Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
HeinOnline

Indigenous Peoples of the Americas: History, Culture & Law (formerly the American Indian Law Collection)

A collection with more than 3,700 titles and more than 1.5 million total pages dedicated to indigenous American life and law, including treaties, federal statutes, federal case law, tribal codes, constitutions, and more.

Browsing the Database

Browsing the Database

The Indigenous Peoples of the Americas database includes a wealth of content that has been broken into 15 subcollections (plus All Titles and External Links). An overview of the content included in many of these subcollections can be found within the various tabs on this page. 

Entering the database will bring users directly to the "All Titles" tab, where they may browse all of the titles in the database by title name, tribe name, author, date, or subject. 

Legislative Histories

The Legislative Histories subcollection contains nearly 45 legislative histories, including:

  • The Indian Reorganization Act of 1934an act signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in which U.S. federal legislation secured certain rights to indigenous Americans.
  • The Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971 (ANCSA), which effected the largest claims settlement in the history of the United States. ANCSA was geared toward resolving long-standing issues surrounding land claims in Alaska, as well as stimulating economic development in the state.
  • The Indian Civil Rights Act, a rider to the Civil Rights Act of 1968, which ensured that citizens of tribal governments were protected under the Bill of Rights.
  • The Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act, which gave federally recognized indigenous tribes greater authority in the administration of funds allocated to them by government agencies.

​Within the subcollection, users may browse all legislative histories by publication title, public law number, or popular name.

Serials

The database contains 25 serial titles, including:

NOW AVAILABLE: The Indian Law Reporter
The #1 source for indigenous American case law, The Indian Law Reporter, is finally here! This work is a comprehensive and unique source that reports cases—primarily in full-text format—from federal, state, and tribal courts, as well as administrative agencies. The publication is an essential resource for every individual, agency, government, and other institution that needs to keep abreast of developments in indigenous American law. 

Constitutions, Acts, and By-Laws

Browse more than 770 works related to the constitutions and laws of indigenous American tribes within the Constitutions, Acts, and By-Laws subcollection. Materials include: 

Indigenous Tribal Codes

The Indian Tribal Codes subcollection includes nearly 30,000 pages of indigenous American tribal codes from the 1981 and 1988 editions of Indian Tribal Codes: A Microfiche Collection of Indian Tribal Law Codes, edited by Professor John Ralph Johnson, Susan Lupton, and Richard Davies. Published by the Marian Gould Gallagher Law Library at the University of Washington School of Law, this impressive collection offers insight into the historical development of indigenous tribal codes over time. 

Both editions include tribal constitutions and similar documents, while the updated 1988 edition also includes analyses of trends in coverage, enactments, and amendments of tribal codes since 1981. Indian Tribal Codes: A Microfiche Collection, 1981 Edition contains an excellent introduction to tribal codes, 69 total codes, and a tribal code analysis. Indian Tribal Codes: A Microfiche Collection, 1988 Edition contains 56 tribal codes and constitutions, but is more extensive than the first edition. Introduction and analysis of tribal codes are provided, as well as indexes of specific subject codifications within individual codes. This edition updates but does not replace the 1981 edition. 

Browse the Codes

Users may choose to browse the Tribal Codes by edition or by tribe name.

Browse by Edition:

Browse by Tribe:

 

Indigenous Peoples Treaties

The Indigenous Peoples of the Americas database includes an extensive list of 418 treaties between the United States and indigenous peoples of the Americas, primarily derived from the Kappler index published in U.S. Statutes at Large. Charles Kappler, the clerk of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, began compiling these treaties as well as laws concerning only indigenous peoples in 1903. 

Of HeinOnline's extensive index of 418 treaties, 416 include full-text coverage. HeinOnline also contains nine additional agreements not identified by Kappler, seven of which were with Great Britain and are still recognized by the United States today.

The Indigenous Peoples Treaties subcollection tab allows users to browse by tribe name or by date. Click the name of a treaty to view more information. The treaties may contain a link to their U.S. Statutes at Large citations, Kappler citations, and other full-text sources, as well as the following information:

  • Treaty number
  • Tribe(s) involved
  • Subject(s)
  • Short title
  • Citation(s)
  • Date(s)
  • Description
  • Signatories
  • Agreement(s) affected

For more on treaties with indigenous peoples of the Americas, read about the Indigenous Peoples Treaty Search tool in the "Search Tips and Tricks" section of this LibGuide.

Special Thanks

We would like to give a special thanks to Susan Gualtier (Reference Librarian, Biddle Law Library, University of Pennsylvania Law School) for her work in identifying these treaties and their respective metadata points. Susan's efforts have made this content available for subscribers. 

Other Related Works

The database also offers a number of notable works by pioneers in the history of indigenous law and other valuable titles of interest to researchers, including:

  • Indian Affairs, Laws and Treaties, Vols. 1-7 (Laws: Compiled to Dec. 1, 1902-1971) by Charles J. Kappler. This publication was undertaken by Charles Kappler at the request of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Indian Affairs. This definitive resource includes acts of Congress relating to treaties concluded between the United States and indigenous peoples of the Americas from 1902-1971 and follows the format of Statutes at Large with notes in the margins.
  • Landmark Indian Law Cases: National Indian Law Library; United States 1 v. Buffalo, N.Y.: W.S. Hein, 2002. Contains 53 groundbreaking decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court in the field of federal indigenous law.  The subject index of cases provides a quick reference aid, and all cases are listed under one or more relevant subject headings. 

Rare Related Work:
Statutory Compilation of the Indian Law Survey. A Compendium of Federal Laws and Treaties Relating to Indians, Parts. 1-46 (1776-1938)

This rare 46-volume set edited by Felix S. Cohen includes 389 treaties (including treaties with "Indians" and those with foreign nations referring to "Indians"), more than 2,600 public acts and resolutions, and more than 1,200 private acts, for a total of 4,264 statutory items.