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Indian Law: Natural Resources

GETTING STARTED

Choosing a Paper Topic Research Guide
This research guide from the Ross-Blakley Law Library is designed for students who are writing a substantive legal research paper and are looking for guidance on how to begin. The guide details sources for help in selecting a paper topic and offers insight in how to check whether your paper will add new information to the field of law.

Conducting a Preemption Check Research Guide
This research guide details the recommended steps for conducting a preemption check, as well as provides information on and links to a variety of resources for conducting a thorough check.

ASK A LAW LIBRARIAN

The reference librarians at the Ross-Blakley Law Library are happy to help you find or navigate research resources. 

Librarians are available 9am-4pm Monday-Thursday and 9am-2pm on Friday by phone or by email.

Reference: (480) 965-7161
Email us now

Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law (COL) Students

DATABASES

American Indian Law Center’s Native American Water Rights Settlement E-Repository
This E-Repository has federal, state, tribal, and court public documents relating to Native American water rights settlements.

American Indians and the American West
This resource provides access to a variety of collections from the U.S. National Archives, a series of collections from the Chicago History Museum, as well as selected first-hand accounts on Indian Wars and westward migration. Specific collections include the Records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs and records from the Major Council Meetings of American Indian Tribes.

Anthrosource
Anthrosource indexes current issues from the American Anthropological Association’s most critical peer-reviewed publications. Coverage is 19th Century to the present.

Arizona and Southwestern Index
As part of the ASU Special Materials Index and covering from pre-history to the present, this resource covers all subjects dealing with Arizona and the Southwest including some southwestern Indian tribes. The index describes materials found in the Arizona Collection at Hayden Library.

JOURNALS AND SCHOLARLY ARTICLES

American Indian Law Review (University of Oklahoma College of Law) 
This biannual journal includes articles on issues involving land, natural resources, and Indigenous peoples, including property rights, wildlife management, natural resource extraction, economic development, and environmental protection. It is available for free on their website. It is also on HeinOnlineLexis, and Westlaw.

Indian Treaties: A Bibliography
This bibliography by ASU law librarian Beth DiFelice describes sources for research into treaties between the U.S. government and Indian tribes, focusing on primary sources. The sources are preceded by an overview of the treaty process and the termination of the government’s power to enter into treaties with Indian nations. 

Indigenous Nations & Peoples Law eJournal (SSRN) 
The Indigenous Nations & Peoples Law eJournal on SSRN publishes scholarly articles and working papers on the law of indigenous peoples.

RESEARCH GUIDES

Find more research on natural resources and land management in the Ross-Blakley Law Library's Environmental Law and Sustainability Research Guide.

TEXTS AND TREATISES

Below is a short list of relevant titles from the ASU Library collection and from online resources available to Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law students and faculty. You can search for additional resources in the ASU catalog by using subject headings such as Indians of North America Government Relations, Indian Land Transfers or Tribal Sovereignty. Books available in other ASU libraries may be requested and delivered to you at the law library.

Cohen’s Handbook of Federal Indian Law (Felix S. Cohen, 2012)
This treatise covers federal Indian law, focusing on the relationship among tribes, the states, and the federal government within the context of civil and criminal jurisdiction, as well as areas of resource management and government structure. It is available in print in the Law Library and on Lexis. The 1941 edition is available on the University of Oklahoma’s web site.

Digest of American Indian Law: Cases and Chronology (Holt H. Berry & Gary Forrester, 1990)
This Indian law case digest is arranged by topic, with cases presented in a case brief format. It includes a chronology of federal Indian policy from 1492-1989. It is available in print in the Law Library and on HeinOnline.

Fletcher’s Principles of Federal Indian Law (Matthew L.M. Fletcher, 2017)
This hornbook provides comprehensive coverage of Federal Indian law. It is available in print in the Law Library and on West Academic.

Kappler’s Indian Affairs: Laws and Treaties
Oklahoma State University Library hosts this digitized version of the multi-volume "Kappler's" treatise. The compilation has federal treaties, laws, and executive orders pertaining to Native American Indian tribes from 1871-1970. Kappler's is also available on HeinOnline.

Reservation “Capitalism”: Economic Development in Indian Country (Robert J. Miller, 2012)
This book addresses historical, present-day, and potential future economic circumstances of Indian communities. It is available in print in the Law Library and online on campus or remotely with an ASURITE password.

Restatement of the Law Third, The Law of American Indians (American Law Institute, 2013)
This Restatement is still in draft stage. It covers relations between tribes and the federal and state governments, tribal jurisdiction, and Indian country business law. It is available on HeinOnline.

The Routledge Companion to Cultural Property (Jane L. Anderson & Haidy Geismar eds., 2017)
This book offers multidisciplinary insight into issues related to cultural resources using international case studies. It addresses topics including cultural property as law, cultural property rights, and emerging forms of cultural property.

Who Owns Native Culture? (Michael F. Brown, 2003)
Using cases involving indigenous religion, art, sacred sites, and botanical discoveries, this book examines efforts by native peoples to reclassify culture as a proprietary resource. It addresses larger issues including cultural ownership, privacy, intellectual property, and indigenous identity.

Tiller’s Guide to Indian Country: Economic Profiles of American Indian Reservations (Veronica E. Velarde Tiller ed., 2017)
In addition to economic information on tribes, this guide includes useful information and statistics on land status, government, culture, and history. Available on campus and remotely with an ASURITE.

Unlocking the Wealth of Indian Nations (Robert J. Miller, 2016)
Unlocking the Wealth of Indian Nations is a print collection of essays by a variety of scholars that provide background on the historical economies of American Indian Nations and explore how indigenous resources can be used today to generate wealth.

NEWS AND BLOGS

Indian Country Today 
This news site includes breaking news and analysis regarding issues including land ownership, water rights, mining and drilling, natural resource management and preservation, and environmental protection.

Indianz.com 
From the news resource Indianz.com, the Law in Indian Country section provides up-to-date resources on legal matters including natural resource development and ownership disputes, as well as historical context. 

Indian Law News Bulletins 
This service from the National Indian Law Library provides information on federal and state court cases related to Indian law, tribal court cases, and legislative, regulatory and legal news.

Navajo Times 
The Navajo Times provides current news and information from Indian Country.

Navajo-Hopi Observer 
The Navajo-Hopi Observer publishes news for the Navajo and Hopi Nations and Winslow area communities in northern Arizona.

Turtle Talk 
Turtle Talk is a blog from the Indigenous Law and Policy Center at Michigan State University College of Law that posts items on Indian law and politics.

U.S. Forest Service Tribal Relations Blog
Provides updates on indigenous peoples' natural resources management efforts.

Subscription Resources

Law360 Native American Law News
Law360 is available to ASU law students through their Lexis accounts. The Native American Law News source is available on the Law360 website, via email, and an RSS feed.

FEDERAL GOVERNMENT RESOURCES

Documents of United States Indian Policy
This is a collection of more than 200 documents, including letters, cases, laws, and regulations that mark significant policy between Indian nations and the federal government. It is available in print in the Law Library and online on campus or remotely with an ASURITE password.

EXECUTIVE BRANCH

Executive Orders Relating to Indian Reservations from 1855 to 1912
This compilation of executive orders is freely available on HathiTrust. It contains the text of Executive Orders issued between 1855 and 1912.

Environmental Protection in Indian Country (Environmental Protection Agency)

Office of Indian Energy and Economic Development 
The Bureau of Indian Affairs' Office of Energy and Economic Development helps Indian communities gain economic self-sufficiency through development of resources, application of established business practices, and co-sponsorship of training programs.  The Office’s website offers information on training programs, job placement opportunities, loans, and business resources.

U.S. Forest Service Tribal Relations Blog 
This blog provides news and updates on natural resources management law and regulation, as well as tribal projects to manage land and resources.

LEGISLATIVE BRANCH

Subcommittee for Indigenous Peoples of the United States
This House of Representatives subcommittee has jurisdiction over House measures relating to the welfare of Native Americans. It oversees legislation on the management of Indian lands in general and more specific matters, including energy and natural resource development.

U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs
The Senate Committee on Indian Affairs focuses on the unique issues that Indigenous peoples face, including economic development, land management, and claims against the United States.

JUDICIARY

Indian Claims Commission Decisions
The Indian Claims Commission operated from 1948-1978 and heard claims from Native American tribes and other groups against the United States. Decisions of the Commission are available online from the Oklahoma State University Library digital collection and on HeinOnline. For claims decided prior to the creation of the Commission in 1946 and subsequent to its dissolution in 1978, see:

ProQuest Indian Claims Insight
This ProQuest database includes claims presented to Congress and/or brought before the Court of Claims before 1948 through the present, legislative histories and congressional publications directly related to Indian claims including congressional publications indexed by docket numbers, important Supreme Court decisions, and maps. It is available on campus and remotely with an ASURITE password.

WEB RESOURCES

The Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development
The Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development seeks to foster self-determined social and economic development among American Indian tribes through applied research.  The Project provides access to its reports and articles through the online Publication Search.

Indigenous Digital Archive Treaties Explorer
This site was created by the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture, Santa Fe and the U.S. National Archives Office of Innovation.  The site has digitized versions of the original treaties and maps of land sessions organized by date, tribes named in the original document, and present day tribal name.  

NDN Collective
This organization supports strengthening Indigenous sovereignty over land and natural resources and seeks to improve the environment, particularly promoting clean water and climate change solutions.

Native American Water Rights Center
This collection from the University of Arizona compiles federal government documents pertaining to the water rights of tribes in Arizona. Documents are arranged by tribe and items are listed chronologically within each grouping.