A blog covering current events in federal and tribal American Indian Law.
December 20, 2007
New at the Library
Economic summit materials: The National Congress of American Indians is providing white papers from the National Native American economic policy summit : Phoenix Arizona at its web site. Conference proceedings, which the Library collects, often offer a wealth of research material on current issues of importance to Indian Country.
December 3, 2007
Tribal law online
From Sept. 2006 - Aug. 2007, we have found 23 new tribal web sites, 21 new constitutions posted online and 12 new codes posted online.
Access these laws as well as other tribal laws. All information is available at the National Indian Law Library's Tribal Code & Constitution Directory -- the A-Z List at the Tribal Law Gateway.
Search our site more efficiently
Now you can search parts of the NARF web site in addition to the entire site, with a powerful search engine that lets you select search screens, search terms within proximity of each other, and preview highlighted results. Especially helpful to web site users is the ability to isolate large segments of our site, such as the tribal law collection or the ICWA web guide to conduct research. From any NARF page, click on "Search". http://document.narf.org/
Note that the Library's collection of materials must still be searched using the catalog at http://nillcat.narf.org/
As we continue to customize ISYS to fit our web site, we welcome suggestions for improvement or general comments. Send Emails to email@example.com
October 8, 2007
Federal Recognition Resources
A list of tribes recognized as of 2007 is linked, in addition to Bureau of Indian Affairs Acknowledgment Database showing the status of tribes. (last updated August, 2004)
The library has numerous materials on federal recognition. Go to the library's catalog (http://nillcat.narf.org) and type "federal recognition" in the subject field. A new book at the library on this process is Forgotten tribes : unrecognized Indians and the federal acknowledgment process / Mark Edwin Miller. Federal recognition documents for various tribes can be found, and numerous journal articles on the acknowledgment process.
Contact the library for more assistance.
October 5, 2007
A Practical Guide to the Indian Child Welfare Act
Application of the ICWA
Who has rights under the Act
Role of Tribal Courts
Tribal State Agreements
Foster placement & removal
The ICWA Practical Guide Project was generously funded by the Administration for Native Americans, with supplemental funding by the Morongo Band of Mission Indians, and supported by NICWA as a key partner. NARF and an Advisory Board-made up of multi-disciplinary team consisting of members of tribal courts, tribal ICWA departments, state governments, Indian law practitioners, Native non-profit organizations, law firms and urban Indian centers-provided guidance on the comprehensive content of the guide. To order a copy of the Guide, print a free copy, or access the expanded Internet edition, please visit: www.narf.org/icwa.
September 19, 2007
Federal Indian Law and Tribal Law Research Guides Updated 9/07
The Library has updated two important Guides to doing Indian law research
- Basic Indian Law Research Tips -- Part I: Federal Indian Law
- Basic Indian Law Research Tips: Part II: Tribal Law
Indian law is a growing area of law, as many of the more than 560 federally recognized tribes and Alaska Native Villages exercise their sovereignty and self-governance, as well as develop their economies. Many western states have significant populations of American Indians, and trust lands cover more than fifty-five million acres in the United States. A sign of the growing importance of Indian law is that the New Mexico, South Dakota and Washington State Bar Associations have decided to add a question on Indian law on their state bar exams. This article, set out in two parts, and originally published in the Colorado Lawyer, attempts to provide some practical tips for the Indian law researcher. Part I focuses on federal Indian law research. Although hundreds of pages could be written on researching federal Indian law, this article focuses on providing basic tips related to common questions received by the National Indian Law Library (“ NILL” ) and the best sources of information to answer those questions.
Part II focuses on tribal law research. Tribal law is law developed by the tribes, which applies within their territories and to their members. Tribal law can be a difficult area of law to research, because few primary and secondary resources are published or distributed to the public. Despite the lack of commercial publication, tribal law resources have become more accessible in the past six years, primarily on the Internet. However, locating the right resources often requires patience and tenacity and the skilled researcher should be aware of who to contact for assistance.
August 28, 2007
Two new books on the state of Native American Nations
From the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development comes the book The State of the Native Nations: Conditions Under U.S. Policies of Self-Determination. The book covers tribal government and jurisdiction; relations between tribal governments and federal and state governments; and topics such as the environment, gaming, health, culture, and education.
For researchers, the library recommends these books and others listed at http://www.narf.org/nill/resources/basicguide.htm
August 16, 2007
New Tribal Law Materials
July 23, 2007
New resource - Guide for Tribal Court Law Clerks and Judges
The book was co-authored by Jill Tompkins, the Director of the American Indian Law Clinic at the University of Colorado. She has also served as a tribal court judge and as the president of the National American Indian Court Judges Association.
The book is available via a free download.
See information about the American Indian Law Program (which is the umbrella over the Indian Law Clinic.) at www.triballawclerkships.org
July 9, 2007
Tribal Resolutions on Climate Change From Alaska Native Tribes & Villages
Global warming is wreaking havoc in Alaska. In February 2006, during the Alaska Forum on the Environment, Alaska Native participants described increased forest fires, more dangerous hunting, fishing and traveling conditions, visible changes in animals and plants, infrastructure damage from melting permafrost and coastal erosion, fiercer winter storms, and pervasive unpredictability. (Dan Joling, Associated Press, 2/7/07). Because of these and other dramatic changes, traditional knowledge is jeopardized, as are cultural structures and the nutritional needs of Alaska's indigenous peoples.
The Native American Rights Fund, which the library is a part of, successfully gathered 162 Tribal and Corporate Resolutions calling on Congress and the Executive Office to adopt legislation reducing carbon emissions. The resolutions were carried to Washington, D.C. by tribal leaders and presented to the Alaska Delegation on Climate Change Crisis Day, March 20th and 21st. A successful meeting with Congressman Markey followed and resulted in interest to convene hearings on climate change impacts on indigenous peoples.
To read more, visit our case update page on the Global Warming Project, and read the resolutions from the tribes.
June 29, 2007
New at the library
Model rules of professional conduct by the Supreme Court of the Navajo Nation.
Access both by going to the library's online catalog.
May 21, 2007
EPA documents at the library
The National Indian Law Library has approximately 130 materials that are EPA-related. They are either authored by the EPA, or the subject matter is related to the EPA. The library also monitors the Environmental Protection Agency's web site for materials having to do with tribes and environmental management. Library researchers can access this information by using the library's online catalog.
May 15, 2007
DOI & EPA Issue Report on Tribal Protection of the Environment
May 8, 2007
Briefing Paper on Methamphetamines Discusses Tribal Solutions
April 27, 2007
Action in the Supreme Court on two Indian law cases
Petition for writ of certiorari was denied on 4/16/07 in Davidson v. Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority.
Read about these cases in the library's Supreme Court Bulletin.
April 24, 2007
Climate Change and its Effects on Native Peoples in Alaska
February 6, 2007
Supreme Court Bulletin Updated
How to Build a Tribal Legal History
The library hosts a new web site tool: "How to Build a Tribal Legal History"
"Every American Indian tribe and Alaska Native village has a unique legal history. As self-governing sovereigns, these entities are empowered to develop and implement their own internal laws and legal systems."
Created by Nancy Carol Carter -- Professor of Law and Director of the Pardee Legal Research Center, University of San Diego School of Law -- this new web resource tool describes a step-by-step process for finding the documents needed to build a tribal legal history. At each of the five steps, researchers are guided to the most authoritative electronic and print sources, offering alternative sources when available. The project was supported by an American Association of Law Libraries, Lexis/Nexis Research Grant. Professor Carter has written extensively on on Native American law. Comments, corrections, and suggestions are invited. firstname.lastname@example.org
Tribal Law Gateway
The library improves access to hard-to-find tribal law documents through its improved Tribal Law Gateway: The National Indian Law Library's Tribal Law Gateway has a new look. Re-designed -- as an improved portal to the laws of the federally-recognized tribes, Alaska Native villages, and pueblos in the United States -- this area of our web site now brings together all of our research tips and tools in one place. Access has been improved to the hundreds of copies of codes, constitutions and other tribal law documents held by the library and found elsewhere.
From one web page, library researchers can access our:
- research tips and guides,
- A-Z directory for finding tribal laws and web sites,
- print and online collections,
- and more.
For tribal leaders, we have developed an informational web page about the library's efforts to collect tribal codes, constitutions, and compacts.
To use the Tribal Law Gateway today, go to http://www.narf.org/nill/triballaw/index.htm, or click on "Tribal Law Gateway" from our home page.