Nine Great Resources for Indian and Tribal Law Research

There are 7 reservations in Montana spread across the state from the northwest corner over to the southeast corner. In addition, there are over 20,000 Native Americans living off-reservations in Montana (see http://ceic.mt.gov/C2000/misc_res/809000reservationpop.pdf for 2000 U.S. census data on Native American population statistics in Montana). According to the 2010 census, Billings, MT has the fourth-highest percentage of Native Americans in an off-reservation town of over 100,000 in the United States. Several western states are considering testing Indian Law on the bar exam or already do. All this means the likelihood is high that Montana law students and attorneys will encounter Indian and tribal law issues during their careers. For when that time comes here are some great sources for Indian and Tribal Law research.

NATIONAL INDIAN LAW LIBRARY
The National Indian Law Library has an extensive repository of tribal constitutions and codes, many of which are available via their website. The site also contains topical research guides and Tribal New Bulletins.

NATIVE AMERICAN CONSTITUTION AND LAW DIGITIZATION PROJECT
Cooperative project between the Oklahoma Law Center and National Indian law Library to digitize and provide access to tribal constitutions, codes, treaties (including a digitized version of Kappler’s Indian Affairs: Laws & Treaties) and other documents. Also contains a digitized version of Cohen’s Handbook of Federal Indian Law  (1941 ed.).

MONTANA INDIAN LAW PORTAL
Built through a partnership between the State Law Library of Montana and the Montana Office of Public Instruction. Contains treaties, codes, and case law from all tribes in Montana including the Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians,  as well as tribal gaming and water compacts with the State of Montana.

JAMESON LAW LIBRARY INDIAN AND TRIBAL LAW PAGE
Portal with links to primary and secondary Indian and tribal law resources on the internet.

WESTLAW NATIVE AMERICAN LAW TOPIC (subscription only; not available on public access Westlaw)
Tribal codes and caselaw from over 20+ tribes including cases published in Wests Tribal Law Reporter, West’s Mashantucket Pequot Reports, and the Oklahoma Tribal Court Reports. Also contains databases of federal Indian statutes, regulations and cases.

LEXIS NATIVE AMERICAN LAW TOPIC (subscription only)
Covers all aspects of federal Indian law but does not contain tribal law materials. Contains the current editions of Cohen’s Handbook of Federal Indian law.

HEINONLINE AMERICAN INDIAN LAW COLLECTION (subscription only; available to all users on UM campus)
Unique current and historical archive of over 800 Indian law titles covering “an expansive archive of treaties, federal statutes and regulations, federal case law, tribal codes, constitutions, and jurisprudence.”

WILLIAM J. JAMESON PRINT TREATISE COLLECTION
The library endeavors to maintain a comprehensive collection of scholarly and practice-focused Indian Law treatises as well as treatises on non-US indigenous law topics.

SUMMER INDIAN LAW PROGRAM INDIAN LAW RESEARCH COURSE
If you would like to learn more about Indian Law Research, The University of Montana School of Law offers an Indian Law Research course during the Summer Indian Law Program.  This year the course will be held May 29-June 1.  It is a 1 credit course taught by Prof. Stacey Gordon. If you are interested in this course or other courses in the Summer Indian Law Program, watch the UMSL website for more information or contact Stacey Gordon (stacey.gordon@umontana.edu).

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