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American Indian Studies - Part 3: Legal, Governmental and Treaty Information

Bibliography of American Indian Studies Materials
A Guide to Library and Internet Resources

Legal information is covered most thoroughly in the University's Law Library. One excellent guide to their collections in the area is Indian Law Research. The Law Library can provide the most comprehensive research services in this area. Wilson Library, home to our collections in political science and history as well as the Government Publications Library also has some materials of interest. For information on doing research in political science, go to Subject Resources: Political Science (General Aspects) for core reference materials. The following is a selection of relevant materials from the Wilson Library collections.

Table of Contents:

Legal, Governmental, Treaty Information
Both Wilson and Law libraries will have important collections in this area. This is a listing of just some of the materials to help you research in this area.
  • Bibliography of the English colonial treaties with the American Indians, including a synopsis of each treaty
    • Location(s): TC Law Library Rare Books (American Indians) KF8205 .D47x 1917 Non-Circulating TC Wilson Library 016.30182 D442 Regular Loan
    Check MNCAT Record for Location and Availability
  • Bibliography of the constitutions and laws of the American Indians
    • Location(s): TC Law Library KF8221 .A1 H27 1947 Regular Loan TC Law Library Rare Books (Reference) KF8221 .A1 H27 1947 Non-Circulating
    Check MNCAT Record for Location and Availability
  • Skyscrapers hide the heavens : a history of Indian-white relations in Canada
    Skyscrapers Hide the Heavens is the first comprehensive account of Indian-white relations throughout Canada's history. J. R. Miller charts the deterioration of the relationship from the initial, mutually beneficial contact in the fur trade to the current impasse in which Indians are resisting displacement and marginalization." "This new edition is the result of substantial revision to incorporate current scholarship and bring the text up to date. It includes new material on the North, and reflects changes brought about by the Oka crisis, the sovereignty issue, and the various court decisions of the 1990s. It also includes new material on residential schools, treaty making, and land claims.
    • Location(s): TC Wilson Library E92 .M55 2000 Regular Loan
    Check MNCAT Record for Location and Availability
  • Indian Affairs. Laws and Treaties
    Indian affairs. Laws and treaties. Compiled and edited by Charles J. Kappler. Washington, Govt. Print. Off., 1904-41. v. 1. Laws. Compiled to Dec. 1, 1902. v. 2. Treaties. v. 3. Laws. Compiled to Dec. 1,1913. v. 4. Laws. Compiled to March 4, 1927. v. 5. Laws. Compiled from Dec. 22, 1927, to June 29, 1938.
    • Location(s): WILSON Reference Quarto KF8203 1972 Check MNCAT by title for other editions and locations.
    Check MNCAT Record for Location and Availability
  • North American Indian Thought and Culture Authentication Required
    When complete, the database will represent the largest compilation ever created of biographical information on indigenous peoples from all areas of North America. Including biographies, autobiographies, oral histories, reference works, manuscripts, and photographs, the database presents the life stories of American Indians and Canadian First Peoples in their own words and through the words of others. Much of the material is previously unpublished, rare, or hard to find. New and current full-length biographies include works on Quanah Parker, Dennis Banks, Susan La Flesche Picotte, Cochise, Jim Thorpe, Crowfoot, Peter Pitchlynn, Sacajawea, Geronimo, Hosteen Klah, Black Elk, Pocahontas, George Washington Grayson, Standing Buffalo, and many more. More than twenty volumes covering chiefs of various nations are now included, as well as a modern edition of the collected speeches of Sitting Bull. The Center for Indigenous Arts & Cultures' five-volume encyclopedia on American Indian Artists has been added ("American Indian Art Series"), and the recent publication, American Indian Biographies (Salem Press, 2005) also adds many contemporary names to the collection.
  • United States Statutes at Large.
    The official, permanent, session law publication for federal laws. Volumes arranged by session of Congress and public law numbers. Also available on HeinOnline, (select U.S. Statutes at Large from list of collections. Also available on FDsys at:
    • Location(s): Law Library 1st floor (Primary) KF 50 .U6; TC Wilson Library Gov Pub (US Legal) GS 4.111: and AE 2.111:
    Check MNCAT Record for Location and Availability
Some Key Websites
The following Web sites should help you as you begin your research in this area. If you find other sites that should be included, please feel free to let us know!
  • American Indian Law Alliance
    "American Indian Law Alliance is an indigenous, non-profit organization that works with Indigenous nations, communities and organizations in our struggle for sovereignty, human rights, and social justice for our peoples...On a national and international level, the American Indian Law Alliance ("AILA" ) organizes and advocates on behalf of and with Indigenous Peoples from around the world. We are one of less than 20 Indigenous NGOs (non-governmental organizations) with Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations." The site includes good links and other information.
  • Indian and Native Peoples Law
    An excellent set of links from FindLaw: For Legal Professionals, this site provides links to resources and other guides related to the subject.
  • Internet Law Library: Indian Nations and Tribes
    "The Internet Law Library (formerly the U.S. House of Representatives Internet Law Library) was originally provided to the public courtesy of the Office of the Law Revision Counsel of the U.S. House of Representatives, as part of the Counsel's mission to make the law (particularly the U.S. Code) available to the public. The Law Revision Counsel's goal was to provide free public access to the basic documents of U.S. law."
  • National Indian Law Library
    "The National Indian Law Library (NILL) is a public law library devoted to federal Indian and tribal law. Our mission is to develop and make accessible a unique and valuable collection of Indian law resources and other information relating to Native Americans. NILL places special emphasis on fulfilling the information needs of Indian law advocates and others working on behalf of Native Americans." The site includes access to the library's catalog of holdings and other information.
  • National Native American Bar Association
    "The National Native American Bar Association (NNABA) serves as the national association for Native American attorneys, judges, law professors and law students. Founded in 1973 as the American Indian Lawyers Association, NNABA works to promote issues important to the Native American community and works to improve professional opportunities for Native American lawyers." The site includes an excellent set of links for further research.
  • Native American Documents Project
    Native American Documents Project of the California State University, San Marcos, begun in 1992, is digitizing various documents related to federal Indian policy history. Many documents are now available and more will come soon.
  • Alphabetical Roster of Individuals in Earle Report
    Full-text of the Alphabetical Roster of Individuals in Earle Report by Thomas L. Doughton, 1997, is available at this site. This and more portions of the Earle report are being established by Nipmuc Indians, the aboriginal people of central Massachusetts. By legislative Act of 1859, John Milton Earle, Worcester politician and newspaper publisher, was appointed to investigate the social condition of Massachusetts Indians and advance recommendations whether they should be placed on the same legal footing as other residents of the Commonwealth. The full report is available here.
  • Treaty Seven
    Treaty Seven was a peace treaty made between two nations - the tribes of the Blackfoot Confederacy, ( Siksika , Piikani {Peigan} and Kainaiwa {Blood}) Tsuu T'ina (Sarcee), the Stoney (Bearspaw, Chiniki, and Wesley/Goodstoney) and the British government. This site not only gives excellent coverage of Canadian Indian treaty/legal issues, but good links to other sources of information on Native Americans.
  • Aboriginal Law and Legislation
    Aboriginal Law and Legislation " provides good information and links on the topic from New Zealand, Australia, Canada and the U.S."
  • Statutes of the United States Concerning Native Americans
    A product of the Avalon Project at the Yale Law School, the full text of various "Statutes of the United States Concerning Native Americans" from pre 1800 to the present are presented in chronological order. The full-text of treaties, cases, etc., is given.
Key Libraries Indexes & Databases
Depending on the exact nature of your research, you may find a variety of databases of key importance - Researching the law may require using some of the databases in the Law Library, examing fishing rights may involve some of the environmental or economics databases, etc. Here are some some of our databases with information on legal issues:
  • America: History and Life Authentication Required
    This index provides historical coverage of the United States and Canada from prehistory to the present with over 2,000 journals including all key English-language historical journals.
  • Anthropology Plus Authentication Required
    Anthropology Plus brings together into one resource the highly respected Anthropological Literature from Harvard University and Anthropological Index, Royal Anthropological Institute from the UK. Anthropology Plus provides extensive worldwide indexing of journal articles, reports, commentaries, edited works, and obituaries in the fields of social, cultural, physical, biological, and linguistic anthropology, ethnology, archaeology, folklore, material culture, and interdisciplinary studies. The index offers excellent coverage of all core periodicals in the field in addition to local and lesser-known journals. Coverage is from the late 19th century to the present.
  • Digital Dissertations Authentication Required
    Dissertations and theses from over 1000 universities. Doctoral dissertations are indexed for almost all North American graduate schools and many European universities. Masters theses from selected schools only. Provides bibliographic citations for older titles. Abstracts are included for dissertations since 1980 and for masters theses since 1988. Some dissertations, beginning with 1997 publication dates, are available digitally. These include the University of Minnesota and other CIC member universities.
  • eHRAF World Cultures Authentication Required
    Contains FULL-TEXT information on over 360 cultures of the world, past and present. Electronic HRAF contains resources added since 1991 but earlier segments will be added to this database on a regular basis.
    • eHRAF Tutorial
      This tutorial gives users a good overview of the eHRAF system and how to effectively search the database for information. A good starting point!
  • Ethnic NewsWatch Authentication Required
    Full-text articles from over 300 American ethnic and minority newspapers including Asian-American, Jewish, African-American, Native-American, Arab-American, Eastern-European, and other multi-ethnic communities. Coverage dates back to 1990.
  • Hispanic American Periodicals Index
    Covers topics related to Latin America in the areas of humanities and social sciences, including business and industry; the United States and Mexico border region; Hispanic groups in the United States.
  • Social Sciences Citation Index (Web of Science) Authentication Required
    Covers the social sciences, including anthropology, history, industrial relations, information science and library science, law, linguistics, philosophy, psychology, psychiatry, political science, public health, social issues, social work, sociology, substance abuse, urban studies, and women's studies.
    Provides bibliographic citations, plus author abstracts "for approximately 60% of the articles in the database." Each citation also includes a list of references cited in the source article. In addition, it is possible to retrieve a list of works that have cited a specific author or a specific earlier work.
    Indexes articles, reviews, letters, etc. from over "1,950 journals across 50 social sciences disciplines. It also indexes individually selected, relevant items from over 3,300 of the world's leading scientific and technical journals."
  • Sociological Abstracts Authentication Required
    This core database for the field of sociology contains information on sociology and social policy worldwide. Sociological Abstracts includes citations from the 1952-present.
  • Worldwide Political Science Abstracts Authentication Required
    CSA Worldwide Political Science Abstracts is building on the merged backfiles of Political Science Abstracts, published by IFI / Plenum, 1975-2000, and ABC POL SCI, published by ABC-CLIO, 1984-2000. The database provides citations, abstracts, and indexing of the international serials literature in political science and its complementary fields, including international relations, law, and public administration & public policy.
Guides to Legal Research & Databases
  • Government Publications Library
    The Government Publications Library is a depository for federal, UN, state and other documents. Their web page will give you access to these tools as well as guides to doing research.
  • Law Library: Electronic Resources
    The collections of the University of Minnesota Law Library provide excellent resources for the study of American Indian law. This page will give you information on their databases, indexes and other online resources.
Key Online Journals & Research Centers
  • Indian affairs [computer file] : laws and treaties
    The full-text of Charles J. Kappler's work is available from the Oklahoma State University Library as an electronic file for browsing. A search function is also included. "Historically significant, seven volume compilation of U.S. treaties, laws and executive orders pertaining to Native American Indian tribes. The volumes cover U.S. Government treaties with Native Americans from 1778-1883 (Volume II) and U.S. laws and executive orders concerning Native Americans from 1871-1970 (Volumes I, III-VII). The work was first published in 1903-04 by the U.S. Government Printing Office. Enhanced by the editors' use of margin notations and a comprehensive index, the information contained in Indian Affairs: Laws and Treaties is in high demand by Native peoples, researchers, journalists, attorneys, legislators, teachers and others of both Native and non-Native origins."
    Check MNCAT Record for Location and Availability
  • Tribal Law Journal
    Published by law students at the University of New Mexico, "the goal of the Tribal Law Journal is to provide a reliable forum for the discussion of internal indigenous law. The purpose of the Tribal Law Journal is to promote indigenous self-determination by facilitating discussion of the internal law of the world's indigenous nations. The internal law of indigenous nations encompasses traditional law, western law adopted by indigenous nations, and a blend of western and indigenous law. Underscoring this purpose is the recognition that traditional law is a source of law." Access to articles and an online forum are available.
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