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Indian & Tribal Law Research: Special Topics

Jan. 28, 2014

Prepared by Mary Whisner

The Indian & Tribal Law Research guide covers general materials (such as directories and research guides) and primary sources (such as treaties, tribal codes, and federal statutes). This guide offers resources on special topics within Indian and tribal law.

Criminal Law


Bureau of Justice Statistics, Tribal Law Enforcement.

National Criminal Justice Reference Service, Special Feature: Justice in Indian Country. Links to publications, agencies.

National Institute of Justice, Tribal Crime and Justice.

Indian Law & Order Comm'n, A Roadmap to Making Native America Safer: Report to the President & Congress of the United States (Nov. 2013) (326 pp.). (If you don't want to download the entire report, go to this page where you can download individual chapters or a summary.)

Tribal Law and Order Act

In response to the Tribal Law and Order Act of 2010, Pub. L. 111-211 tit. II, 124 Stat. 2258, 2261, some tribal courts are changing their criminal procedure and expanding their criminal jurisdiction. Resources include:

Tribal Law & Order Resource Center logoTribal Law & Order Resource Center, a project of the National Congress of American Indians and the National Criminal Justice Association. Includes publications and webinars. Directory of tribes exercising enhanced jurisdiction and those that are moving toward it is here; includes links to codes and sex offender registries.

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.

United States Department of Justice Tribal Justice and SafetyTribal Law and Order Act.

National Indian Law Library, Tribal Law and Order Act of 2010 resources. Includes legislative history.

A four-volume legislative history is available on HeinOnline.


Violence Against Women Act

Tribal Law and 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.

United States Department of Justice Tribal Justice and SafetyViolence Against Women Act (VAWA) Reauthorization 2013




The Indian GaNational Indian Gaming Commission logoming Regulatory Act (1988) sets up a complex scheme for regulating gaming in Indian Country. Tribes and states enter into compacts to regulate Class III gaming. (Tribes can conduct Class I and Class II gaming—such as bingo or social games with minimal prizes—without such a compact.) The National Indian Gaming Commission website includes copies of the compacts, tribal ordinances related to gaming, commission final decisions, and more.






State Tax Issues

For a national overview of state-tribal issues, see Piecing Together the State-Tribal Tax Puzzle (2005), from the National Conference of State Legislatures. For Washington State, see the Washington State Dep't of Revenue's Indian Guide to Washington State Excise Taxes (2004). PDF & HTML

Federal Tax Issues

For federal tax issues, see M. Christian Clark, Analytical Research Guide to Federal Indian Tax Law, 105 Law Libr. J. 505 (2013).

The Internal Revenue Service has "Tax Information for Indian Tribal Governments."

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