An introduction to legal materials available at the UW Law Library on Native Americans and other native peoples of the US, such as Native Alaskans and Hawaiians. Includes treaties, statutes, executive orders, court decisions, and administrative actions.
There are two distinct areas of law relating to Native Americans: federal Indian law and tribal law. Federal Indian law concerns the relationship between federal and tribal governments. This complex relationship is defined by treaties, statutes, executive orders, court decisions, and administrative actions.
Tribal law is the law developed by tribes that apply to their members and territories and more broadly in some situations. Indian tribes are sovereign governments with the authority to enact and enforce laws and rules and to adjudicate disputes for the welfare of the tribe, its people, and its lands.
This guide is intended as an introduction to legal materials available at the University of Wisconsin Law Library on Native Americans and other indigenous peoples of the United States, such as Native Alaskans and Hawaiians. Because there are many shared concerns of Native Americans in the United States and Canada, references to some Canadian books and serials are included.
For additional assistance locating materials, see the University of Washington Law Library's guide to Indian & Tribal Law.
UW-Madison, including the Law School, occupies ancestral Ho-Chunk land, a place that has been called Teejop (day-JOPE) since time immemorial. In an 1832 treaty, the Ho-Chunk were forced to cede this territory. Decades of ethnic cleansing followed when both the federal and state government repeatedly, but unsuccessfully, sought to forcibly remove the Ho-Chunk from Wisconsin. The Sifting and Reckoning exhibit explores this history. This powerful exhibit tells the story of UW-Madison’s history of exclusion and resistance. Today, UW–Madison respects the inherent sovereignty of the Ho-Chunk Nation, along with the eleven other First Nations of Wisconsin.