introduction to tribal justice systems

INDIAN LAW & tribal courts

Specially curated array of lectures, articles, guides/manuals, reports and helpful links to learn more about general Indian Law, Tribal Court structure, rules and enforcement.

+ Guides & Manuals

A monograph of the current landscape of collaboration between state and tribal justice systems. This details the history, barriers to effective cooperation, and promising recent developments in the field.


Credit: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Use this guide as a general briefing to enhance cultural competence while providing services to American Indian/Alaska Native communities. Cultural competence is defined as the ability to function effectively in the context of cultural differences.


+ Reports

Examine traditional tribal justice systems in tribal communities. Investigate frameworks from both academics and practitioners to understand tribal courts and the unique challenges they face. Explore details behind tribal court models and tribal justice perspectives.


+ Lectures

Credit: Joseph P. Kalt of Harvard Kennedy School Joseph William SInger of Harvard Law School

Explore legal and economic dimensions of current perceptions of and debates over the nature and extent of tribal self-rule in the United States. Learn the how tribal sovereignty is recognized and protected by the U.S. Constitution, legal precedent, and treaties, as well as applicable principles of human rights.


Credit: Matthew L.M. Fletcher Professor of Michigan State University College of Law

Understand general Indian law information as well as Minnesota-specific resources.


Credit: Hon. Peter J. Herne, Chief Judge of the St. Regis Mohawk Tribal Court Todd Weber, Esq., Court Attorney, Franklin Co. Supreme Ct. Dr. Barbara A. Gray, Court Attorney / Administrator, St. Regis Mohawk Tribal Court

Find helpful information about tribal court structure and jurisdictional issues.


+ Articles

Gain background information about Minnesota's Rule of Civil Procedure 10, covering recognition of tribal court orders, rules and enforcement.


Credit: Judge Joseph J. Wiseman

An overview of key federal Indian law cases affecting historical and contemporary activities of Indian Country.


Delve into interviews with three justice practitioners of the Southwestern United States -- the Honorable Robert Yazzie (Navajo Nation Supreme Court), Judge Joseph Flies-Away (Hualapai Nation), and James Zion (former Navajo Nation solicitor). Get insight into restorative justice practices.

C1R17_Restorative Justice Practices of Native American, First Nation and Other Indigenous People of North America_ Part One by Laura Mirsky.pdf

+ Helpful Links

california courts

Tribal Justice Systems resources related to California and beyond.

tribal court clearing house: justice system contacts

Tribal Justice Systems: Contact information for justice systems across tribal nations.

tribal court clearing house: laws and codes

Find Tribal Laws and Codes.

tribal law gateway

Search for tribal law materials by tribe across Indian Country.