Akin Gump Advises Gila River Indian Community in Second School Lease Agreement With Department of the Interior

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, the Gila River Indian Community and the Department of the Interior entered into a lease for the Casa Blanca Community School located on the Gila River Indian Reservation. A team from Akin Gump’s American Indian law and policy practice advised the Community in the lease agreement—its second such representation on behalf of the Community.

This lease was executed as part of the Department of the Interior’s section 105(l) leasing program contained in the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act (ISDEAA).  The program furthers tribal self-determination through lease negotiations to compensate tribal nations for programs that are part of ISDEAA’s contracting or compacting authority.

More information about the agreement and the school can be found in the Community’s press release, available by clicking here.

The Akin Gump team advising the Community was led by American Indian law and policy practice head Don Pongrace and includes senior policy advisor Denise Desiderio, partner Jason Hauter, senior counsel Katie Brossy and consultant Steven Heeley.

This is the second such lease entered into by the Gila River Indian Community, and Akin Gump has advised on both. The initial lease was the first of its kind at the Department of the Interior and formalized an innovative school construction lease for the Gila Crossing Community School also located on the Reservation.  That school opened in August of 2019, and you may find additional information on that project by clicking here.  Next week, the Gila River Indian Community will receive the “Deal of the Year” award for this innovative project from the Native American Finance Officer’s Association.

This is also the second 105(l) lease between an American Indian tribe and the Department of the Interior that Akin Gump has advised on this year. In July, the American Indian law and policy team advised the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation in their 105(l) lease agreement with the Department of the Interior for a public safety facility. You may find more information on that agreement here.

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP is a leading international law firm with more than 900 lawyers and advisors in offices throughout the United States, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Founded in 1945, the firm is proudly celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2020. #AkinGump75

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