Launched four decades ago, CILS is one of the oldest non-profit law firms devoted exclusively to the cause of Native American rights. HQ in Escondido, with offices in Bishop, Eureka, and Sacramento.
Organization Website

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Primary geographic focus: Bay Area, California Statewide, Central Coast, Central Valley, Eastern California, Northern District, Rural, Sacramento Region, Southwestern California
Organization Type: Provider
LAAC Membership Type: Members
Lists: LSC Grantees, IOLTA-Funded, IOLTA Field Programs
Tags: Native American/ Indigenous
Acronym or short name: CILS

California Indian Legal Services (CILS) is one of the oldest non-profit law firms devoted exclusively to the cause of Native American rights. Governed by a Board of Trustees selected by California tribes and tribal organizations, CILS has provided free and low-cost legal services to California tribes, tribal organizations, and Native American individuals throughout the state for over four decades. The mission of CILS is to protect and advance Indian rights, foster Indian self-determination, and facilitate tribal nation-building.

CILS began as California Rural Legal Assistance (CRLA), and the organization’s earliest mission was to reach out and provide legal representation to clients in rural areas, which included many Native Americans. However, in 1967, the frequency and complexity of legal problems faced by California’s Native American population inspired the formation of a distinct organization dedicated to such matters.  Today, CILS maintains four offices throughout California and is supported by grants, namely the Legal Services Corporation and the State Bar of California, private foundations, individual and corporate contributors, and contracts from a host of California’s 109 federally recognized Indian Tribes.

California Indian Legal Services (CILS)


News Story

ACLU, Clovis Unified announce details on graduation feather agreement

Rory Appleton
The Fresno Bee
June 3, 2015
A deal was made by the ACLU, California Indian Legal Services and the Native American Rights Fund to allow a Clovis Unified graduating senior to attach the feather to his cap during graduation.

This page last modified: Thu, February 16, 2023 -- 2:09 pm ET