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American Indian Law: Getting Started


This guide is designed to assist the scholar or student researching the law of the United States as it pertains to the American Indian. Although some of the included resources relate to American Indian tribal law, the focus of the guide is on US law, its doctrinal evolution, and related issues arising from the unique historical relationships of the federal and state governments to American Indian tribes.

Since it is especially difficult in the realm of federal American Indian law to ignore cultural, anthropological, ethnological, sociological, or historical underpinnings of the legal issues, many of the resources included here take those perspectives. Indeed, the law itself has called, however tenuously and obliquely, for attention to such concerns. The Supreme Court, for example, has held that an Indian tribe may only protect its reservation's "essential character" by zoning land owned by a non-member where the reservation "remains an undeveloped refuge of cultural and religious significance...." Brendale v. Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakima Indian Nation, 492 U.S. 408, 441 (1989) (plurality opinion). The researcher is therefore advised to be aware of these materials and to consider their utility accordingly.

Entries in the guide for books and articles have been constructed wherever possible to conform to The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation (Eds. of Colum. L. Rev. et al., 20th ed. 2015). This should facilitate the copying of entries into the researcher's working documents.

Book titles in the guide have been linked to corresponding electronic versions in ebrary, HeinOnline, and other licensed resources available only to researchers affiliated with UC Berkeley. All call numbers referring to the location of books in the Berkeley Law Library are in the Stacks on LL2 unless otherwise noted. Online resources identified as "(UCB only)" are accessible to anybody connecting from the Berkeley campus. Students, faculty, and staff can obtain remote access to these resources by setting up their web browsers to connect via the UC Berkeley Library Proxy Server Service.

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