Slockish v. Dept. of Transportation Cert Petition


Question presented:

Whether the Ninth Circuit’s mootness ruling warrants summary reversal where the panel clearly misapprehended governing law on mootness and on the authority of federal courts to order equitable relief affecting nonparties.

Lower court materials here.

Ninth Circuit Materials in Slockish v. FHA


Opening Brief

Indian Law Scholars Amicus Brief

Religious Groups Amicus Briefs

Religious Liberty Scholars Amicus Brief

Federal Answer Brief


Lower court materials here.


Federal Court Orders Exhaustion in Suit Arising Out of Death of Yakama Citizen

Here are the materials in United Financial Casualty Company v. Spencer Trucking LLC (E.D. Wash.):

1 Complaint

3 Amended Complaint

5 Motion to Dismiss

7 Response

12 Reply

14 Motion for Summary Judgment

17 Second Motion to Dismiss

22 DCT Order

Federal Claims Court Dismiss Claims of Irrigators in Wapato Irrigation Project [near Yakama Nation]

Here are the materials in Olson v. United States (Fed. Cl.):

34 Amended Complaint

35 Motion to Dismiss

36 Response

40 Reply

46 US Supplemental Brief

47 Response

48 DCT Order

Tribes and States Sue to Block Sale and Removal of National Archives in Seattle

Here is the complaint in State of Washington v. Vought (W.D. Wash.):

1 Complaint

15 Motion for Preliminary Injunction

30 Amended Complaint

32 Opposition

37 Proposed Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law and Proposed Form of Injunctive Relief

40 Reply

News coverage:

Washington AG press release:

Indian Country Today:

Seattle Times:

Spokesman Review:

Yakama Nation press release:

Press Release_YN_OMB_Seattle Archives Lawsuit (1.4.21) (002)

Yakama Nation Endorsement of Justice Raquel Montoya-Lewis for Washington Supreme Court

Here is the letter: Letter_YN_Endorsement of J. Raquel Montoya-Lewis (8.21.20).

Here is the text of the letter:

To Whom It May Concern, 


I write on behalf of the Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation to endorse Justice Raquel Montoya-Lewis for the Washington State Supreme Court.  As the first Native to serve as a State Supreme Court Justice, Justice Montoya-Lewis brings a background and perspective to the bench that has been sorely lacking throughout Washington’s statehood. 


Justice Montoya-Lewis’s experience as a Judge for the Lummi Nation, Nooksack Tribe, and Upper Skagit Tribe have afforded her an in-depth understanding of both tribal law and federal Indian law, which is essential to understanding the limitations of Washington State law plays in Indian Country.  This experience makes Justice Montoya-Lewis uniquely qualified to recognize and uphold the Treaty and other inherent rights of the 29 sovereign Native Nations whose peoples have always lived in the lands now called Washington State.


Justice Montoya-Lewis clearly has the legal mind and acumen needed for the job, but more importantly she has the heart and compassion that our society needs from state judges.  On July 10, 2020, Justice Montoya-Lewis read aloud the Supreme Court’s decision to vacate its 1916 conviction of an enrolled Yakama Member, atwai Alec Towessnute, for exercising his Treaty-reserved fishing rights on the Yakima River.  Speaking truth to our experience as Native Peoples, Justice Montoya-Lewis correctly observed that injustices like the Towessnute conviction “continue to perpetrate injustice by their very existence.”


Justice Montoya-Lewis’s perspective has long been absent from the Washington State Supreme Court.  We urge all enrolled Yakama Members, and all Washington State citizens, to support her candidacy to retain her seat on the Washington State Supreme Court.

Washington SCT Vacates 105-Year Old Opinion Rejecting Treaty Rights Defense for Yakama Fisher

Here is the order in State of Washington v. Towessnute:

13083-3 Order

Here are a couple contemporaneous newspaper accounts:

The Spokesman Review, Sat., Feb. 5, 1916

The Oregon Daily Journal, Thu., June 1, 1916

NYTs News Profile on the Yakama Nation’s Fisheries

Here is “For This Tribe, Saving a River Means Saving the Sturgeon: The Yakama Nation has been raising fish to release back into the Columbia River for more than a decade. Now, its hatchery is also producing caviar.”