California Indian Law Association Honorees Announced


ROHNERT PARK, CA – The California Indian Law Association (CILA) is proud to announce that George Forman is the 2019 recipient of CILA’s Outstanding Achievement in Indian Law Award and Christina Snider is the 2019 recipient of CILA’s inaugural Outstanding Young Attorney Award.

CILA’s Outstanding Achievement in Indian Law Award honors one legal professional annually who has made significant contributions to California Indian law. Previous recipients of this award include Dorothy Alther, Executive Director of California Indian Legal Services and Carole Goldberg, Distinguished Research Professor at UCLA School of Law. CILA’s inaugural Outstanding Young Attorney Award recognizes one attorney in practice for ten years or less who exemplifies high achievement, innovation, leadership, and service. Christina is the first recipient of this award.

“George Forman has worked tirelessly for Indian Country for half a century. His landmark work on behalf of my Tribe and all Tribes has defined the landscape of Indian law in the state. Not only is he an Indian law legend, George also takes the time to mentor young Natives, including myself, that are interested in attending law school. This is a well-deserved honor,” said Loretta Miranda, Vice President of the CILA Board of Directors.

“CILA chose Christina Snider as its inaugural Outstanding Young Attorney Award winner because she exemplifies the best of what young Native attorneys are accomplishing across the state. Christina’s innovative and tireless advocacy throughout her young career has left a lasting impact on her clients and state policy,” said Geneva E.B. Thompson, President of the CILA Board of Directors.

George and Christina will be honored at the CILA Gala on October 3, 2019 at the 19th Annual California Indian Law Conference at Graton Resort and Casino in Rohnert Park, California.

George Forman

George Forman, a 1967 graduate of the University of California at Berkeley, and a 1970 graduate of Berkeley Law, began his Indian law experience with California Indian Legal Services (CILS) in 1969 as a summer law clerk in the Escondido office, after which he opened the Ukiah Office, then came to the Berkeley and then the Oakland office. In 1985, George entered full-time private practice and in 1996, along with Patricia A. Prochaska, founded Forman & Prochaska in San Rafael, California.

George taught Indian law for ten years as an Adjunct Professor at U.C.’s Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco, and has been a presenter at the annual conferences of the Environmental Law Section of the California State Bar, several conferences of the California District Attorneys’ Association, Indian Financing Conferences, the Earl Warren Inns of Court in Oakland, meetings of various tribal organizations and trade associations, and in state and federal legislative hearings, where he has shared his knowledge of jurisdiction in Indian country, tribal government gaming and other related issues.

In February 2006, George began practice as the principal in Forman & Associates, Attorneys at Law, in San Rafael, California, where he currently has two associate partners. George has been solely or principally responsible for such landmark Indian law decisions as, Santa Rosa Band of Indians v. Kings County, 532 F.2d 655 (9th Cir. 1975) (held that P.L. 280 did not grant land use jurisdiction to States or Counties); Segundo v. City of Rancho Mirage, 813 F.2d 1387 (9th Cir. 1987) (held that City has no jurisdiction to control rents in mobile home park operated by non-Indians on leased allotted trust lands).

Mr. Forman has and continues to represent countless California tribal clients. This year, George celebrates his fiftieth year representing the Morongo Band of Mission Indians.


Christina Snider

Christina Snider, of Healdsburg, CA, serves as the Governor’s Tribal Advisor and executive secretary to the Native American Heritage Commission. Governor Brown established the position of Governor’s Tribal Advisor by executive order to bolster communication and collaboration between California state government and Native American Tribes. Christina as served in this position since February 2018.  Snider is a member of the Dry Creek Rancheria Band of Pomo Indians and has served as an Indian Child Welfare Act representative for the Tribe since 2017. She was of counsel at Ceiba Legal LLP from 2016 to 2017, staff attorney at the National Congress of American Indians from 2015 to 2016, a legal fellow at the Wishtoyo Foundation in 2014 and a law clerk in the Office of Tribal Justice at the U.S. Department of Justice in 2012.

About CILA: The California Indian Law Association, Inc. (“CILA”) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit charitable organization dedicated to serving as a strong representative of the Indian law profession in tribal communities across California. The 19th Annual California Indian Law Gala will be held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday, Oct 3, 2019, followed by the 19th Annual California Indian Law Conference from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 4, 2019, at the Graton Resort & Casino in Rohnert Park, California. For the full agenda and details visit the CILA website:

Released: August 27, 2019.