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American Indian Law

An introduction to American Indian Law with numerous links to helpful sources.

The David H. Getches Collection

David H. Getches Collection: The David H. Getches Collection at the William A. Wise Law Library is dedicated to preserving and sharing Dean Getches’ tremendous legal and educational legacy, as reflected in his scholarship, academic speeches, congressional testimony, and litigation.

Land rights (also see Treaties)


Political Principles & Indian Sovereignty, Thurman Lee Hester, Jr.
NORLIN STACKS  KF 8205 .H47 2001

Uneven Ground: American Indian Sovereignty and Federal Law - David E. Wilkins and K. Tsianina Lomawaima
LAW STACKS 1st floor  KF 8205 .W529 2001
Tribal-state and tribal-federal relationships are featured with respects to exercising sovereignty through healthcare, education, gaming, and taxation. Implications of sovereignty through six doctrines of U.S. law are examined.
Tribal Sovereignty and the Historical Imagination: Cheyenne-Arapaho Politics - Loretta Fowler
NORLIN STACKS  E 99.A7 F69 2002
The main focus of this book is on the Cheyenne-Arapaho experiences with colonizers and how it has shaped tribal politics today. The historical constructions of the Cheyenne-Arapaho ideology and its effects on tribal society and norms are demonstrated.
Contemporary Native American Political Issues - Troy R. Johnson
NORLIN STACKS  E 98 .P76 C66 1999
Comprised of a variety of articles written by scholars of American Indian Studies, this book introduces political issues impacting American Indian nations and individuals. Chapters are divided up as follows: Nationalism and Sovereignty, International
Indigenous Rights, Economic Development, Law and Justice, Repatriation, and Activism.
American Indian Sovereignty and the U.S. Supreme Court - David E. Wilkins
LAW STACKS 1st floor  KF 8205 .W527 1997
An in-depth analysis of how the U.S. Supreme Court handled Indian cases throughout history is presented in this text. Wilkins examines the Supreme Court’s diminishment of Indian sovereignty and gives examples through fifteen court cases.
Native Americans and the Law: A Dictionary - Gary A. Sokolow
LAW REFERENCE 2nd floor  KF 8203.6 .S66 2000
The dictionary is a useful tool for anyone wanting to learn more about the law as it applies to American Indians. Along with answering some of today’s most commonly asked questions about the law and American Indians, the dictionary also provides summaries of numerous legislative acts, court cases, and tribal organizations.
Documents of United States Indian Policy - Francis Paul Prucha
LAW STACKS 1st floor  KF 8205 .D63 2000
Chronologically organized, this book contains documents that are significant in that they have contributed to federal Indian policy in one way or another. The compilation includes treaties, legislative enactments, judicial decisions, executive statements, and extracts from official committees and commissions from 1780’s to 2000.
Zuni and the Courts: A Struggle for Sovereign Land Rights - E. Richard Hart
LAW STACKS 1st floor  KF 8208 .Z86 1995
Three land claim cases that resulted in three victories for the protection and compensation for Zuni aboriginal lands and environmental damage caused by private industry are examined in this publication. Zuni culture and its history are discussed. Essays written by historians, archaeologists, anthropologists and lawyers who testified in the cases are included.
Native Hawaiian Rights Handbook - Melody Kapilialoha MacKenzie
LAW STACKS basement  KFH 505.6 .C5 N37 1991
Separated into five parts with part one entitled, “Native Hawaiian Lands and Sovereignty”, this handbook analyzes and discusses the historical and political relationships that are unique to Native Hawaiians as an aboriginal people. Land titles, resource rights, traditional and customary rights are examined throughout the text.


Early Recognized Treaties with American Indian Nations, Here you will find links to treaties from 1722 to 1805 signed between indigenous nations and the British government or the United States government,  which are not included in the United States Statutes at Large, but which are officially recognized treaties.

American Indian Treaties Portal University of Nebraska -  from the site: "The Oklahoma State University Library’s Indian Affairs: Laws and Treaties Internet site was developed to provide a digital collection of the final texts of 366 of the 375 American Indian treaties recognized by the United States Department of State.  The remaining nine documents are provided in this compilation, to complement the Oklahoma State resource."


Violence Against Women Act and American Indian Women, From the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) 

Futures Without Violence, An activist organization dedicated to eradicating violence against women, children, and families around the world.  The organization gathers information and resources related to violence against native women, such as this fact sheet [PDF].

Voting Rights

In 2017 and 2018, the Native American Voting Rights Coalition—founded by the Native American Rights Fund—held nine public hearings to better understand how Native Americans are systemically and culturally kept from fully exercising their franchise. The final report, Obstacles at Every Turn: Barriers to Political Participation Faced by Native American Voters, was released June 4, 2020, and provides detailed evidence that Native people face obstacles at every turn in the electoral process: from registering to vote, to casting votes, to having votes counted.

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