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Many Nations: The Tribal and Federal Documents of American Indian Tribes. Five State Government Documents Conference August 4, 2006 David Selden National Indian Law Library Nancy Carol Carter University of San Diego. Introduction:. Sovereign nations and the

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many nations the tribal and federal documents of american indian tribes

Many Nations: The Tribal and Federal Documents of American Indian Tribes

Five State Government Documents Conference

August 4, 2006

David Selden

National Indian Law Library

Nancy Carol Carter

University of San Diego

introduction
Introduction:
  • Sovereign nations and the

unique ‘course of dealing’

  • Many nations documents defined:

(1) Federal documents applicable to all

tribes or to a specific tribe

(2) Documents produced by 560+ tribal nations

with different tribal legal systems

(3) Limited state documents

  • Jurisdiction is key to documentary record
documents flow from jurisdiction
TRIBAL

Treaties

Tribal constitution

Tribal code

Tribal court cases

Administrative codes

Tribal law may reflect:

. Customary law

. Oral traditions

. Central role of tribal council

or elders

. Theocratic traditions

FEDERAL

U.S. Constitution

Treaties

Legislation

Case law

Administrative law

Executive Orders

Indian Claims Comm.

STATES

Public Law 280

Multi-state water settlements Gaming compacts

Documents Flow from Jurisdiction
finding tribal information in federal documents
Finding Tribal Information in Federal Documents
  • U.S. Constitution – federal preemption
  • Treaties – “best evidence” of tribal sovereignty, land rights
  • Legislation – general or tribally specific

Congressional documents

  • Case law – general or tribally specific
  • Executive Orders – often triballyspecific, land rights
  • Administrative law – beyond the BIA
  • Indian Claims Comm. – other tribunals
national indian law library nill who are we and what do we do
National Indian Law Library (NILL) - who are we and what do we do?
  • National non-profit library specializing in Indian law in Boulder, CO.
  • Serve NARF and the public since 1972
  • Provide free reference and research assistance to the public
national indian law library nill who are we and what do we do6
National Indian Law Library (NILL) - who are we and what do we do?
  • Involved in projects to make Indian law more accessible
    • NILL Thesaurus
    • Tribal law collection
    • Indian law current awareness bulletins
    • Recently joined OCLC
finding tribal documents
Finding Tribal Documents
  • Tribes and tribal governments, a snapshot
    • 562 federally recognized tribes and AK Native Villages
    • Governments usually consist of tribal councils
    • As sovereign nations, tribes have the power to govern their members and people on their lands – except as limited by the U.S. Congress
finding tribal documents8
Finding Tribal Documents
    • Public Law 280
  • Tribal law
    • Almost all tribes have enacted constitutions and most have codes or ordinances
    • Tribal law borrows a lot from Anglo-American law, but often includes traditional/customary law provisions
finding tribal documents9
Finding Tribal Documents
  • Tribal law (cont.)
    • About 60% of all tribes and AK Native villages have judicial systems
    • Most tribes do not have administrative courts or agencies
finding tribal documents10
Finding Tribal Documents
  • What kinds of governmental information is available relating to tribes?
    • Publications about tribal governments
    • Tribal codes and constitutions
    • Tribal court opinions
    • Intergovernmental agreements
    • Agency rules and regulations - mostly incorporated into codes/constitutions
    • Tribal water settlement documents
finding tribal documents11
Finding Tribal Documents
  • What kinds of governmental information is generally not available?
    • Reports
    • Handbooks
    • Guides
    • Directories
    • Legislative information
    • Statistics
finding tribal documents12
Finding Tribal Documents
  • A look at the future - Will more tribal government information become available soon?
    • Tribal Law Collaborative Collection Development Project – NPLC and NILL
    • NILL tribal law gateway – expanded
    • U Idaho – Tribal Law Exchange Project
    • LLMC digital – Native American law microfiche collection
finding tribal documents13
Finding Tribal Documents
  • How can you “collect” or research tribal government documents?
    • Call NILL for help
    • Catalog digital documents found at NILL and other locations
    • Participate in TLCCD Project
    • Call the relevant tribe
    • Contact a law school library, Indian law clinic or Indian legal services
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