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American Indian Law Research Guide

Tribal Constitutions and Codes

Indian Tribal Codes: a microfiche collection of Indian tribal codes, 1981 & 1988.

A few Tribes publish their codes in print - codes can be found at call number KF8228 generally in the Boley Law Library.

Tribal Law Gateway 

  • Comprehensive links from the National Indian Law Library for finding Tribal Codes and Constitutions. 

Also see the University of Oklahoma’s Native American Constitution and Law Digitization Project.

The Tribal Court Clearinghouse 

  • has many model Tribal Codes as well as links to other sites.

See individual Tribal web pages for additional information

Tribal Court Opinions Authored by Professor Frank Pommersheim

Quick Guide to the Tribal Court Opinions written by Tribal Court Justice Frank Pommersheim

  • This online component to Tribal Justice: 25 Years as a Tribal Appellate Justice by Frank Pommersheim (hosted at the University of South Dakota Law Library), includes a subject index to the full-text of 120+ opinions from the Rosebud Sioux Supreme Court, the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribal Court of Appeals and the Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribal Court of Appeals in South Dakota, the Saginaw Chippewa Tribal Court of Appeals in Michigan, the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Supreme Court, the Grand Portage Chippewa Tribal Court of Appeals and Lower Sioux Tribal Court of Appeals in Minnesota.

Tribal Court Case Law

Some Tribal Court decisions are published online. Check individual Tribal court web pages for information.

  • See the National Indian Law Library Tribal Law Gateway for links.
  • For more detailed information about Tribal Courts, see the United States Tribal Courts Directory, by April Schwartz and Mary Jo B. Hunter. 
  • Tribal Court Decisions Research Guide from the University of Washington Gallagher Law Library includes a very useful table with detailed information about where individual tribes publish opinions.

Indian Law Reporter, American Indian Lawyer Training Program, 1974-. Boley Law Library Call Number: KF8204.2 .I5

  • Looseleaf reporter providing the text of federal, state and tribal court decisions, and selected administrative decisions from the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Includes a current awareness service on new developments in Indian law. Cumulative topical index and table of cases in each volume.
  • The National Indian Law Library provides an online cumulative subject index to the ILR.

The Northwest Intertribal Court System 

  • Provides free online access to appellate opinions for 30 tribes in Alaska, the Pacific Northwest and Northern California. 

VersusLaw 

  • Subscription legal database (free for law students) includes 2000+ Tribal Court cases from 21 tribes.

Westlaw

  • Offers tribal court decisions from over 21 tribes individually or collectively via West's American Tribal Court Reporter as well as opinions from Oklahoma tribes. Also includes tribal codes from 24 tribes.

Lexis

  • Includes court opinions from 32 tribes as well as assorted tribal codes and includes several tribes from the Pacific Northwest. Tribal sources are a bit hidden. To see a list of resources use the Browse pulldown menu found at the top of the start page. Choose Practice Centers then choose By Practice Area or Industry and finally choose Native American.

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