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Electronic Resources for American Indian, First Nations & Indigenous Studies

The purpose of this research guide is to focus on key Electronic Resources for American Indian, First Nations & Indigenous Studies, with an emphasis on the Native American experience in the United States.

Law & Treaties

American Indians of the Pacific Northwest

UW Libraries' digital collection of historic documents and photographs and recent essays on various topics.

Indian Trust

Comprehensive site with case overview, chronology, court orders, and plaintiff's filings.

National Congress of American Indians

The National Congress of American Indians, founded in 1944, is the oldest, largest and most representative American Indian and Alaska Native organization serving the broad interests of tribal governments and communities.

National Indian Law Library

The National Indian Law Library (NILL) of the Native American Rights Fund is a law library devoted to federal Indian and tribal law. NILL maintains a unique and valuable collection of Indian law resources and assists people with their Indian law-related research needs.

Montana Indian Law

Portal for legal materials for Blackfeet, Chippewa Cree, Salish & Kootenai, Crow, Assiniboine & Bros Ventre, Assiniboine & Sioux, Little Shell, and Northern Cheyenne.

Restatement on the law of American Indians

The American Law Institute Restatement will cement the foundational principles of American Indian law. Topics include federal/tribal relations, state/tribal relations, tribal jurisdiction and authority, and Indian Country business law.

Washington Governors Office of Indian Affairs

Links to State and Tribal Relations, Training, Resources, Tribal Government, current events

United States Senate Committee on Indian Affairs

The Committee has jurisdiction to study the unique problems of American Indian, Native Hawaiian, and Alaska Native peoples and to propose legislation to alleviate these difficulties. These issues include, but are not limited to, Indian education, economic development, land management, trust responsibilities, health care, and claims against the United States.


Tribal codes are the legislative enactments of tribal councils. Depending on the tribe, they might be published in print, published on the tribe's website, published on an online commercial source—or available only in the tribe's offices.

"CFR Courts" or the Court of Indian Offenses serve as the trial courts for some Oklahoma tribes that do not have their own justice systems. Appeals may be taken from the trial court to the Court of Indian Appeals.

Tribal Law and Order Act of 2010

Pub. L. 111-211, tit. II, 124 Stat. 2261, enabled tribes to increase their criminal jurisdiction and impose longer sentences than before, but only if they "make publicly available the criminal laws (including regulations and interpretive documents), rules of evidence, and rules of criminal procedure . . . of the tribal government" (§ 234(c)(4), codified at 25 U.S.C. §1302(c)(4)). Thus, at least the criminal sections of tribal codes are likely to become more readily available.

National Indian Law Library 

has the best collection of tribal codes anywhere, in print and online. Checking there is often a good way to see whether a code has been published. NILL offers different ways to find tribal codes. Search the catalog. Advanced search lets you select Type = codes. If you don't include anything else, then result is all the codes in the library's collection (including electronic sources). Or Use NILL's Tribal Law GatewaySelect a tribe from the list to find links to available materials. (The Tribal Law Gateway also provides access to tribal constitutions, and tribal court opinions.)

National Tribal Judicial Center

Part of the National Judicial College.

National American Indian Court Judges Association

NAICJA is a national association comprised of tribal justice personnel & others devoted to supporting and strengthening tribal justice systems through education, information sharing, and advocacy.

Northwest Intertribal Court System Decisions

These court opinions are current through 19 NICS App., notations of orders in unreported cases, March 9, 2021. Disclaimer: The Northwest Intertribal Court System has the official version of the court records

Northwest Intertribal Court System 

is a consortium of 15 tribes, each with its own court and code. The tribes are: Chehalis, Hoh, Lummi, Muckleshoot, Nisqually, Nooksack,Port Gamble, Sauk-Suiattle, Shoalwater Bay, S'Klallam, Skokomish, Squaxin Island, Suquamish, Swinomish, Tulalip, and Upper Skagit. (The Puyuallup Tribe was in the consortium but withdrew in 1991.) Covers from late-1980s, with three cases 1987 and earlier.

Tribal Courts Council

A free-standing committee of the American Bar Association's Judicial Division.

Tribal Court Clearinghouse 

makes the VersusLaw opinions database publicly available for simple keyword searching or for browsing by topic.

Since Time Immemorial

Website Office of Native Education (Office of the Superintendant of Public Instruction). Since Time Immemorial (STI) is a curriculum about tribal sovereignty in Washington State. RCW 28A.320.170 requires schools to teach tribal history and culture.

Governor's Office of Indian Affairs

The promotes the government to government relationship between the State of Washington and Indian Tribes, advocates for the social and economic betterment of all American Indians and Alaska Natives living within Washington State and educates for a greater cultural understanding of the State’s first citizens.

American Indian Constitutions and Legal Materials
The Law Library of Congress has digitizes a number of tribal constitutions and other legal materials. They are all arranged by geographic region.

Indigenous Governance Database

Developed by Native Nations Institute, Univ. of Arizona. Registration required (free).
Searchable database of videos, audio recordings, papers. Includes Constitutions Resource Center (CRC), with "research on Indigenous constitutions, examples of tribal constitutional reform, and videos of Native leaders and other governance experts discussing constitutional change."

National Congress of American Indians Policy Issues

Website includes information on policy surrounding community, culture, economics, education and health, land and natural resources, and tribal governance.

Library of Congress

The Library of Congress has a digital collection American Indian Constitutions and Legal Materials, grouped by region:


The federal government entered into treaties with Indian tribes between 1778 and 1871. Most treaties between the United States and Indian tribes were compiled in volume 7 of United States Statutes at Large; some treaties are in volumes 1-16.

The federal government entered into seven treaties with tribes in Washington Territory. The Governor's Office of Indian Affairs provides the texts of:

  • Treaty of Medicine Creek, 1854
  • Treaty of Point Elliott, 1855
  • Treaty of Point No Point, 1855
  • Treaty of Neah Bay, 1855
  • Treaty with the Yakama, 1855
  • Quinault Treaty, 1856
  • Treaty with Walla Walla 1855

The same treaties, with citations to Stat. and links to Kappler:

American Indian Treaties Portal 

A digital collection of the final texts of 366 of the 375 American Indian treaties recognized by the United States Department of State

American Indian and Alaska Native Documents in the Congressional Serial Set: 1817-1899

This collection from the University of Oklahoma College of Law "provides in-depth, detailed contemporaneous documentation of political, military, and governmental activities related to indigenous peoples of the continental United States and Alaskan territory" from the Serial Set, a collection of congressional reports and documents and reports to Congress.

Early Recognized Treaties with American Indian Nations

(University of Nebraska-Lincoln) Nine early treaties, from 1722 - 1805, did not appear in the Statutes at Large and thus do not appear in the Kappler Report. Seven of these were between American Indian tribes and the British, pre-dating the U.S., but recognized by the Department of State. The remaining two treaties were published in the first volume of American State Papers: Indian Affairs, but not in the Statutes at Large.

IDA Treaties Explorer

Includes the 374 Ratified Indian Treaties held at the US National Archives. Provides access to the digitized documents as well as tools to help put them into historical context.

Indian Affairs: Laws and Treaties by Charles J. Kappler

Interior Department. Thursday, January 1, 1970....Affairs. Laws of Seventy-sixth Congress, first session. 1939. (53 Stat.) 1 (No laws relating to Indians passed Seventy-sixth Congress, second sess10n.) Laws of Seventy-sixth Congress, third session. 1940-41. (54 Stat.) 47 Laws of Seventy-seventh Congress, first session. 1941-42. (55 Stat.) 108 Laws of Seventy-seventh Congress, second session. 1942

Invasion of America []

Interactive map, created by history professor Claudio Saunt, shows Indian land cessions 1776–1887. Interactive features let you find specific locations or tribes.

Treaty Affairs

The State Department's Office of the Assistant Legal Adviser for Treaty Affairs provides links to Treaties in Force, which includes all current treaties to which the US is party, and Treaties And Other International Acts Series (TIAS) which includes all treaties to which the US has become party in a calendar year.

Law & Code by Tribe

Criminal Law

Bureau of Justice Statistics - Tribal Law Enforcement

Tribally operated law enforcement agencies provide a broad range of public safety services such as responding to calls for service, investigating crimes, enforcing traffic laws, executing arrest warrants, serving process, providing court security, and conducting search and rescue operations. Findings are based on the 2008 Census of State and Local Law Enforcement Agencies.

National Criminal Justice Reference Service - Special Feature: Justice in Indian Country

National Institute of Justice - Tribal Crime & Justice

NIJ's tribal crime and justice portfolio aims to provide an accurate reporting of crime and violence;  provide reliable, valid estimates of the scope of the problem; and  identify barriers to and possible solutions for dealing with these significant public safety issues.

Indian Law & Order Commission - A Roadmap for Making Native America Safer

Indian Law & Order Commission

TLOA created the Indian Law and Order Commission, an independent, all-volunteer advisory group, to help with the greatest challenges to securing equal justice for Native Americans living and working on Indian lands. The purpose of this website is to provide updates, news, and resources related to the Commission's activities.

U.S. Department of Justice - Tribal Justice and Safety - Tribal Law and Order Act

Tribal Law & Policy Institute - The Violence Against Women Act - Title IX: Safety for Indian Women

"Among its provisions, Title IX of VAWA of 2013 authorized “special domestic violence criminal jurisdiction.” This jurisdiction authorizes tribes to criminally prosecute non-Indians for the crimes of domestic violence, dating violence, and the violation of protection orders. However, in order for tribes to utilize this criminal jurisdiction, tribes must provide certain enumerated due process protections, including most of the protections required in the Tribal Law and Order Act." Site includes summary of law, links to publications.

Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act [US Code]

NAGPRA (1990) provides for the return of human remains, funerary objects, and sacred objects to descendants of federally recognized Indian Tribes and Native Hawaiian communities.

Repatriation [The Burke Museum]

The Burke Museum was founded in 1885 by the Young Naturalists in order to preserve and understand natural and historic changes in the Pacific Northwest. 

I.R.S. - Tax Information for Indian Tribal Governments

The office provides information for tribal governments understand and comply with applicable tax laws, and protecting the public interest by applying the tax law with integrity and fairness to all. ITG is guided by principles of respect for Indian tribal self-government and sovereignty.