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Tribal Law and Policy Institute Publications

The Tribal Law and Policy Institute has developed a series of comprehensive publications. The Institute focuses upon collaborative programs that provide critical resources for tribal court systems, victims assistance programs, and others involved in promoting the improvement of justice in Indian country. The Institute seeks to facilitate the sharing of resources so that Indian Nations and tribal justice systems have access to low cost resources that they can adapt to meet the individual needs of their communities. The Institute also seeks to establish programs which link tribal justice systems with other academic, legal, and judicial resources such as law schools, Indian law clinics, tribal colleges, Native American Studies programs, Indian legal organizations and consultants, tribal legal departments, other tribal courts, and other judicial/legal institutions. The underlying philosophy is that tribal courts and Indian people are best served by shared access to existing information and resources - so that each tribe and tribal justice system does not have to “reinvent the wheel.” In keeping with this philosophy, we believe that resources - especially resources developed under federal grants - should be freely accessibly on the Internet in order to maximize tribal access to these resources.

The following is a partial listing of current Institute publications - all freely available for downloading with the exception of the Tribal Legal Studies textbooks and Tribal Law and Policy Institute videos. Please note that publications are listed more than once when the publication is applicable to more than one Tribal Law and Policy Institute publication series.

We are pleased to announce our most recent publications: 

  • Promising Strategies: Tribal State Court Relations
    Tribal courts and state courts interact across an array of issues, including child welfare, cross jurisdictional enforcement of domestic violence orders of protection, and civil commitments. Since the early 1990s, initiatives by judges’ organizations within both judicial systems have focused on an agenda of greater mutual understanding and cooperative action. This publication spotlights some of the most successful strategies within these initiatives.
  • Promising Strategies: Public Law 280
    In PL 280 jurisdictions, the concurrent jurisdiction of state and tribal courts over criminal prosecutions and civil actions arising in Indian Country creates many interactions and complications. Tribal and state authorities encounter one another across an array of issues, including government-to-government recognition, concurrent jurisdiction, cross-jurisdictional enforcement of domestic violence orders of protection, cross-deputization, and civil commitments. Tensions and misunderstandings have been common features of tribal and state policing relations in the past, sometimes erupting in jurisdictional conflicts. This publication highlights unique ways in which tribal and state jurisdictions have entered into collaborations to overcome barriers to effective justice provision.
Responses to the Co-Occurrence of Child Maltreatment and Domestic Violence in Indian Country: Repairing the Harm and Protecting Children and Mothers December 2011 (Draft) - The Tribal Law and Policy Institute, with funding from the Office on Violence Against Women (OVW), has undertaken an initial inquiry into the issue of the co-occurrence of domestic violence and child maltreatment in Indian country. Using a mixed method approach, this investigation sought to identify those practices that seem to be moving toward Native-specific promising practices, and to develop recommendations for further action in Indian country. Please note that this report is a draft version, since the final has not yet been formally approved by OVW.
National Indian Country Clearinghouse on Sexual Assault (NICCSA) is a project of the Southwest Center for Law and Policy, and NICCSA strives to be your one-stop, comprehensive source for information on sexual violence in Indian Country. NICCSA also has a new FREE service of help with your most challenging law enforcement, advocacy, healthcare, and legal issues: 1-855-464-2272 Monday through Friday, 8:00 am to 4:00 pm Pacific Time.

 

Tribal Legal Studies Textbooks

We are pleased to announce that out newest textbook, "Sharing our Stories of Survival: Native Women Surviving Violence" along with Introduction to Tribal Legal Studies and Tribal Criminal Law and Procedure are all now available for purchase through AltaMira Press. These Tribal Legal Studies textbooks have been funded in part through a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) to Turtle Mountain Community College, and the Office on Violence Against Women.

  1. 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.
  2. Introduction to Tribal Legal Studies focuses on law developed by and for Indian Nations and Native people. It addresses the power of tribal courts and tribal legal systems as key to the exercise and expansion of tribal sovereignty. Richland and Deer discuss in depth the histories, structures and practices of tribal justice systems, efforts to balance tribal legal heritage and Anglo-American law, the scope of criminal and civil jurisdictions, child welfare and civil rights, traditional dispute resolution mechanisms in contemporary tribal law, models of peacemaking, and means for assuring integrity of tribal courts.
  3. 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.

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.

The Tribal Law and Policy Institute has developed a comprehensive Tribal Legal Code Project which includes not only a comprehensive revised Tribal Housing Code, but also includes expanded tribal legal resource materials. These publications were developed for HUD's Office of Native American Programs (ONAP) after ONAP identified the need for 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

Tribal Protocol Guide Series

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.

Child Abuse Protocol Development Guide Adobe Acrobat is required to view this file. was developed by the Tribal Law and Policy Institute as a workbook with sample protocols, forms and flow charts. The concept of protecting children and families from various dangers is not new to most Native communities. In fact there have been standards and mechanisms in place, both cultural and societal, for eons that have guided how Native Peoples addressed safety of children and instructions for adults as to how they behaved with children. These practices have had a significant impact on preventing abusive and neglectful behavior from occurring.

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.

Public Law 280 Resource Series

Public Law 280: Issues and Concerns For Victims of Crime in Indian Country, by Ada Pecos Melton and Jerry Gardner
Public Law 83-280 (commonly referred to as Public Law 280 or PL 280) was a transfer of legal authority (jurisdiction) from the federal government to state governments which significantly changed the division of legal authority among tribal, federal, and state governments . . .

Final Report: Focus Group on Public Law 280 and the Sexual Assault of Native Women PDF File On August 15 - 16, 2007 the Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) hosted a focus group in Green Bay, Wisconsin to discuss challenges to, and opportunities for, collaboration between states and tribes in Public Law 280 jurisdictions to address sexual assault in Indian country. The Tribal Law and Policy Institute provided technical assistance and collaborated with OVW on the design and delivery of the session. This final report details the event.

Violence Against Native Women Publications

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.

Listen to the Grandmothers Video Discussion Guidebook (Note: this PDF is one megabyte) was developed by the Tribal Law and Policy Institute in order to assist tribal programs with incorporating cultural traditions into contemporary responses to violence against Native women. The "Listen to the Grandmothers” video features Native elders speaking to the problem of violence against Native women. The video provides a historical overview of violence against Native women, traditional responses to such violence and an analysis on incorporating cultural traditions into contemporary responses to violence against Native women. For information concerning the video and accompanying guidebook, please contact the Minnesota office of the Tribal Law and Policy Institute. Due to the sensitive nature of this video, we welcome the opportunity to provide onsite training and technical assistance on the use of these products.

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.

TribalProtectionOrder.org Launched - Under a grant from the Office on Violence Against Women, the Tribal Law and Policy Institute has launched a new website, TribalProtectionOrder.org, which is designed to provide both tribal and non-tribal entities with a clearinghouse of information and resources pertaining to the issuance and enforcement of protection orders.

Tribal Domestic Violence Case Law: Annotations for Selected Tribal Cases Related to Domestic Violence Adobe Acrobat Reader is Required to View this File. is designed to assist 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 in 2003 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.

Safety for Indian Women from Sexual Assault Offenders Demonstration Initiative (Draft) Adobe Acrobat Reader is Required to View this File. The United States Department of Justice’s Safety for Indian Women from Sexual Assault Offenders Demonstration Initiative was an effort of OVW to enhance the response of tribal and federal agencies to sexual assault of Indian women. This initiative began in September 2005 with OVW grant awards to four tribal demonstration grantee programs and a tribal technical assistance provider. The Tribal Law and Policy Institute (TLPI) was selected as the training and technical assistance provider to demonstration sites. The purpose of this report is to document background on the Safety project; project goals and objectives; individual program challenges and accomplishments; technical assistance efforts; and project evaluation. Moreover, the purpose of this report is to identify promising practices that were demonstrated by this Safety for Indian Women from Sexual Assault Offenders Demonstration Initiative so that others can learn from the experiences of these demonstration sites. Please note that this report is a draft version, since the final has not yet been formally approved by OVW.

Tribal Sexual Assault and Stalking Resource Series

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.

Final Report: Focus Group on Public Law 280 and the Sexual Assault of Native Women PDF File On August 15 - 16, 2007 the Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) hosted a focus group in Green Bay, Wisconsin to discuss challenges to, and opportunities for, collaboration between states and tribes in Public Law 280 jurisdictions to address sexual assault in Indian country. The Tribal Law and Policy Institute provided technical assistance and collaborated with OVW on the design and delivery of the session. This final report details the event.

Tribal Response to Child Abuse Resource Series

As the training and technical assistance provider for CJA grantees, the Tribal Law and Policy Institute has developed resources and training materials to assist Tribes with the development of their projects. The Institute provides training for CJA grantees on the development of Child Protection Teams, Multi-disciplinary Teams, Mandatory Reporting of Child Abuse, and has assisted Tribes in developing other training efforts emphasizing local and regional resources available to address child abuse and child sexual abuse. Regional and national training events for CJA grantees are also provided and may focus on topics or skills, such as "Trauma and Tribal Children", "Investigations and Interventions in Child Sexual Abuse Cases in Indian Country", etc.

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.

Community Facilitator's Guidebook - The Tribal Law and Policy Institute announced the release of Pathway To Hope: Healing Child Sexual Abuse at the January 2008 Alaska Native Summit on Child Sexual Abuse which was held in Anchorage, Alaska. The video was developed through funds from the Office for Victims of Crime as a resource to Tribes receiving the Children's Justice Act Partnerships for Indian Communities grants to address child sexual abuse and serious child abuse. This video, which presents the voices of over 40 Native people, many of whom are survivors of child sexual abuse, and the Community Facilitator's Guidebook provide a step by step process for Tribal communities to end silence about child sexual abuse, support child victims and promote healing of those who suffered childhood abuse. The video opens with five different languages spoken by Native elders in Alaska as they give permission and urge attention on the issues of child sexual abuse for the sake of our children. Due to the sensitive issues addressed by the video and the need for guidance in using this product and the Guidebook for community education, we welcome the opportunity to provide onsite training and technical assistance on the use of these products.

Child Abuse Protocol Development Guide Adobe Acrobat is required to view this file. was developed by the Tribal Law and Policy Institute as a workbook with sample protocols, forms and flow charts. The concept of protecting children and families from various dangers is not new to most Native communities as there have been standards and mechanisms in place, both cultural and societal, for eons that have guided how Native Peoples addressed safety of children and instructions for adults as to how they behaved with children. These practices have had a significant impact on preventing abusive and neglectful behavior from occurring.

A Best Practice Approach for Tribal Advocates Working with Native Children who have Suffered Abuse Adobe Acrobat is required to view this file. suggests an approach to evaluating the needs of children who enter the child protection system and suggests a context for the evaluation that is culturally consistent with most tribal child rearing philosophies.

Perceptions of Methamphetamine use in three Western Tribal Communities: Implications for Child Abuse in Indian Country Adobe Acrobat Reader is required to view this file Indian country lacks both a macro and micro study of child abuse and methamphetamines. Because so little is documented routinely by either law enforcement, social services or medical professionals in assessing risks and dangers to children from environments where meth is found, data is difficult to find. However, in an attempt to explore the increasing concerns raised by the emerging methamphetamine epidemic in Indian country, professionals from three Western Tribal communities were asked to complete a survey about their perceptions of meth us and implications for child abuse in the communities in which they worked. This study was funded through the Training and Technical Assistance grant that the Tribal Law and Policy Institute receives for Children’s Justice Act Partnerships in Indian Communities to assist tribes in addressing serious child abuse. The tribes and individuals that participated in the study were guaranteed anonymity due to the sensitive nature of the questions being asked. However, each Tribal Council provided permission for the surveys to be conducted within their service areas.

Understanding the Effects of Childhood Trauma on Brain Development in Native Children Adobe Acrobat Reader is required to view this file – By Eidell Wasserman, Ph.D. CJA grantees have requested information that will assist them in educating others about the impact of victimization and trauma on brain development in young Native children. This full color document is a summary of the current research, and includes graphics and several “story boxes” to help readers understand the scientific basis and provide practical information on how trauma affects children.

Tips for Non-Native Medical Providers Working in Alaska Native Communities Adobe Acrobat Reader is required to view this file was developed by the Tribal Law and Policy Institute in response to frequent requests for information to assist non-Native people in responding appropriately to Native children and families when there are allegations or disclosures of child abuse and child sexual abuse. This document is specific to medical personnel, but similar versions are also available for State child protection workers, CASAs, and victim advocates working with Native children.

Basic Guidelines for Forensic Interviewers in Child Sexual Abuse Cases in Indian Country and Alaska Native Communities Adobe Acrobat Reader is required to view this file by Roe Bubar, J.D., is intended to provide an overview of the primary considerations necessary in the interview process when allegations of child sexual abuse arise in Indian Country and Alaska Native communities. Forensic interviews are an important part of the investigative process, require specialized training and involve complex issues. This document outlines three areas of particular concern and is not intended to be a training tool that informs or guides the interview process.

Tribal Court CASA Court Appointed Special Advocate) Project Publications

The Tribal Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Project was started in 1994 to assist in the development and enhancement of Tribal Court programs that provide volunteer advocacy for abused or neglected Native American children. The goal of the National CASA Association is to increase the number of Indian children who are receiving culturally sensitive representation through indigenous CASA programs in Tribal Court proceedings. The Project is advised by the Tribal Court Advisory Committee, whose purpose is to review and consult with National CASA Association on the development of Tribal Court programs, the best methods to assist the Tribal Court programs, and the best methods for adapting CASA to meet the needs of Native American communities. The National CASA Association, in conjunction with the Tribal Law and Policy Institute and the Tribal Court CASA Advisory Committee, has developed a series of tribal court specific resources, including:

Office for Victims of Crime Monographs

Victim Services: Promising Practices in Indian Country (2004) is an OVC monograph  produced by the Tribal Law and Policy Institute that describes promising practices for assisting victims of violence and abuse in twelve Indian Country locations throughout the United States. Each description includes the program’s keys to success, relevant demographic data, and a contact for further information.

The Center on Child Abuse and Neglect (CCAN) provides a Native American topic specific monograph series. This project developed a series of booklets to assist individuals in better understanding issues affecting Native communities. The booklets increase the amount and quality of resource materials available to community workers so that they can assist Native American victims of crime and the general Native public. This project was funded by the Department of Justice, Office for Victims of Crime.

Improving the Relationship Between Indian Nations, the Federal Government, and State Governments, by Jerry Gardner
In order to effectively address criminal justice issues in Indian country and services for victims of crime in Indian country, it is vital that productive efforts are made to improve the relationship between Indian Nations, the federal government, and state governments. The first step required in any effort to improve these relationships is an understanding and recognition of the unique sovereign status of Indian Nations. Second, contemporary problems in the relationship between these governments should be examined. Third, recent examples of efforts to improve the relationship between these governments should be reviewed. Then, the potential use of written cooperative agreements - such as Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) - to improve the relationship between these governments should be examined. Finally, practical tips for developing and implementing written cooperative agreements should be reviewed.

Public Law 280: Issues and Concerns For Victims of Crime in Indian Country, by Ada Pecos Melton and Jerry Gardner
Public Law 83-280 (commonly referred to as Public Law 280 or PL 280) was a transfer of legal authority (jurisdiction) from the federal government to state governments which significantly changed the division of legal authority among tribal, federal, and state governments . . .

Tribal Video Resource Series

Community Facilitator's Guidebook - The Tribal Law and Policy Institute announced the release of Pathway To Hope: Healing Child Sexual Abuse at the January 2008 Alaska Native Summit on Child Sexual Abuse which was held in Anchorage, Alaska. The video was developed through funds from the Office for Victims of Crime as a resource to Tribes receiving the Children's Justice Act Partnerships for Indian Communities grants to address child sexual abuse and serious child abuse. This video, which presents the voices of over 40 Native people, many of whom are survivors of child sexual abuse, and the Community Facilitator's Guidebook provide a step by step process for Tribal communities to end silence about child sexual abuse, support child victims and promote healing of those who suffered childhood abuse. The video opens with five different languages spoken by Native elders in Alaska as they give permission and urge attention on the issues of child sexual abuse for the sake of our children. Due to the sensitive issues addressed by the video and the need for guidance in using this product and the Guidebook for community education, we welcome the opportunity to provide onsite training and technical assistance on the use of these products.

Listen to the Grandmothers Video Discussion Guidebook (Note: this PDF is one megabyte) was developed by the Tribal Law and Policy Institute in order to assist tribal programs with incorporating cultural traditions into contemporary responses to violence against Native women. The "Listen to the Grandmothers” video features Native elders speaking to the problem of violence against Native women. The video provides a historical overview of violence against Native women, traditional responses to such violence and an analysis on incorporating cultural traditions into contemporary responses to violence against Native women. For information concerning the video and accompanying guidebook, please contact the Minnesota office of the Tribal Law and Policy Institute. Due to the sensitive nature of this video, we welcome the opportunity to provide onsite training and technical assistance on the use of these products.

Tribal Healing to Wellness Court Publications

In July 1999, the Tribal Law and Policy Institute developed a Tribal Drug Courts publication entitled Healing to Wellness Courts: A Preliminary Overview of Tribal Drug Courts. This publication is a part of the Tribal Healing to Wellness Court Technical Assistance Project Resource Publication Series (Adobe Acrobat Reader is required to view these files). The full series is as follows:

  • Healing to Wellness Courts: A Preliminary Overview of Tribal Drug Courts Adobe Acrobat Reader is Required to View this File.
    This publication (initially published in July 1999) provides an overview of Tribal Drug Courts or Tribal Healing to Wellness Courts. This overview discusses how the drug court concept is consistent with Native American concepts of justice and how the drug court concept can be adapted to meet the specific needs of individual Native American communities. It provides information concerning the background of the Tribal Healing to Wellness Courts movement, the unique role and importance of Tribal Justice Systems, adapting the term "drug court" for Trial Justice Systems, defining drug courts, and defining Healing to Wellness Courts. It then provides an overview of some of the critical issues and challenges faced by Tribal Healing to Wellness Courts, including the challenge of incorporating tribal custom and tradition, addressing the high volume of alcohol abuse cases, and addressing jurisdictional and resource limitations.
  • Tribal Healing to Wellness Courts: The Key Components Adobe Acrobat Reader is Required to View this File.
    Tribal Healing to Wellness Courts: The Key Components is designed to provide suggested key components and recommended practices needed for Indian Nations and tribal justice systems to consider as they design, develop, and implement drug courts that meet the needs of their individual communities. The publication is organized around ten key components, adapted for Indian nations and tribal justice systems, which describe the basic elements that define Tribal Healing to Wellness Courts. The purpose of each component is explained, followed by several recommended practices that give guidance for implementing each component. Healing to Wellness Courts help to put misguided individuals back on track, on to a healing to wellness journey. As this publication sets forth, each tribal community and nation must define and describe the nature of this healing journey. Its direction and pathway must be guided by each Indian Nation's culture, tradition, common practices, and vision.
  • Tribal Healing to Wellness Courts: Treatment Guidelines for Adults and Juveniles (Draft) Adobe Acrobat Reader is Required to View this File.
    Tribal justice systems have often become separated from the provision of healing services. Holistically, this separation of function has made it very difficult to deal effectively with the physical and spiritual healing that is fundamental to tribal tradition. Many tribes have begun the process of annexing their court systems with a range of treatment services that combine traditional healing with western treatment concepts through tribal drug courts - or healing to wellness courts. This publication examines guidelines that have been developed to provide tribal communities with an overview of substance abuse treatment strategies as they have been developed by drug court programs. Tribal programs might consider applying these treatment strategies along with traditional healing practices. These guidelines draw upon the experiences of hundreds of state adult and juvenile drug court programs, operating in various environments and serving a wide range of individuals addicted to alcohol and/or other drugs. This publication examines key issues in developing treatment, developing a wellness court treatment program, adapting treatment program components, special considerations regarding treatment services, strategies for maintaining sobriety (relapse prevention), and looking ahead. Please note that this is the first publication to comprehensively address the difficult and controversial issue of drug court treatment guidelines - consequently, this publication should also prove very useful for state drug courts.
  • Tribal Healing to Wellness Courts: The Judge’s Bench Book (Draft) Adobe Acrobat Reader is Required to View this File.
    For every difficult demanding journey, one must have a leader. In a Healing to Wellness Court, that person is the judge. This bench book is designed to provide instruction and practical tools for judges in their efforts to guide those traveling on the road to wellness. It is designed to provide general guidance for judges, examples of court procedure, and tools to assist judges in their wellness court role. This bench book is also useful for wellness court team members and community leaders who are interested in designing, creating, an implementing a wellness court program.
  • Tribal Healing to Wellness Courts: Program Development Guide (Draft) Adobe Acrobat Reader is Required to View this File.
    Tribal Healing to Wellness Courts: Program Development Guide is a practical handbook for planning, implementing, and managing Healing to Wellness Courts (adult, juvenile, and family). This program development guide provides step-by-step recommendations for design, development, and implementation of Tribal Healing to Wellness Court programs from a practical standpoint. It is designed to assist steering committees and planning groups as they (1) use team-based  approaches; (2) gain knowledge of Healing to Wellness Court concepts; (3) incorporate the ten key components; (4) help establish policies and procedures suitable to the needs of the tribal community; (5) guide the court to integrate available resources; (6) develop interagency agreements; (7) incorporate a management information system to track participants and services; and (8) identify possible problem areas.
  • Tribal Healing to Wellness Courts Operational Materials (with American University) (Please Contact American University for copies of this publication).

Perceptions of Methamphetamine use in three Western Tribal Communities: Implications for Child Abuse in Indian Country  - Indian country lacks both a macro and micro study of child abuse and methamphetamines. Because so little is documented routinely by either law enforcement, social services or medical professionals in assessing risks and dangers to children from environments where meth is found, data is difficult to find. However, in an attempt to explore the increasing concerns raised by the emerging methamphetamine epidemic in Indian country, professionals from three Western Tribal communities were asked to complete a survey about their perceptions of meth us and implications for child abuse in the communities in which they worked. This study was funded through the Training and Technical Assistance grant that the Tribal Law and Policy Institute receives for Children’s Justice Act Partnerships in Indian Communities to assist tribes in addressing serious child abuse. The tribes and individuals that participated in the study were guaranteed anonymity due to the sensitive nature of the questions being asked. However, each Tribal Council provided permission for the surveys to be conducted within their service areas.

 

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