Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Honors Tribal Sovereignty in Recent Federal Court Case

Published on Jan 19, 2018

WASHINGTON, D.C. |  The National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) appreciates the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s action to voluntarily dismiss the Bureau’s civil litigation against consumer lending companies of the Habematolel Pomo of Upper Lake Tribe that had been pending in federal court in Kansas in Case No. 2:17-cv-02521. 

NCAI believed the legal theories that the Bureau had advanced in the case were incorrect. In the amicus brief NCAI filed in support of the tribal defendants’ motion to dismiss in November 2017, NCAI explained that the Bureau appeared to have overlooked important federal Indian law precedents and tribal sovereignty principles, namely that tribal powers of tribal self-government are inherent, and that their exercise is vital to fostering economic prosperity and healthy communities in Indian Country.

NCAI is pleased that the Bureau is following U.S. Supreme Court precedent and honoring sovereign rights of tribal governments by taking corrective action to dismiss the case. NCAI and its member tribal nations stand ready to continue to work with the Bureau on a government-to-government basis to assist the Bureau in its important mission.

View NCAI’s amicus brief in support of the defendant’s motion to dismiss, as well as New Mexico's amicus brief for additional details. Please direct any questions to NCAI Legal Counsel John Dossett at


About the National Congress of American Indians:
Founded in 1944, the National Congress of American Indians is the oldest, largest and most representative American Indian and Alaska Native organization in the country. NCAI advocates on behalf of tribal governments and communities, promoting strong tribal-federal government-to-government policies, and promoting a better understanding among the general public regarding American Indian and Alaska Native governments, people and rights. For more information, visit

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