Greenberg Traurig Represents the Apache Alliance in Historic Federal…

Global law firm Greenberg Traurig, LLP’s Heather Dawn Thompson represented the Apache Alliance in obtaining an inter-tribal Section 17 federal corporate charter, the first one of its kind granted under the Trump Administration.

“This is the culmination of years of effort and vision to bring the Apache tribes and the Apache people together,” said Ft. Sill Apache Chairman Jeff Haozous who serves as Chairman of the Apache Alliance. “The purpose of the Apache Alliance corporation is to provide a vehicle for economic development and self-sufficiency; inter-tribal governmental solidarity, cooperation, and strength; and cultural, sacred site, and language preservation.”

Through federal policies, the Apache people have been spread out among three different states—
Arizona, New Mexico, and Oklahoma—and separated into nine different federally-recognized tribes: White Mountain Apache Tribe, San Carlos Apache Tribe, Yavapai-Apache Nation, Ft. Sill Apache Tribe, Jicarilla Apache Tribe, Mescalero Apache Tribe, Apache Tribe of Oklahoma, Tonto Apache Tribe, and Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation.

The push for an alliance among the tribes began in the early 1970’s when three esteemed Apache leaders—Wendell Chino (Mescalero Apache), Buck Kitcheyan (San Carlos Apache), and Ronnie Lupe (White Mountain Apache)—joined forces to advocate for a greater voice at the federal level. Since then, the Apache Alliance has organized in various legal iterations, including as a tribal corporation under San Carlos Apache.

“This historic federal charter creates a strong legal structure to protect and strengthen the Alliance in perpetuity,” said Haozous.

The charter was approved by the Department of Interior and, fittingly, announced at the retirement celebration for Chairman Ronnie Lupe, who was integral in the Alliance’s creation.

Thompson, an attorney in Greenberg Traurig’s Denver and Washington, D.C. offices and member of its American Indian Law Practice, has a strong track record of creating Section 17 federal tribal and inter-tribal corporations, including the United Tribes of North Dakota. She focuses her practice on American Indian law, federal Indian policy and advocacy, tribal sovereignty, tribal economic development (including energy, finance, and telecom), sovereign economic development, and tribal nation building (including constitutions, codes, and courts). She works with individual tribes, tribal and Indian-owned businesses, and intertribal associations.

About Greenberg Traurig’s American Indian Law Practice
Greenberg Traurig's American Indian Law Practice handles litigation, mediation, transactional, and governmental affairs matters involving Native American and Alaska Native tribes and tribal entities in every part of the United States.

About Greenberg Traurig
Greenberg Traurig, LLP (GT) has more than 2,000 attorneys in 38 offices in the United States, Latin America, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. GT has been recognized for its philanthropic giving, was named the largest firm in the U.S. by Law360 in 2017, and is among the Top 20 on the 2017 Am Law Global 100. Web: Twitter: @GT_Law.

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