Office of Reservation Attorney (ORA)
“About the ORA”
The Colville Tribes’ Office of Reservation Attorney is one of the oldest tribal In-House Counsel offices in Indian Country, established in 1982. ORA operations are governed by Chapter 1-4 of the Colville Tribal Code. The ORA provides a variety of legal services to the Colville Business Council and to Tribal government programs. Each attorney in the ORA has a specific list of assigned duties as well as providing “back up” to the assigned attorney as needed. The most current Chart of Attorney Assignments is available from this website. Please note that assignments may be adjusted from time to time as staffing changes. ORA attorneys also handle a range of cases in the Colville Tribal Court and other jurisdictions, including employment appeals, TERO appeals, Worker’s Compensation matters and breach of contract cases, to name a few. ORA attorneys negotiate government-to-government agreements and compacts at the direction of the CBC, including the Tribes’ gaming and cigarette compacts with the State of Washington, and pending marijuana and liquor sales agreements.
The ORA also manages a number of major litigation efforts handled by expert outside counsel. These include Canadian and Sinixt issues, led by Mark Underhill of Arvay Finlay LLP in Vancouver BC; Teck Natural Resources Damages litigation led by Richard Dubey and Paul Dayton of Short, Cressman & Burgess LLP in Seattle; Wenatchi rights litigation led by Harry Sachse of Sonosky, Chambers, Sachse, Endreson & Perry, LLP in Washington, DC, and Columbia River/Grand Coulee Dam and North Half hunting rights issues handled by the firm of Ziontz Chestnut in Seattle. Decisions in these cases have been favorable for the Colville Tribes.
The ORA provides Code Revision services under the management of Anna Vargas. You can find proposed code ammendments and the Tribal Code here. Additionally, the ORA employs the Arrow Lakes, Wenatchi and Sahaptin Coordinators. Shelly Boyd (Arrow Lakes) is based in Inchelium and Bernadine Phillips (Wentachi) has an office in Omak. Veronica Redstar (Sahaptin) is housed in the ORA offices in the Lucy Covington Government Building.
The ORA coordinates the efforts of the Colville Tribes’ federal lobbyist Brian Gunn of Powers Pyles Sutter & Verville PC in Washington, DC, and its state lobbyist Mike Moran of Moran Public Affairs LLC in Olympia.
Bonnie Carden, the ORA Legal Office Coordinator, is a longtime ORA employee, and Kodi Jo Brown currently staffs the ORA front desk as its Administrative Assistant. From time to time attorney and other positions are open in the office. Please check the ORA Recruitment link, located at the bottom of the webpage, for information on advertised positions.
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