Tribal Legal Studies
The Tribal Legal Studies project was initiated in 1998 as a collaborative effort between the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Native Nations Law and Policy Center, the Tribal Law and Policy Institute, and four tribal colleges (Turtle Mountain Community College, Salish Kootenai College, Diné College, and Northwest Indian College) to develop, pilot, and implement Tribal Legal Studies curricula at tribal community colleges.
American Indian tribal court systems deal with a wide range of difficult criminal and civil justice problems on a daily basis. Culturally based legal training is one of Indian country’s most pressing needs, as tribes assume responsibility for a growing number of government functions, such as child welfare and environmental control, and tribal courts continue to expand as the primary sources of law enforcement and dispute resolution for tribal communities. This book series is designed to develop legal and technical resources for tribal justice course offerings and materials, so that they reflect community thought, philosophy, traditions, and norms, and serve to strengthen tribal government and leadership.
While four books in the series have been published thus far, several additional volumes are planned, including Tribal Code Development. Tribal Legal Studies funding currently comes from the Bureau of Justice Assistance.