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American Indian Law

American Indian Law research is complex and challenging. This guide covers U.S. statutes, tribal codes, case law, and secondary sources.

Why use a bibliography?

Bibliographies are collections of legal citations occasionally coupled with notes explaining the source's relevance, purpose, or usefulness. The citations are divided by topic and then subdivided by specific interest. Bibliographies help researchers find key citations and databases. Bibliographies help propel research and provide a manner to check whether you have found all the relevant sources. I recommend using legal bibliographies as a segway between secondary and primary research. By then, you should have a good grasp of the topic and a curated list of sources. Reviewing a bibliography can then fill the gaps of any major resources you have yet to find along with providing the groundwork for primary research.

Indian Law Bibliographies

  Beaird, A. Michael. A Survey of American Indian Legal Sources. Norman, OK: N.p., 1974. Print.

Brandon Burnette, Annotated Bibliography of Native American History from United States Federal Documents

Carter, Nancy Carol. “U.S. Federal Indian Policy: An Essay and Annotated Bibliography.” Legal reference services quarterly 30.3 (2011)

 Davies, Wade, and Richmond L. Clow. American Indian Sovereignty and Law : an Annotated Bibliography. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, 2009.

“American Indian Sovereignty and Law; an Annotated Bibliography.” Reference & Research Book News 2009

Fausett, Rory Snow Arrow, and Judith V. Royster. “Courts and Indians: Sixty-Five Years of Legal Analysis: Bibliography of Periodical Articles Relating to Native American Law, 1922-1986.” Legal reference services quarterly 7.2-4 (1988)

Hargrett, Lester. A Bibliography of the Constitutions and Laws of the American Indians. Clark, N.J: Lawbook Exchange, 2003. 

  Jorgensen, Delores A., and Barb. Heisinger. A Bibliography of Indian Law Periodical Articles Published 1980-1990. Vermillion, SD: McKusick Law Library, School of Law, University of South Dakota, 1991. 

Johansen, Bruce E. (Bruce Elliott). Native American Political Systems and the Evolution of Democracy : an Annotated Bibliography. Westport, Conn: Greenwood Press, 1996. 

Wilkinson, Charles F., and Anna Nikole Ulrich. “Annotated Bibliography of the Basic Literature Needed for an Understanding of Tribal Governance.” Wicazo sa review 17.1 (2002). 

De Puy, Henry Farr. A Bibliography of the English Colonial Treaties with the American Indians; Including a Synopsis of Each Treaty. New York: [AMS Press], 1971.


Webb, Vincent J. Indian Justice : a Research Bibliography. Monticello, Ind: Council of Planning Librarians, 1976. 

Indigenous Law Outside the United States

Buchanan, Jim. Canadian Indian Policy : a Bibliography. Monticello, Ill: Vance Bibliographies, 1979. 

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