How Do I Find Tribal Law For Tribes Outside of Arizona?

Starting Out: Finding Background Information
You should begin your tribal law research project by first finding some background information about the tribe’s legal system. This will give you an idea about the types of primary sources you will need to locate:  constitutions, treaties, codes, court decisions, and customary or traditional law. Listed below are sources for this type of information.

United States Tribal Courts Directory
April Schwartz and Mary Jo B. Hunter KF8224.C6 S39 2008. 
Provides state-by-state information on tribal courts including contacts, areas of jurisdiction and publication information for tribal opinions and codes.

Indian Country: Economic Profiles of American Indian Reservations
Edited and compiled by Veronica E. Velarde Tiller
E93 .T55 2005 
In addition to economic information on tribes includes useful information and statistics on land status, government, culture and history and infrastructure.
Tribal Leaders Directory (Bureau of Indian Affaris) 
Lists date tribe was recognized, restored or reaffirmed; criminal jurisdiction; court; organization status/corporate charter; liquor ordinance with Federal Register Citations.

Finding the Text of Tribal Laws

Free Web Resources

Lexis & Westlaw
LexisNexis and Westlaw combined have more than a dozen tribal codes on their databases. To see a current list of the codes on each of these sites go to the ASU Indian Law Portal toolbar and click on the LexisNexis or Westlaw links or go to the NILL Tribal Law Gateway: Codes site 

Finding the Text of Tribal Court Decisions

Indian Law Reporter and Cumulative Subject Index to the Tribal Court Cases
In the Indian Law collection at KF8201 .A3 I5.
The Indian Law Reporter is a print publication of the American Indian Lawyer Training Program. It provides access to a selected set of court opinions and other materials related to Indian law, including those of tribal courts. While each volume has its own subject index, the publisher has yet to create a cumulative index to all of the volumes. NILL created a cumulative index just to the tribal court opinions.

Free Web Resources
  • Tribal Court Clearinghouse--Includes decisions from 21 tribal courts.
  • ASU Indian Law Portal--Go to “Find Resources on this Website”, choose “Cases” in “Search by Subject” and click on “Find It” to locate additional resources for tribal decisions.
Lexis & Westlaw
To see a current list of the tribal decisions on each of these sites go to the ASU Indian Law Portal and click on the LexisNexis or Westlaw links. See also the Westlaw Database Directory and the Lexis Database Directory.

Versus Law
This is a subscription database that includes tribal opinions from over 20 Indian nations, including the Fort McDowell Yavapai, Hualapai, Hopi, and Navajo tribes in Arizona. 


JOHN J. ROSS - WILLIAM C. BLAKLEY LAW LIBRARY
PO BOX 877806 • 1102 S MCALLISTER AVE • TEMPE, AZ 85287-7806 • 480-965-6144 • FAX: 480-965-4283