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Federal Indian Law: Books

Last Updated: Dec 4, 2023 4:19 PM




  • American Indian Legal Materials: A Union List KF 8201 A1 G37 1980 (Ref)
  • American Indian Studies - Bibliographic Guide E 77 W55 1995 (Ref)
  • A Bibliography of Indian Law Periodical Articles, 1980-1990 KF 8201 A1 J67 1992 (Ref)
  • American Indians: A Select Catalog of National Archives Microfilm Publications E 93 U73 1984 (Ref)
  • Indians of North America: Methods and Sources for Library Research E 77 H37 1983 (Ref)
  • Kappler Revisited: An Index and Bibliographic Guide to American Indian Treaties KF 8203 2003 (Ref)
  • National Indian Law Library Catalogue: An Index to Indian Legal Materials & Resources KF 8201 A1 N38 (Ref)
  • Native American Collection: A bibliography describing the microfiche collection assembled and marketed by the Law Library Microform Consortium KF 8201 A1 D86 1990 (Ref)


  • Washburn, The American Indian and the United States: A Documentary History E 93 W27 1973
    Includes full text of Reports of Commissioners of Indian Affairs; Congressional debates; acts, ordinances and proclamations; treaties; judicial decisions.
  • Deloria & Demallie, Documents of American Indian Diplomacy: Treaties, Agreements, and Conventions, 1775-1979 KF 8202 1999 (Also Berman)
  • Prucha, Francis P., Documents of United States Indian Policy, 3rd ed. KF 8205 D63 2000 (Ref)
    "Contains the essential documents which marked significant formulations of policy in the conduct of Indian affairs by the United States government, which (by legislative enactment, administrative decree, or judicial decision)..." Includes excerpts from selected cases.


A Chronological List of Treaties and Agreements Made by Indian Tribes with the United Index States, 1778-1909 KF 8201 A1 C47 1973 (Ref)
Contains a listing of treaties and agreements, which includes the date of the treaty or agreement, the tribe involved and a Statutes at Large citation.

Kappler's Indian Affairs: Laws and Treaties, 1778-1883 KF 8203 1971; Online.
Vol. 2 contains the text of Indian treaties from 1778 until 1871 and a subject index.

Treaties, Land Cessions, and Other U.S. Congressional Documents Relative to American Indian Tribes KF 8202 1971

List of Indian Treaties, 1778-1881 KF 8205 L57 1964 (Also Ref)
Contains references to treaties from the "Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico (Part I)" (a reprint of the subject index in volume 2 of Kappler's 1904 publication) and from the Annual Reports of the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs. Citations to treaties in Statutes at Large and volume 2 of Kappler's Indian Affairs: Laws and Treaties.

United States Statutes at Large, 1789-1871 US 002 A2 (Fed Core); Online
Volumes 7 and 8 contain the text of treaties negotiated between the United States and the Indian tribes; arranged in chronological order and indexed by tribal name. From volume 9 until the end of treaty making with the Indians in 1871, Indian and non-Indian treaties are listed in a separate section of the statute volumes.

Treaties and Agreements of the Indian Tribes of the Great Lakes Region, 1794-1909 KF 8202 1974c
One of eight volumes in a series entitled, the American Indian Treaty Series. The remaining volumes in the series cover the following Indian tribes: Sioux, Northern Plains, Five Civilized Tribes, Chippewa Indians, Pacific Northwest, Southwest, and the Eastern Oklahoma Indians.

A Compilation of All the Treaties between the United States and the Indian Tribes Now In Force as Law, 1784-1873 KF 8202 1873

Rifle, Blanket, and Kettle: Selected Indian Treaties and Laws, 1682-1959 KF 8202 1985
Selected agreements and statutes of historical significance.


Cohen's Handbook of Federal Indian Law KF 8205 C6 2005 (Ref); KF 8205 C6 1988; KF 8205 C6 1986 (Also Berman); KF 8205 C6 1982 (Ref, LL Archives, Berman); KF 8205 C6 1942 (Ref); Lexis*
Well known treatise. Chapters are divided into subject areas and Indian tribes. The 1942 edition contains a table titled, "Annotated Table of Statutes and Treaties" which functions as a citator for Indian laws and treaties: arranged by Statutes at Large citation refers to legislative history materials, cases, attorney general opinions, published and unpublished decisions and memoranda of the Department of the Interior, unpublished memoranda of the Lands Division of the Department of Justice, legal texts and periodicals and government documents. This table has not been updated, since the 1942 edition. 1982 edition is updated , reorganized and rewritten. Contains a section on treaties with the U.S. and international treaties. The 1986 reprint has a biography and bibliography of Felix Cohen.

Early American Indian Documents: Treaties and Laws, 1607-1789 KF 8202 1979 (Also Berman)
Contains selected colonial government laws and pre-1789 materials. Among the items reprinted are conference and council minutes, commissioners' reports, deeds by tribes, and local government and town records. Volumes are arranged by state and time period. There is no subject index, however, a detailed table of contents is present. References are made to the original source of the document. Vol. VII covers New York, 1609-1682.

Indian Affairs: Laws and Treaties, 1778-1883
Vol. 1-5. Vol. 1 contains the text of laws relating to Indian matters compiled to Dec. 1, 1902; Vol. 2 contains treaties; Vol. 3 contains laws through Dec. 1, 1913; Vol. 4 contains laws compiled to March 4, 1927 and Vol. 5 contains laws to June 29, 1938. The acts are arranged in chronological order. The volumes contain a detailed index and table of contents. This compilation has been updated by Kappler's Indian Affairs: Laws and Treaties which is often referred to as Vol. 6 & 7 (see below).

Kappler's Indian Affairs. Laws and Treaties US MicFiche 1.107:6 (Silverman Multimedia)
Vol. 6-7. This two volume set is considered to be a 30 year update of Indian Affairs: Laws and Treaties (see above). The text of new laws are included. A now outdated, but historically useful "Table of Statutes Affected" provides a guide to amendments, repeals, and changes to materials in Vol. 1 and Vol. 3-7 of the Kappler compilation.

The New American State Papers: Indian Affairs E 93 U938 1972
Volumes in this compilation are divided according to subject matter. Reprints from items located in the following sources have been included: the original American State Papers from 1832-1861, the U.S. Congressional Serial Set volumes beginning with 1817 and from items located in the Legislative Records Section in the National Archives.

Laws of the Colonial and State Governments, Relating to Indians and Indian Affairs, from 1633 to 1831 KF 8203 1979 (Also Berman)
Inclusive: with an appendix containing the proceedings of the Congress of the Confederation and the Laws of Congress from 1800 to 1830, on the same subject. Reprint of 1832 ed. NY on pp.61-135.

United States Statutes at Large US 002 A2 (Fed Core)
Also via Internet at
Contains the text of laws and treaties passed by the Congress of the United States. Laws are later codified in the United States Code. Laws affecting Indians can be found in Title 25 of the United States Code, but it is best to check the "General Index" volumes since many laws which affect Indians are located elsewhere. Also see A Chronological List of Treaties and Agreements made by Indian Tribes with the United States, KF 8201 A1 C47 1973 (Ref).

Johnson, Steven L., Guide to American Indian Documents in the Congressional Serial Set: 1817-1899 KF 8201 A1 J631977 (Ref, Haas)
Chronological arrangement with subject index. Documents in the Serial Set "relate mostly to the Indians' legal rights and to the cost to the government of Indian administration" including documents from executive agencies and reports received from Congressional committees. See LexisNexis Congressional for digital access to Serial Set. Some Serial Set volumes in Special Collections.

Indian Reorganization Act: Congresses & Bills KF 8225 I53 2002
Extensive introduction with historical analysis.

Judicial Sources

Holt & Forrester, Digest of American Indian Law: Cases and Chronology KF 8204.5 H65 1990 (Ref)

Murchison, Digest of Decisions Relating to Indian Affairs KF 8204 1901 (Also Berman)

Prucha, Documents of United States Indian Policy, 3rd ed. KF 8205 D63 2000 (Ref)

United States Indian Claims Commission, Indian Claims Commission Decisions KF 8208 A55 U55 (Also Koren AV)
The NARF was authorized by the Commission in 1971 to reproduce its decisions which previously had only been available in typescript format. The Commission was created in 1946 to hear and decide all pre-1946 Indian Claims against the United States. Subject indexing provided by Index to Indian Claims Commission Decisions, published by NARF in 1973 & 1976. See also index below.

Prior to 1946 Indian claims would occasionally be heard in the U.S. Court of Claims under special jurisdictional acts passed by the U.S. Congress. After August 13, 1946 cases involving Indian claims were transferred back to the U.S. Court of Claims, renamed in 1992 to the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. Decisions are reported in U.S. Court of Claims Reports (to 1982) US 006.5 U63 (Fed Core, Koren AV) and US 006.5 U632 (Fed Core)

Indian Tribal Claims Decided in the Court of Claims of the United States, Briefed and Compiled to June 30, 1947 KF 8208 A52 S6 1976
This publication is a reprint of a 1947 unpublished compilation. It provides a record of petitions and cases brought by Indians under special jurisdictional actions passed by Congress to the Court of Claims, prior to creation of the Indian Claims Commission in 1946. Volumes are arranged in alphabetical order by tribal name. A table of contents provides access, there is no subject index. Cites to the Court of Claims volumes are given.

Index to the Decisions of the Indian Claims Commission KF 8208 A58 I53 1973 (Ref)
Provides indexing by tribe, docket number, and casename for claims and decisions of the United States Indian Claims Commission from 1946 through August 17, 1973.

Index to the Expert Testimony Before the Indian Claims Commission, the Written Reports KF 8208 A58 I53 1973 (Ref)
Serves as a companion index to a microfiche collection that includes briefs and records, expert records, the transcripts of testimony and GAO reports. Indexing is by tribe, author, state and docket number.

Administrative Sources

Executive Orders and Proclamations

Indian Affairs: Laws and Treaties, 1778-1883 KF 8203 1971
Vol. 1-5

Kappler's Indian Affairs. Laws and Treaties, Vol 6 & 7 KF 8203 1971
Vols. 6-7

United States Statutes at Large US 002 A2 (Fed Core); Online
See "Proclamations"

Code of Federal Regulations US 005 A3 (Fed Core)
See Title 3


Code of Federal Regulations US 005 A3 (Fed Core)
Title 25 contains regulations relating to Indians. The CFR index volume should be consulted since some regulations affecting Indians are not located in Title 25. Of particular note is 25 CFR Part 83 entitled, "Procedures for Establishing That An American Indian Group Exists As An Indian Tribe".

Administrative Decisions

Decisions of the Department of the Interior and General Land Office in Cases Relating to the Public Lands KF 5500 A555

Decisions of the United States Department of the Interior KF 5500 A555
Decisions of the Interior Board of Land Appeals and the Interior Board of Indian Appeals also via Westlaw and Lexis (law student only).
Current volumes of the decisions contain a table of decisions reported, a table of cases cited, a table of overruled and modified cases covering cases from 1881 to date, and the text of the opinion. Selective decisions of the Interior Board of Land Appeals and the Interior Board of Indian Appeals are included. Subject access to the decisions is provided by a separately published Index-Digest volumes located next to the decisions at KF 5500 A57 I649 1943/1954; KF 5500 A57 I649 1955/1964; and KF 5500 A57 I649 1965/1974.

Opinions of the Solicitor of the Department of the Interior Relating to Indian Affairs, 1917-1974 KF 8204 1917 (Also Berman)
Produced as a result of the Indian Civil Rights Act of 1968, this compilation provides the text of solicitor opinions, ranging from the interpretation of statutes, to determining the status of Indian Lands, to defining tribal powers. Opinions are arranged in chronological order. A detailed subject index, a chronological table of opinions, an index by opinion number and a table of supplemented overruled and modified opinions are included. This publication has not been updated and selective decisions since 1974 can be found in Decisions of the Department of the Interior (see above).

Tribal Codes

Indian Tribal Codes: A Microfiche Collection of Indian Tribal Law Codes US 70.8 I632 1988 (Koren AV)
A microfiche compilation of tribal codes accessible by a tribal index and a subject index. Of particular use is an extensive article by Richard L. Davies entitled, "A Survey of Contemporary Tribal Codes".

Charters, Constitutions, and By-Laws of the Indian Tribes of North America KF 8221 F35 1967

Tribal State Compacts

Tribal State Compact List KF 8202.5 A15 T75 1998 (Ref); Online

Tribal Courts


Westlaw/Lexis access is restricted to law students only

Learn to solve the Rubix Cube with the easiest method, memorizing only six algorithms.

Selected Periodicals

Indian Law Reporter KF 8201 A315
A looseleaf service that provides the text of federal, state and tribal court decisions. selected opinions of the Board of Indian Appeals are reprinted. A monthly report provides information on new developments in Indian Law. Cumulative topical and table of cases indexes are in each volumes.

NARF Legal Review KF 8201 A3 N37

American Indian Law Review K 1 M437; also online on JSTOR  and HeinOnline