Contact Info

The Shanker Law Firm, PLC
700 East Baseline Road
Building. B
Tempe, Arizona 85283

Phone: (480) 838-9300
Fax: (480) 838-9433

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American Indian Law

The Shanker Law Firm, PLC has represented Native American Tribes, Native American organizations and elders, and Native grass-roots organizations on myriad issues. The Firm currently represents the San Juan Southern Paiute Tribe in federal and Pascua Yaqui tribal interpleader actions and is helping the Tribe establish a viable government and election process. The Firm represents the Hopi Village of Bacavi on a certified question of village authority in front of the Southwest Intertribal Court of Appeals (“SWITCA”) and previously represented Ben Nuvamsa, the Chairman of the Hopi Tribe, on election challenges in Hopi courts.

The Firm also represents the Navajo Nation, the White Mountain Apache Tribe, the Yavapai-Apache Nation, and the Havasupai Tribe in litigation against the federal government that tests the boundaries of protections offered to Native American religious beliefs, sacred sites, and cultural practices vis-à-vis federal government land use decisions (Navajo Nation et al. v. U.S. Forest Service, 535 F.3d 1058 (9th Cir. en banc 2008), petition for certiorari pending before the U.S. Supreme Court). The Firm has also been involved in trust responsibility litigation and NHPA issues. The Firm helps to represent the Navajo Nation on uranium issues. In October, 2007, the Firm helped represent a delegation of Navajo testify at a hearing before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on the issue of uranium mining and contamination on the Navajo Nation. Members of the Firm have addressed the Navajo Nation Council and the Navajo Nation Human Rights Commission. In April, 2007 Howard Shanker was honored by the President of the Navajo Nation and the Navajo Nation Council for his legal work in furtherance of protecting the San Francisco Peaks. In 2008, Mr. Shanker was the Keynote speaker for the Navajo EPA annual conference in Window Rock.

The Firm helped represent the White Mountain Apache Tribe on issues of Tribal sovereignty (Elliot v. White Mountain Apache Tribal Court, No. 07-15041 (9th Cir. 2008) and was counsel on the case that helped protect the Desert Nesting Bald Eagle (Center for Biological Diversity v. Kempthorne, No. CV 07-0038-PHX-MHM (D. Ariz. 2008) – a case that was joined by many of the Apache Nations as amicus.

The Firm believes in tribal rights and sovereignty. Members of the Shanker Law Firm have removed cases more appropriately heard in tribal courts from State courts. The Firm strives to assist tribes in retaining their inherent sovereignty.

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