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IPLP Resource Guide: American Indian Law


Indian Treaties: A Bibliography 

This bibliograpy by Beth DiFelice, published in 2015 in Law Library Journal and available through SSRN, provides an overview of the treaty process between the U.S. federal government and Indian tribes and the termination of the federal government's power to enter into treaties with Indian nations in 1871. It also provides description of treaty sources for research, focusing on primary sources.

Indian Affairs: Laws & Treaties compiled and edited by Charles J. Kappler

The Oklahoma State University Library provides free access to Charles J. Kappler's seven-volume compilation of texts of treaties, laws, and executive orders. This is considered the primary source for these dcouments. Volume two has the text of ratified treaties (1778-1883) with an alphabetical index by tribe. Also available on HeinOnline (must be on campus network or have current UA status to access remotely).

Early Recognized Treaties with American Indian Nations

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln's Center for Digital Research in the Humanities provides free access to its collection nine treaties created between 1722 and 1805, not included in the Kappler's or Statutes at Large. This collection is available through the American Indian Treaties Portal. Included on the portal landing page (scroll to the bottom) are links to journal articles authored or co-authored by Charles D. Bernholz on American Indian treaties cited by courts. Articles cover treaties cited by the United States Supreme Court, lower federal courts, the Court of Claims, state courts, and territorial courts. There are also articles on treaties absent from federal court proceedings.

Documents of American Indian Diplomacy: Treaties, Agreements and Conventions, 1775-1979  by Vine Deloria and Raymond J. DeMallie

Includes the full text of hundreds of treaties and agreements made by Indian nations--with the Continental Congress; England, Spain, and other foreign countries; the Republic of Texas and the Confederate States; railroad companies seeking rights-of-way across Indian land; and other Indian nations. Included are treaties that either remained unratified by Congress or were rejected by the nations themselves after the Senate amended them. Included are documents and other agreements made after treaty making officially ended in 1871. The authors note that they included a chronological list of "treaties that have or that we believe should have full status as ratified treaties." This electronic resource is only available to UA community. The print edition is available in the law library.

United States Statutes at Large, Volumes 1 to 18 (1789-1875)

The United States Statutes at Large is the permanent collection of laws enacted and resolutions enacting during each Congressional session. The statutes are published chronologically. The Library of Congress American Memory Project provides free access to these volumes. Volume 7 is a compilation of Indian treaties, 1778-1842. Treaties also appear at end of subsequent volumes and intermingled with foreign treaties. After 1871, treaty-making continued by formal agreements and executive orders. Check indexes for laws affecting treaties. Westlaw and Lexis Advance (UA Law password required) and HeinOnline (UA NetID, campus) include access.

Yale Law School Goldman Law Library Avalon Project 

This site provides free access Treaties between the United States and Native Americans (1778-1868) and the Jay Treaty of 1794 and Associated Documents dealing with American Indians in both the U.S. and Canada.

Subscription Services

HeinOnline American Indian Law Collection

With nearly 1,000 titles unique to this collection and more than 1.2 million total pages dedicated to American Indian Law, this library includes an expansive archive of treaties, federal statutes and regulations, federal case law, tribal codes, constitutions, and jurisprudence. This library also features rare compilations edited by Felix S. Cohen that have never before been accessible online. Access on campus or with UA NetID.

Native American People Treaties, Ratified and Unratified 

Lexis Advance (password required) and Nexis Uni (must be on campus network or have current UA status to access remotely) provide access to the full text of treaties, ratified and unratified from 1787-1883. 



These ebooks are available on campus or with your University of Arizona NetID:

Microforms and Special Collections

These materials are available in either microform or in print, held in Law Special Collections. Please review access policy to Special Collections in our Library Policies available on the law library's website.


Indian Treaties

This lesson will teach you how to locate treaties between Indian tribes and the United States government. It will also show you how to determine whether a particular treaty provision is still in effect and how to interpret ambiguous treaty provisions. The lesson completion time is 30 minutes.

Lesson created by Beth DiFelice, Assistant Director and Head of Public Services at Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law at Arizona State University.


NOTE: CALI lessons are licensed to students and faculty of the UA College of Law. Law students may contact the library to create an account to access CALI lessons.