Skip to Main Content

Indian & Tribal Law

Resources for researching federal Indian law and Native American tribal law.

Research Guides: Indian & Tribal Law

Kelly Kunsch, A Legal Practitioner's Guide to Indian and Tribal Law Research, 5 Am. Indian L.J. 102 (2017). Practical, clear, thorough. Sections on compacts and on research tribal membership provide tips you might not see elsewhere.

Penny A. Hazelton, Indian Law Research in Washington, in Washington Legal Researcher's Deskbook 3d at 211 (2002). Reference Area and Reference Office (KFW75.W37 2002). Includes an overview of federal Indian policy and Indian law terminology (e.g., "Indian Country," "federal trust responsibility"). Focuses on Washington State.

David Selden & Monica Martens, National Indian Law Library, Basic Indian Law Research Tips--Part I: Federal Indian Law (2008).

David E. Selden (National Indian Law Library), Researching American Indian Tribal Law, Colo. Law. (Feb. 2014).

Nancy Carol Carter, Native American Tribal Law, in Steven M. Barkan et al., Fundamentals of Legal Research 565 (10th ed. 2015).

Nancy Carol Carter, American Indian Law: Research and Sources, Legal Reference Services Q., Wtr. 1984-85, at 5 (HeinOnline).

Guides for Special Topics Within Indian & Tribal Law

The National Indian Law Library has research guides on specific topics:

  • tribal recognition
  • tribal enrollment
  • citizenship & borders
  • Indian trust responsibilities
  • tribal education
  • Indian Child Welfare Act
  • religion & sacred places
  • international indigenous rights
  • indigenous peacemaking
  • jurisdiction in Indian country
  • prisoner issues
  • environment & climate change
  • water rights & Indian land
  • co-management of public lands

Nancy Carol Carter, American Indian Tribal Governments, Law, and Courts, 18 Legal Reference Services Q., no. 2, at 7 (2000) (HeinOnline).

Nancy Carol Carter, Native Hawaiians: History, Law and Research, 21 Legal Reference Services Q., no. 1, at 5 (2002) (HeinOnline)

Nancy Carol Carter, The Special Case of Alaska: Native Law and Research, 22 Legal Reference Services Q., no. 4, at 11 (2003) (HeinOnline).

Nancy Carol Carter, American Indian Water Rights: Law and Research, 27 Legal Reference Services Q. 1 (2008) (HeinOnline).

Univ. of Oklahoma, Indian Land Titles. Includes several versions of a guide on Indian territoriality.

Indian Law Bibliographies

When you are looking for recent articles on a topic, you will most often use a full-text system like HeinOnline, Lexis, or Westlaw. But if you want to gather articles from several decades on, say, Indian fishing rights or state taxation of Indian businesses, a bibliography can save you time and help ensure thoroughness.

Michael Beaird, A Survey of American Indian Legal Sources (1974), Classified Stacks (KF8201.A1 B42), catalog record.  

Brandon Burnette, Annotated Bibliography of Native American History from United States Federal Documents: Print and Online Resources (2012)

Nancy Carol Carter, U.S. Federal Indian Policy: An Essay and Annotated Bibliography, 30 Legal Reference Services Q. 210 (2011) (HeinOnline).

Ray Davies & Richmond L. Clow, American Indian Sovereignty and Law: An Annotated Bibliography (2009), Classified Stacks (KF8201.A1 A44 2009), catalog record.

Laura N. Gasaway et al., American Indian Legal Materials: A Union List (1980) (a list of Indian law materials held by 28 US law libraries) (LLMC - UW restricted). Also print: Reference Office (KF8201.A1 G3), catalog record.

Rory SnowArrow Fausett & Judith V. Royster, Courts and Indians: Sixty-Five Years of Legal Analysis: Bibliography of Periodical Articles Relating to Native American Law, 1922-1996, 7 Legal Reference Services Q., Issues 2-4, 1987, at 107 (HeinOnline).

Lester Hargrett, A Bibliography of the Constitutions and Laws of the American Indians (1947), Classified Stacks (KF8220.A1 H37 1947), catalog record.

Bruce E. Johansen, Native American Political Systems and the Evolution of Democracy: An Annotated Bibliography (1996) (ebook - UW restricted), catalog record.

Delores A. Jorgensen & Barbara B. Heisinger, A Bibliography of Indian Law Periodical Articles Published 1980-1990 (1992), Reference Office (KF8201.A1J67 1992), catalog record.

Marilyn K. Nicely, Annotated Bibliography of Federal and Tribal Law: Print and Internet Sources, Univ. of Okla. (2010).

Joseph D. Sabatini, American Indian Law: A Bibliography of Books, Law Review Articles, and Indian Periodicals (1973), Classified Stacks (KF8201.A1 S15),  catalog record.

Research Guides: Native American Studies