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Tribal Laws/Codes

Black's Law Dictionary defines the word "code" as a systematic collection ... of laws, rules, or regulations. A(n) ... official compilation of laws ...   consolidated and classified by subject matter." The individual codes linked and referenced here are tribal laws organized by subject matter. Unless otherwise noted, the term Tribal Code refers to an individual Indian Nation's compilation of their laws.

“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.

The SMART Office recently updated the SORNA Model Tribal Sex Offender Registration Code/Ordinance (March 2010) to reflect the changes in federal law that came about with the passage of the Tribal Law and Order Act.

Tribal Legal Code Resource Series

Tribal Legal Code Resource: Crimes Against Children (or Microsoft Word 2007 Format) has been developed by the Tribal Law and Policy Institute under a Children's Justice Act Partnerships for Indian Communities training and technical assistance grant. Specifically it has been developed to provide assistance to tribes and tribal organizations that have also received Children’s Justice Act Partnerships for Indian Communities grants. Tribes frequently request assistance in developing and/or updating their laws to address victimization of tribal children. The Institute developed this Resource Guide and Workbook to meet the identified need. This project was conceived in 2001 under the guidance of an Advisory Committee of experts in the tribal justice field, those working with Native child abuse and child victimization issues, and with tribal child and family services providers. The 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.

Tribal Legal Code Resource: Domestic Violence Laws was developed by the Tribal Law and Policy Institute in cooperation with the Office on Violence Against Women and the Bureau of Justice Assistance. This Victim-Centered Approach to Domestic Violence Against Native Women resource guide includes exercises, examples, and discussion questions to help you customize your laws to meet the needs of your community. This resource was revised and updated January 2012, including changes addressing issues concerning the 2010 enactment of the Tribal Law and Order Act.

Tribal Legal Code Resource: Tribal Judge’s Sexual Assault Bench Book and Bench Card was developed by the Tribal Law and Policy Institute in cooperation with the Office on Violence Against Women as a resource for tribal judges who hear sexual assault cases in tribal courts. It provides background information on important sexual assault and tribal jurisdictional issues, as well as providing guidance in handling key issues at various stages of a sexual assault criminal trial.

Tribal Domestic Violence Case Law: Annotations for Selected Cases was developed by the Tribal Law and Policy Institute in cooperation with the Office on Violence Against Women as a resource for tribal judicial officers in understanding how some tribal governments have handled certain legal issues within the context of domestic violence cases. While a great deal of research has been done on case law in the state systems, little to no analysis has been done on the tribal judicial approach to domestic violence. This compendium, developed as part of an overall code-writing workshop curriculum for tribal governments, will assist tribal legislators as well. Understanding how laws are interpreted by the court systems may impact the development of laws that provide safety to tribal citizens.

Tribal Legal Code Resource: Sexual Assault and Stalking Laws was developed by the Tribal Law and Policy Institute in conjunction with the Southwest Center for Law and Policy to be a guide for drafting or revising victim-centered tribal criminal laws on sexual assault and stalking. It is written with a philosophy that tribal laws should reflect tribal values. In addition, writing a tribal law usually requires careful consideration of how state and/or federal laws might apply in the community. This resource guide includes sample language and discussion questions which are designed to help tribal community members decide on the best laws for their community. This resource was revised and updated May 2012, including changes addressing the 2010 enactment of the Tribal Law and Order Act.

Law Enforcement Protocol Guide: Sexual Assault (Including a Model Sexual Assault Protocol) was developed by the Tribal Law and Policy Institute in conjunction with Southwest Center for Law and Policy as a tool for improving the investigation of sexual assault crimes. Effective investigations increase the likelihood of victim participation and increase the probability of convictions in tribal, state, and/or federal courts. This guide focuses on the development of an internal protocol for law enforcement. A law enforcement protocol can enhance the efforts of all community agencies in addressing sexual violence. Once your tribal government has strong laws in place, this publication will help you create policies and protocols for your law enforcement agency to enforce your laws.

Prosecutor Protocol Guide: Sexual Assault (Including a Model Sexual Assault Protocol) was developed by the Tribal Law and Policy Institute in conjunction with Southwest Center for Law and Policy as a tool for improving the prosecution of sexual assault crimes. Holding offenders accountable for their actions is a key part of making your community safe. This publication is designed to help your prosecutor’s office ensure consistency and compassion for all survivors. This guide focuses on the development of an internal protocol for tribal prosecution. A prosecutor protocol can enhance the efforts of all community agencies in addressing sexual violence.

Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) Resource was developed by the Tribal Law and Policy Institute in conjunction with Southwest Center for Law and Policy as a guide to creating cohesive policies between tribal agencies. Victims of sexual assault deserve a coordinated, comprehensive response from a variety of community agencies. This SART resource provides a starting point for developing victim-centered SART teams in your community.

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. 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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

  1. The Cherokee Code of The Eastern Band of The Cherokee Nation
  2. Chickasaw Nation Code has been posted by the Chickasaw Nation
  3. Colorado River Indian Tribes Tribal Laws and Ordinances posted by the Colorado River Indian Tribes.
  4. Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes of Montana Law and Order Code posted by Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes of Montana
  5. Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation Law and Order Code is posted by the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation
  6. Confederated Tribes of Siletz Tribal Ordinances posted by Confederated Tribes of Siletz
  7. Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs Tribal Code posted by Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs
  8. Coquille Indian Tribe Tribal Code posted by Coquille Indian Tribe
  9. Fort Peck Tribes Tribal Code posted by the Fort Peck Tribes
  10. Ho-Chunk Nation Code has posted the Ho-Chunk Nation
  11. Hoopa Tribal Court Code posted by Hoopa Valley Tribe
  12. August 28, 2012 Hopi Tribal Code
  13. Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe Tribal Code posted by Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe
  14. Nez Perce Tribe Tribal Code posted by the Nez Perce Tribe
  15. Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community Criminal Code and Enhanced Sentencing
  16. Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians Tribal Code (Updates since 11/15/05) posted by Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians
  17. Skokomish Tribal Code posted by the Skokomish Nation
  18. Stockbridge-Munsee Community Tribal Law is posted by Stockbridge-Munsee Community
  19. Tohono O'odham Nation Code is posted by the Legislative Council of the Tohono O’odham Nation
  20. Codes & Regulations of the Tulalip Nation posted by Tulalip Nation
  21. Turtle Mountain Code is published by Project Peacemaker
  22. White Mountain Apache Tribal Code posted by the White Mountain Apache Tribe
  23. Winnebago Tribal Court Code posted by Winnebago Nation
  24. Zuni Children's Code is posted by the Pueblo of Zuni

The National Indian Law Library (NILL) has posted the following Tribal Justice Codes:

  1. Blackfeet Tribal Law and Order Code
  2. Blue Lake Rancheria Ordinances
  3. [Cedarville Rancheria Ordinances]
  4. Cheyenne-Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma Law and Order Code
  5. Chitimacha Comprehensive Codes of Justice
  6. Colville Tribal Law and Order Code
  7. Confederated Tribes of the Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw Indians Tribal Code
  8. Coquille Indian Tribal Code
  9. Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana Judicial Codes
  10. Cherokee Code
  11. Elk Valley Rancheria, California Ordinances
  12. Ely Shoshone Tribe Law and Order Code
  13. Fort McDermitt Paiute-Shoshone Tribe of Oregon and Nevada Law and Order Code
  14. Fort McDowell Yavapai Community Arizona Law and Order Code
  15. Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde Community of Oregon [Ordinances]
  16. Grand Traverse Band Code: Statutes of the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians
  17. Ho-Chunk Nation Code (HCC)
  18. Hoopa Valley Tribal Code
  19. Little River Band of Ottawa Indians Ordinances and Regulations
  20. Lower Sioux Community in Minnesota Judicial Code
  21. Lummi Nation Code of Laws
  22. Makah Law and Order Code
  23. Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, Tribal Laws and Rules of Court
  24. Mille Lacs Band Statutes Annotated
  25. Nez Perce Tribal Code
  26. Nisqually Tribal Code
  27. Oglala Sioux Tribe Law and Order Code
  28. Oneida Indian Nation (New York) Codes and Rules
  29. Pawnee Tribe of Oklahoma, Law and Order Code
  30. Pit River Tribe of California Statutes
  31. Poarch Band of Creek Indians Code
  32. Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewas, Code of Laws
  33. Redding Rancheria Ordinances
  34. Rosebud Sioux Tribe Law and Order Code (Includes Cultural Resources Management Code previously linked here alone.)
  35. Confederated Salish and Kootenai: Tribal Law and Order Code
  36. San Ildefonso Pueblo Code
  37. Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians Tribal Code
  38. Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians of Oregon: Tribal Government Operations
  39. Sisseton-Wahpeton Sioux Tribe: Tribal Codes
  40. Skokomish Tribal Code
  41. St. Regis Mohawk Tribe Code
  42. Stockbridge-Munsee Tribal Law
  43. Susanville Indian Rancheria Ordinances
  44. Swinomish Tribe Code
  45. Te-Moak Tribe of Western Shoshone Approved Ordinances
  46. Torres Martinez Desert Cahuilla Indian Tribe, Tribal Code
  47. Tulalip Tribes of Washington Codes and Regulations
  48. Ute Indian Tribe of the Uintah and Ouray Reservation Law and Order Code
  49. White Earth Band of Chippewa Comprehensive Law and Order Manual
  50. Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska Business Corporation Code
  51. Yankton Sioux Tribal Code
  52. Yomba Shoshone Tribe Law and Order Code
  53. Ysleta del Sur Pueblo Code of Laws

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

The National Indian Law Library (NILL) will be obtaining print and CD-ROM copies of the recently published 2005 edition of the Navajo Nation Code Annotated. More information about this publication can be obtained by contacting the Navajo Nation Office of Legislative Council at 928-871-7166.

Sample or 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 Adobe Acrobat Reader is Required to View this File. 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 the final 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. It is also available in Microsoft Word Format.
  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. Model Tribal Head Start Health and Safety Code Adobe Acrobat Reader is Required to View this File. was developed by the Office of Environmental Health and Engineering in the Indian Health Service.
  4. Tribal Domestic Violence Full Faith and Credit Ordinance was developed by the Violence Against Women Online Resources.
  5. A sample Tribal Housing Code is available from the Tribal Law and Policy Institute for Download in Word format (this code is a 1999 revision of a code which was developed for HUD's Office of Native American Programs in 1996).
  6. 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 1988).
  7. Model Tribal Research Code Adobe Acrobat Reader is Required to View this File. 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.
  8. The Regional Tribal Justice Center has posted the following model codes:
    1. Model Tribal Air Quality Ordinance Adobe Acrobat Reader is Required to View this File.
    2. Model Tribal Solid Waste Disposal Ordinance Adobe Acrobat Reader is Required to View this File.
    3. Model Tribal Water Quality Ordinance Adobe Acrobat Reader is Required to View this File.
    4. Model Tribal Drinking Water Ordinance Adobe Acrobat Reader is Required to View this File.

Law Enforcement Protocol Guide: Sexual Assault (Including a Model Sexual Assault Protocol) was developed by the Tribal Law and Policy Institute in conjunction with Southwest Center for Law and Policy as a tool for improving the investigation of sexual assault crimes. Effective investigations increase the likelihood of victim participation and increase the probability of convictions in tribal, state, and/or federal courts. This guide focuses on the development of an internal protocol for law enforcement. A law enforcement protocol can enhance the efforts of all community agencies in addressing sexual violence. Once your tribal government has strong laws in place, this publication will help you create policies and protocols for your law enforcement agency to enforce your laws.

Prosecutor Protocol Guide: Sexual Assault (Including a Model Sexual Assault Protocol) was developed by the Tribal Law and Policy Institute in conjunction with Southwest Center for Law and Policy as a tool for improving the prosecution of sexual assault crimes. Holding offenders accountable for their actions is a key part of making your community safe. This publication is designed to help your prosecutor’s office ensure consistency and compassion for all survivors. This guide focuses on the development of an internal protocol for tribal prosecution. A prosecutor protocol can enhance the efforts of all community agencies in addressing sexual violence.

Tribal Code Development Resources

The Native American Constitution and Law Digitization Project is a joint project of the University of Oklahoma Law School, the National Indian Law Library of the Native American Rights Fund, and Native American tribes. This site has also posted the following Tribal Commercial Code Documents:

  1. The Committee on Liaison with Native American Tribes of the National Commissioners of Uniform State Laws Background of Committee and Project Adobe Acrobat Reader is Required to View this File.
  2. Tribal Secured Transactions Law - An Important Tool for Tribal Economic Development Adobe Acrobat Reader is Required to View this File.
  3. Draft Cherokee Nation Uniform Commercial Code by John Parris

 

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