November is National American Indian Heritage Month. This is a time to celebrate and recognize the many accomplishments and diverse cultures of the peoples who were the original inhabitants of the lands that now constitute the United States. The celebration is also known as "Native November" on the UW-Madison campus. It is worth mentioning that the School of Human Ecology is hosting a semester-long exhibit "Intersections: Indigenous Textiles of the Americas," as well as, other events in November.
For all of you film buffs, the Wisconsin Union Directorate's Film Committee, and Distinguished Lecture Series are presenting a series of twelve 30-minute programs of the Wisconsin Public Television series: Tribal Histories. All screenings will be at Union South in the Marquee Cinema.
Today's article serves as a brief introduction to Native American legal resources. Students taking LAW 730 Federal Law & Indian Tribes, for instance, will find many of the resources listed here useful to their coursework and research. The intent, of course, is for this article to reach a far wider audience as there is so much here for everyone to learn.
We begin with a couple of introductory articles from the Wisconsin Lawyer from the May 2015 issue:
An Introduction: American Indian Tribes and Law in Wisconsin, and Engaging the Third Sovereign: The Nature, Reach, and Sources of Tribal Law. The latter written by our very own Law Library Director, Bonnie Shucha.
Moving right along, one basic and very comprehensive title is the American Indian Law Deskbook. The 2019 edition was recently published, and is available in print on the Law Library's Reseve Collection at KF8205 .A76 (older editions are in the stacks). It is also available online on Westlaw. An outline of the book's table of contents includes the following:
Federal Indian Law Policy : Orgins and Legal Development - Indian, Indian Tribe, and Indian County - Indian Land and Property : Title and Use - Criminal Jurisdiction in Indian Country - General Civil Regulatory Jurisdiction - Civil Adjudicatory Jurisdiction - Tribal Immunity from Suit - Indian Reserved Water Rights - Fish and Wildlife Regulation - Environmental Regulation - Taxation in Indian Country - Indian Lands Gaming - The Indian Child Welfare Act - State-Tribal Cooperative Agreements.
The book's contents and scope encompass a reasonable starting point to the subject matter and study of federal Indian law, tribal law, and the intersection with state law.
Next on the list of resources is Hein Online's American Indian Law Collection which greatly expands on these topics and extends the reach of available resoures for study. There are some 2,500 titlles in this collection ranging from Title 25 of the U.S Code and the Code of Federal Regulatons, to tribal codes and constiutions, congressional hearings, compiled legislative histories, GAO and CRS Reports, scholarly articles and serials. There is also a tab accessing external links. Hein has a handy four page pdf which describes the American Indian Law Collection in greater detail.
Building on this momentum, the UW Law Library has created a collection of Research Guides to assist students, scholars, and the public with their research. My colleague, Emma Babler, has put together an excellent guide on Native American Law & Legal Sources. It is intended as an introduction to legal materials available at the UW Law Library on Native Americans and other native peoples of the United States, such as Native Alaskans and Hawaiians. The resources listed go well beyond those here at the law library as many useful and informative websites are included throughout the guide.
The guide is divided into specific topic areas: Tribal Law - Treaties - Federal Legislation - Federal Case Law - Federal Administrative Law - Wisconsin Tribes - Secondary Sources with references and links to books, journals, additional Research Guides, and Native American Advocacy websites.
Some of the many highlights you will find include:
Popular Names of Federal Native American Laws. This site by the Center for Regulatory Effectiveness provides a selected list of laws with links to the U.S. Code is hosted by Cornell's Legal Information Institute. Another useful link is U.S. Supreme Court Decisions on Indian Law also hosted the Legal Information Institute.
Tribal Court Clearinghouse's Pending Federal Legislation. Keep current with legislation and other news of interest to the community from a wide variety of sources. Look closer at all the links this website provides and it becomes clear why it is called a Clearinghouse.
Great Lakes Indigenous Law Center is part of the UW Law School. The Center's mission is to provide law students the opportunity to study the law as it relates to Native Nation and their citizens, assist Indian students in obtaining a legal education, and provide legal assistance on uniquely Native Nation legal matters. One resource they provide that may be of interest is the Estate Planning Handbook for Native Americans.
The Wisconsin Tribes tab allows readers to explore and learn more about Wisconsin's twelve tribes. Each of the tribes' websites contain information about their laws and system of government, as well as, their language, culture and heritage. Definitely worth taking a closer look to learn more about the First Nations of Wisconsin.
The Native American Advocacy (Websites) tab under Secondary Sources includes links to a small, but significant group of useful websites. The National Indian Law Library (part of the Native American Rights Fund) is one worth mentioning for the strength of the resources offered such as the Indian Law Bulletins for current legal resources and awareness, and Indian Law Research Guides which cover a wide variety of topics such as tribal enrollment, indigenous peacemaking, tribal education, and water rights and Indian land.
Code Talk is a federal inter-agency website designed to deliver electronic information from government agencies and other organizations to Native American communities. Code Talk is hosted by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Native American Programs. Among some of the resources listed are current federal job vacancy announcements, notices of agency rulemaking, environmental review resources, and funding programs that includes information about Indian Housing Block Grant (IHBG), Indian Community Development Block Grant (ICDBG), and Home Loan Guarantee Programs.
Tribal Gaming in Wisconsin (2005-present) describes the development and current status of tribal gaming in Wisconsin, including major provisions of state-tribal compacts, the historical and legal background of tribal gaming in Wisconsin, and the amount and use of gaming-related tribal payments to the state.
Law Enforcement in Indian Country : Tribal Institutions (2013). This Information Memorandum, prepared by the Wisconsin Legislative Council, describes the institutions of the American Indian tribes and bands in Wisconsin that relate to law enforcement.
Finally, the UW-Madison News website has a section specifically for Native Nations news to keep you current with what is happening between the university and Wisconsin's tribal communities.
Submitted by Eric Taylor, Evening Reference Librarian on November 12, 2019
This article appears in the categories: Law Library