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Tribal Legal Studies Resources

The Tribal Legal Studies Program was initiated in 1998 as a collaborative effort between the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Native Nations Law and Policy Center, the Tribal Law and Policy Institute, and four tribal colleges (Turtle Mountain Community College, Salish Kootenai College, Diné College, and Northwest Indian College) to develop, pilot, and implement Tribal Legal Studies curricula at tribal community colleges. The project initially funded through a grant from the U. S. Department of Education’s Fund for Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE) to UCLA. Tribal Legal Studies funding currently comes from the Bureau of Justice Assistance.

For further information, please see

These textbooks have been developed in the series:

Structuring Sovereignty: Constitutions of Native Nations

Structuring Sovereignty: Constitutions of Native Nations
by Melissa L. Tatum, Miriam Jorgensen, Mary E. Guss, and Sarah Deer, published by UCLA American Indian Studies Center, 2014

This book is designed to serve as a guide to communities engaged in the process of drafting a constitution and to students who are studying that process. For any nation, Indigenous or non-Indigenous, drafting and adopting a constitution is more than a legal process. It is a collective journey of self-discovery and reflection. New governing opportunities, changes in intergovernmental relations, heightened awareness of the importance of culturally legitimate governing institutions, and reforms in international law are generating a wave of constitution writing and constitutional reform among Native nations. This book draws on research, first hand experience with constitution writing and constitutional change, and numerous examples from actual governing documents to demonstrate the many ways that Indigenous nations can structure their sovereignty.

To order, email
$40.00 Paper 978-2-935626-68-1

Sharing our Stories of Survival: Native Women Surviving Violence textbook

Sharing our Stories of Survival: Native Women Surviving Violence is a general introduction to the social and legal issues involved in acts of violence against Native women, this book's contributors are lawyers, advocates, social workers, social scientists, writers, poets, and victims. In the U.S. Native women are more likely than women from any other group to suffer violence, from rape and battery to more subtle forms of abuse, and Sharing Our Stories of Survival explores the causes and consequences of such behavior. The stories and case-studies presented here are often painful and raw, and the statistics are overwhelmingly grim; but a countervailing theme also runs through this extremely informative volume: Many of the women who appear in these pages are survivors, often strengthened by their travails, and the violence examined here is human violence, meaning that it can be changed, if only with much effort and education. The first step is to lay out the truth for all to see, and that is the purpose accomplished by this book. To order, call 800-462-6420 or visit Alta Mira Press and use promotion code B10CTS20 to receive your 20% discount!

$32.95, Paper 978-0-7591-1125-7, price after discount $26.35
$90.00, Cloth 978-0-7591-1124-0, price after discount $72.00

Sharing our Stories of Survival Trainer’s Manual

Introduction to Tribal Legal Studies

Introduction to Tribal Legal Studies: Second Edition is the only available comprehensive introduction to tribal law. In clear and straightforward language, Justin B. Richland and Sarah Deer discuss the history and structure of tribal justice systems; the scope of criminal and civil jurisdictions; and the various means by which the integrity of tribal courts is maintained. This book is an indispensable resource for students, tribal leaders, and tribal communities interested in the complicated relationship between tribal, federal, and state law. The second edition provides significant updates on all changes in laws affecting the tribes, numerous new case studies (including studies on Alaskan tribes and family law), and a new concluding chapter. To order, call 800-462-6420 or visit Alta Mira Press and use promotion code B10CTS20 to receive your 20% discount!

$55.00, Paper 978-0-7591-1211-7, price after discount $44.00
$99.00, Cloth 978-0-7591-1210-0, price after discount $79.20


Tribal Criminal Law and Procedure

Tribal Criminal Law and Procedure examines the complex subject of tribal criminal law and procedure from a tribal perspective—utilizing tribal statutory law, tribal case law, and the cultural values of Native peoples. Garrow and Deer discuss in depth the histories, structures and practices of tribal justice systems, comparisons of traditional tribal justice with Anglo-American law and jurisdictions, elements of criminal law and procedure, and alternative sentencing and traditional sanctions. Tribal Criminal Law and Procedure will be an invaluable resource for legal scholars and students. To order, call 800-462-6420 or visit Alta Mira Press and use promotion code B10CTS20 to receive your 20% discount!

$34.95, Paper 978-0-7591-0718-2, price after discount $27.96
$98.50, Cloth 978-0-7591-0717-5, price after discount $78.80

Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group offers special discounts for bulk purchases in the United States by corporations, institutions, and other organizations. For more information, please contact Lynsey Weston in the Special Markets Department at 301-459-3366.

Forthcoming volumes in the series include Tribal Constitution Development and Tribal Code Development.

As part of the Tribal Legal Studies project, UCLA Extension, through its Tribal Learning Community and Educational Exchange (TLCEE) Program, is now offering the following online Tribal Legal Studies courses:

  1. Violence against Native Women

  2. Introduction to Tribal Legal Studies

  3. Legal Research, Analysis, and Writing in a Tribal Context

  4. Federal Indian Law and Policy

For more information on the Tribal Legal Studies project, contact Heather Valdez Singleton at 323-650-5467.


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Federal Agencies

Administration for Children and Families (ACF)
Administration for Native Americans (ANA)
American Indian Environmental Office
BIA Office of Justice Services
Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA)
Bureau of Indian Education
Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA)
HUD's Office of Native American Programs (ONAP)
Indian Law and Order Commission (ILOC)
Office for Victims of Crime
Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS)
Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP)
Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking (SMART Office)
Office of Tribal Justice (OTJ)
Office on Violence Against Women
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
Tribal Justice and Safety in Indian Country
Tribal Youth Program

more . . .

Native Organizations

California Indian Legal Services
National American Indian Court Judges Association (NAICJA)
National American Indian Housing Council (NAIHC)

National Congress of American Indians (NCAI)

National Indian Child Welfare Association (NICWA)

National Indian Country Clearinghouse on Sexual Assault (NICCSA)

National Child Welfare Resource Center for Tribes (NRC4Tribes)

Native American Children’s Alliance (NACA)

Native American Rights Fund (NARF)

Native Elder Health Care Resource Center
Navajo Nation Bar Association
Southwest Center For Law And Policy

Walking on Common Ground

Native Law Blogs

Tribal Law Updates
Alaska Indigenous
Falmouth Institute/American Indian Report
ICWA Info Blog
Indian Legal Program – Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law
Legal History Blog
Legal Scholarship Blog
National Indian Law Library Blog
Native America, Discovered and Conquered
Native American Legal Update
Turtle Talk

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