Tribal Court Clearinghouse          

Tribal Laws/Codes

One way for tribal nations to exercise their sovereignty is to establish their laws and codes which govern their respective communities. This page provides links to tribes that list their own codes online. There are also links to the National Indian Law Library which houses a number of tribal codes through the Tribal Law Ggateway. Additional tribal codes are available through links to the Native American Constitution and Law Digitization Project. This page also provides links to Tribal Law and Policy (TLPI) downloadable code resources. Sample and model codes are also available on this page.

Tribal Codes

Some tribes have posted their code (or portions of their code) online. Below are publicly available tribal codes.

  1. Tribal Court Code of the Bad River Band of The Lake Superior Tribe of Chippewa Indians
  2. The Cherokee Code of The Eastern Band of The Cherokee Nation
  3. Chickasaw Nation Code has been posted by the Chickasaw Nation
  4. Colorado River Indian Tribes Tribal Laws and Ordinances posted by the Colorado River Indian Tribes
  5. Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes of Montana Law and Order Code posted by Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes of Montana
  6. Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation Law and Order Code is posted by the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation
  7. Confederated Tribes of Siletz Tribal Ordinances posted by Confederated Tribes of Siletz
  8. Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation Tribal Code posted by Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation
  9. Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs Tribal Code posted by Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs
  10. Coquille Indian Tribe Tribal Code posted by Coquille Indian Tribe
  11. Fort Peck Tribes Tribal Code posted by the Fort Peck Tribes
  12. Gila River Indian Community Code posted by Gila River Indian Community
  13. Grand Portage Band of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe Judicial Code posted by Grand Portage Band of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe
  14. Ho-Chunk Nation Code has posted the Ho-Chunk Nation
  15. Hoopa Tribal Court Code posted by Hoopa Valley Tribe
  16. August 28, 2012 Hopi Tribal Code
  17. Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe Tribal Code posted by Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe
  18. Kickapoo Tribe of Oklahoma Tribal Code posted by Kickapoo Tribe of Oklahoma
  19. Klamath Tribes Tribal Code posted by Klamath Tribes
  20. Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe Tribal Code posted by Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe
  21. Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin Tribal Code posted by Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin
  22. Mohegan Indian Tribe of Connecticut Tribal Law posted by Mohegan Indian Tribe of Connecticut
  23. Muscogee (Creek) Nation Code posted by Muscogee (Creek) Nation Supreme Court
  24. Nez Perce Tribe Tribal Code posted by the Nez Perce Tribe
  25. Omaha Tribe of Nebraska posted by Omaha Tribe of Nebraska Tribal Code posted by Omaha Tribe of Nebraska
  26. Pascua Yaqui Tribe Tribal Code posted by Pascua Yaqui Tribe
  27. Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Tribal Code posted by Pokagon Band of Potawatomi
  28. Port Gamble S'Klallam Tribe Tribal Code posted by Port Gamble S'Klallam Tribe
  29. Prairie Island Indian Community Ordinances posted by Prairie Island Indian Community
  30. Pueblo of Laguna Tribal Code posted by Pueblo of Laguna
  31. Pueblo of Pojoaque Law and Order Code posted by Pueblo of Pojoaque
  32. Puyallup Tribe of the Puyallup Reservation Tribal Code posted by Puyallup Tribe of the Puyallup Reservation
  33. Quapaw Tribe of Indians Law and Order Code posted by Quapaw Tribe of Indians
  34. Sac & Fox Nation of Oklahoma Code of Laws posted by Sac & Fox Nation of Oklahoma
  35. Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community Criminal Code posted by Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community
  36. Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians Tribal Code (Updates since 11/15/05) posted by Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians
  37. Seminole Tribe of Florida Tribal Code posted by Seminole Tribe of Florida
  38. Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate Tribal Code posted by Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate
  39. Skokomish Tribal Code posted by the Skokomish Nation
  40. Stockbridge-Munsee Community Tribal Law is posted by Stockbridge-Munsee Community
  41. Tohono O'odham Nation Code is posted by the Legislative Council of the Tohono O’odham Nation
  42. Codes & Regulations of the Tulalip Nation posted by Tulalip Nation
  43. Turtle Mountain Code is published by Turtle Mountain Community College
  44. White Mountain Apache Tribal Code posted by the White Mountain Apache Tribe
  45. Winnebago Tribal Court Code posted by Winnebago Nation
  46. Zuni Children's Code is posted by the Pueblo of Zuni

National Indian Law Library

The National Indian Law Library (NILL) of the Native American Rights Fund is a law library devoted to federal Indian and tribal law. NILL maintains a unique and valuable collection of Indian law resources and assists people with their Indian law-related research needs. NILL lists tribal codes on the Tribal Law Gateway. The Tribal Law Gateway also allows you to search for Tribal Law Materials by Tribe. NILL has posted the following codes:

  1. Absentee Shawnee
  2. Agua Caliente Ordinance No. 45: Land Use
  3. Ak-Chin
  4. Apache Tribe of Oklahoma
  5. Northern Arapaho
  6. Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes of the Fort Peck Indian Reservation, Montana
  7. Bad River Band of the Lake Superior Tribe of Chippewa Indians
  8. Bay Mills
  9. Big Pine Band of Owens Valley Paiute Shoshone Indians
  10. Bishop Paiute
  11. Blackfeet Tribe
  12. Blue Lake Rancheria
  13. Bridgeport Paiute Indian Colony
  14. Burns Paiute Tribe
  15. Cabazon Band of Mission Indians
  16. Cachil Dehe Band of Wintun Indians of the Colusa Indian Community
  17. Caddo Nation of Oklahoma
  18. Cahto Indian Tribe of the Laytonville Rancheria
  19. Central Council Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska
  20. Cedarville Rancheria
  21. Chalkyitsik Village
  22. Cherokee Nation, Oklahoma
  23. Chevak Native Village
  24. Cheyenne-Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma
  25. Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe
  26. Chickasaw Nation
  27. Chippewa-Cree Indians of the Rocky Boy's Reservation
  28. Chitimacha
  29. Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma 
  30. Citizen Potawatomi Nation
  31. Cocopah Tribe of Arizona  
  32. Coeur D'Alene Tribe
  33. Colorado River Indian Tribes
  34. Colville
  35. Comanche Nation
  36. Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde Community of Oregon
  37. Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes
  38. Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians of Oregon
  39. Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation
  40. Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation
  41. Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua, and Siuslaw Indians
  42. Coquille Indian Tribe
  43. Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana
  44. Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians
  45. Crow Creek Sioux Tribe
  46. Crow Tribe of Montana
  47. Death Valley Timbisha Shoshone Band of California
  48. Delaware Nation of Oklahoma
  49. Delaware Tribe of Indians
  50. Dry Creek Rancheria Band of Pomo Indians
  51. Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians
  52. Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma
  53. Elk Valley Rancheria
  54. Ely Shoshone
  55. Flandreau Santee Sioux of South Dakota
  56. Forest County Potawatomi Community
  57. Fort Belknap Indian Community
  58. Fort McDermitt Paiute and Shoshone Tribe
  59. Fort McDowell Yavapai Community
  60. Fort Mojave Indian Tribe
  61. Confederated Tribes of the Goshute Reservation
  62. Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians
  63. Havasupai Tribe of the Havasupai Reservation
  64. Hochunk Nation
  65. Hoh Indian Tribe
  66. Hoopa Valley Indian Tribe
  67. Hopi Indian Tribe
  68. Hopland Band of Pomo Indians
  69. Hualapai Indian Tribe of the Hualapai Indian Reservation
  70. Hydaburg Cooperative Association
  71. Jamestown Sklallam Tribe
  72. Jicarilla Apache Nation
  73. Kaibab Band of Paiute Indians
  74. Kalispel Indian Community
  75. Karuk Tribe
  76. Kashia Band of Pomo Indians of the Stewarts Point Rancheria
  77. Keweenaw Bay Indian Community
  78. Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians of Wisconsin
  79. Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians
  80. Lac Vieux Desert Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians of Michigan
  81. Las Vegas Paiute Tribe
  82. Little River Band of Ottawa Indians
  83. Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians
  84. Lower Sioux Indian Community
  85. Lummi Nation
  86. Makah
  87. Mashantucket Pequot
  88. Mashpee Wampanoag Indian Tribe
  89. Mescalero Apache Tribe
  90. Metlakatla Indian Community
  91. Mille Lacs Band
  92. Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians
  93. Muckleshoot Indian Tribe
  94. Native Village of Brevig Mission
  95. Native Village of Diomede
  96. Native Village of Gambell
  97. Native Village of Georgetown
  98. Native Village of Kluti Kaah
  99. Native Village of Koyuk
  100. Native Village of Marys Igloo
  101. Native Village of Shaktoolik
  102. Native Village of Saint Michael
  103. Native Village of Teller
  104. Native Village of White Mountain
  105. Nez Perce
  106. Ninilchik Village
  107. Nisqually
  108. Northern Cheyenne Tribe
  109. Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi
  110. Oglala Sioux Tribe
  111. Oneida Indian Nation
  112. Oneida Tribe of Indians of Wisconsin
  113. Paiute-Shoshone Tribe of the Fallon Reservation and Colony
  114. Pauma Band of Mission Indians
  115. Pawnee Nation of Oklahoma
  116. Penobscot Nation
  117. Pit River Tribe of California
  118. Poarch Band of Creeks
  119. Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians
  120. Ponca Tribe
  121. Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation
  122. Pueblo of San Ildefonso Pueblo
  123. Qagan Tayagungin Tribe of Sand Point
  124. Quinault Indian Nation
  125. Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa
  126. Redding Rancheria
  127. Reno-Sparks Indian Colony
  128. Rincon Band of Luiseno Indians
  129. Rosebud Sioux Tribe
  130. Sac and Fox Tribe of the Mississippi in Iowa/Meskwaki Nation
  131. Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan
  132. Santee Sioux Nation
  133. Sauk-Suiattle Indian Tribe
  134. Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians
  135. Seminole Nation of Oklahoma
  136. Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community
  137. Shingle Springs Band of Miwok Indians
  138. Shoalwater Bay Indian Tribe
  139. Shoshone-Bannock Tribes
  140. Shoshone and Arapaho Tribes of the Wind River Indian Reservation
  141. Shoshone-Paiute Tribes
  142. Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate of The Lake Traverse Reservation
  143. Sitka Tribe of Alaska
  144. Skokomish
  145. Smith River Rancheria
  146. Snoqualmie Indian Tribe
  147. Sokaogon Chippewa Community
  148. Southern Ute Indian Tribe
  149. Spirit Lake Tribe
  150. Spokane Tribe
  151. Squaxin Island Tribe
  152. Standing Rock Sioux
  153. Stockbridge-Munsee Community
  154. St. Regis Mohawk
  155. Susanville Indian Rancheria
  156. Swinomish
  157. Te-Moak Tribe of Western Shoshone Indians
  158. Three Affiliated Tribes of Fort Berthold Reservation
  159. Tohono O'odham Nation
  160. Torres Martinez Desert Cahuilla Indian Tribe
  161. Tulalip Tribes
  162. Tunica Biloxi Indian Tribe of Louisiana
  163. Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians
  164. Upper Sioux Community
  165. Upper Skagit Indian Tribe
  166. Ute Indian Tribe of the Uintah and Ouray Reservation
  167. Ute Mountain Tribe of the Ute Mountain Reservation, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah
  168. Village Stony River
  169. Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head
  170. Washoe Tribe of Nevada and California
  171. White Earth Nation
  172. White Mountain Apache
  173. Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska
  174. Winnemucca Indian Colony of Nevada
  175. Wyandotte Nation
  176. Yankton Sioux Nation
  177. Yavapai-Apache Nation
  178. Winnemucca Indian Colony of Nevada
  179. Yerington Paiute Tribe of the Yerington Colony and Campbell Ranch
  180. Yomba Shoshone Tribe
  181. Ysleta del Sur Pueblo
  182. Yurok Tribe
  183. Pueblo of Zuni

Native American Constitution and Law Digitization Project

The Native American Constitution and Law Digitization Project is a joint project of the University of Oklahoma Law School, the National Indian Law Library (NILL) of the Native American Rights Fund, and Native American tribes. The following Tribal Codes can be found on this outstanding site.

  1. Absentee Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma
  2. Hopi Code
  3. Oglala Sioux Tribe Law and Order Code
  4. Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chipeewas' Code
  5. Laws of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, Codified (CSKT Laws Codified) (1999)
  6. San Ildefonso Pueblo Code
  7. White Mountain Apache Code, Revised 2000

TLPI Legal Code Development Series

TLPI is proud to offer the following Legal Code Development series as part of our organization’s vision to empower Native nations to create and control their own institutions for the benefit and welfare of all community members.

  1. Tribal Laws Implementing TLOA Enhanced Sentencing and VAWA Enhanced Jurisdiction - Guide for Drafting or Revising Tribal Laws to Implement TLOA Enhanced Sentencing and VAWA Enhanced Jurisdiction is designed to provide guidance for Native nations interested in implementing enhanced sentencing under the Tribal Law and Order Act and/or the special domestic violence criminal jurisdiction under the 2013 Violence Against Women Act. (Updated 2016)
  2. Tribal Laws Against Sexual Assault and Stalking - Guide for Drafting or Revising Victim-Centered Tribal Laws Against Sexual Assault and Stalking is designed to assist Native nations interested in developing or revising victim-centered laws on sexual assault and stalking. This resource includes sample language and exercise questions designed to guide discussion on what laws will best reflect tribal values. Originally published in 2008, this resource was revised and updated to reflect innovations in tribal law and new federal requirements. (2017)
  3. Tribal Domestic Violence Laws - Guide for Drafting or Revising Tribal Laws Against Domestic Violence is designed to offer suggestions on how tribal laws can be drafted in a way that provides safety and support for the survivors of domestic violence. (2015)
  4. Tribal Civil Dependency and Related Laws - Guide for Drafting or Revising Tribal Civil Dependency and Related Laws is designed to assist Native nations in drafting or revising their civil dependency laws as part of the development or reform of their child welfare system. Topics covered range from incorporating custom and tradition, to child-in-need-of-assistance proceedings to foster care in Native nations. (2017)
  5. Tribal Juvenile Delinquency and Status Offense Laws - Guide for Drafting or Revising Tribal Juvenile Delinquency and Status Offense Laws is designed to assist Native nations in drafting or revising their juvenile statutes as part of the development or reform of their juvenile justice system. Topics covered range from criminal offenses, to nondelinquency proceedings to integrating culture and tradition. (2015)
  6. Tribal Laws on Crimes Against Children - Resource Guide and Workbook for Drafting New or Amended Tribal Laws on Crimes Against Children is designed to provide a process for enacting a culturally-appropriate criminal code that address the victimization of tribal children. This resource attempts to balance the goals of protecting the sacredness of children while also assuring due process protections for the accused. (2008)

Sample and Model Codes

The following sample or model codes were not developed for any specific Indian Nation, but were intended to be used by tribal governments as a starting point which is to be built upon, modified and adapted according to the needs and customs of each individual Indian Nation. The majority of these sample codes provide options and commentaries for tribes to consider in evaluating and adapting the code to meet their specific needs.

  1. Model Tribal Sex Offender Registration Code was developed by the The SMART Office, with the assistance of a national panel of experts, has compiled this to assist registration jurisdictions as they endeavor to substantially implement SORNA. This is 2017 revised version of the Model Code and has been approved by the SMART Office. Any prior versions of this model code that a jurisdiction may rely on have omissions or other items that will need to be changed before it is adopted and implemented. We recommend that any Model Code, including this final version, be utilized as a guide and that each jurisdiction adapt and customize to their laws and practices.
  2. Crimes Against American Indian/Alaska Native Children Resource Guide provides illustrative examples, narrative, and discussion questions. The discussion questions direct users through a tailoring process that will assure that the resulting draft statutory provisions reflect the needs and values of the tribal community that the targeted law serves.
  3. Sample Tribal Judicial Code is a sample judicial code developed in the Tanana Chiefs Region over the past several years.
  4. Model Tribal Juvenile Code was recently developed by the University of Washington Center of Indigenous Research and Justice.
  5. Model Tribal Head Start Health and Safety Code was developed by the Office of Environmental Health and Engineering in the Indian Health Service.
  6. Tribal Domestic Violence Full Faith and Credit Ordinance was developed by the Violence Against Women Online Resources.
  7. A sample Tribal Juvenile Justice Code is available from the Tribal Court Clearinghouse for Download in Word 7 for Windows 95 format (This code was developed by the National Indian Justice Center for the Bureau of Indian Affairs in 1989).
  8. Model Tribal Research Code was developed by the American Indian Law Center, Inc., to assist tribes in adopting appropriate protections for their members when medical or sociological research was proposed to study tribal members.
  9. The Regional Tribal Justice Center has posted the following model codes:
    1. Model Tribal Air Quality Ordinance
    2. Model Tribal Solid Waste Disposal Ordinance
    3. Model Tribal Water Quality Ordinance
    4. Model Tribal Drinking Water Ordinance

Additional Resources

TLPI has listed some resources that are related to tribal codes.

“Whatever Tribal Precedent There May Be”: The (UN)availability of Tribal Law, by Bonnie Shucha, explores the costs and benefits of publishing tribal law. Part I analyzes why tribal law is not more widely available; part II illustrates the benefits of making tribal law more accessible, and part III describes publication options for tribes. An appendix lists currently available tribal law collections.

Code Development: Process and Structure by American Indian Development Associates provides tribal juvenile code writers and developers an overview of issues to consider in the code development process.

HUD's Office of Native American Programs (ONAP) and the Tribal Law and Policy Institute identified the need for a comprehensive Tribal Legal Code Project which includes not only a comprehensive revised Tribal Housing Code, but also includes expanded tribal legal resource materials. Tribal governments need resource information concerning additional related tribal codes in order to facilitate housing and community development in Indian country. These additional related tribal codes might include zoning, land use and planning, building, commercial, corporations, environmental review, and probate codes. (1999) The following is an overview of the resources contained within this Tribal Legal Code Project:

Part One:

Tribal Legal Infrastructure for Housing and Community Development in Indian Country

Part Two:

Bibliography

Part Three:

Tribal Housing Code

Part Four:

Land Use and Planning

Part Five:

Tribal Zoning Codes

Part Six:

Tribal Building Codes

Part Seven:

Commercial Codes

Part Eight:

Tribal Corporations Codes

Part Nine:

Environmental Review Codes

Part Ten:

Tribal Probate Codes

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