing Partner at Galanda Broadman.  He is an enrolled member of the Round Valley Indian Tribes of Covelo, California.  Gabe can be reached at 206.691.3631 or