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Researching Federal American Indian and Tribal Law: Books

Land Acknowledgment Statement--University of Illinois System

The University of Illinois System – with its universities in Urbana-Champaign, Chicago, and Springfield – rests on the land of multiple native nations. These lands were the traditional birthright of indigenous peoples who were forcibly removed and who have faced two centuries of struggle for survival and identity in the wake of dispossession. We hereby acknowledge the ground on which we stand so that all who come here know that we recognize our responsibilities to the peoples of that land and that we strive to address that history so that it guides our work in the present and the future.

For more information on the University of Illinois System's land acknowledgment statement, see


To find an item in UIC's collection that is not listed at right, please use the law library's catalog or the UIC library's online catalog

Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSHs) may be used to locate multiple titles on the same topic. For example, some LCSHs assigned to works on Federal Indian Law are: 

  • Indians of North America--Legal status, laws, etc.
  • Indians of North America--Government relations
  • Indians of North America--Politics and government
  • Indians of North America--Civil rights
  • Indians of North America--Land Tenure

For items on individual tribes, use the name of the tribe, then "Law." The following are examples:  

  • Cherokee Law
  • Creek Law
  • Navajo Law

WWW Book Repositories

There are several Web-based initiatives that serve as online repositories for books:

HathiTrust:  HathiTrust is a partnership of over 50 major research institutions and libraries (UIC is currently included). Works that are in the public domain contained in the HathiTrust database are available to all researchers. Many search options are offered, including full text.

Google Books:  Books contained in Google Books come from two sources:  1) the Library Project and 2) the Partner Program. Books included from the partnered Library Project that are no longer in copyright may be viewed in full text, while only snippets of books still in copyright are available.  Only previews of books are available through the Partner Program.

Google Book Search


Cohen's Federal Indian Law

Felix S. Cohen (1907-1953) is known as the "father of Federal Indian Law."  He joined the U.S. Department of the Interior Solicitor's Office in 1933 and drafted the first edition of the Handbook of Federal Indian Law in 1941. 

The treatise is now available on Lexis as Cohen's Handbook of Federal Indian Law and is updated regularly. 

Westlaw and Lexis Treatises

Both Westlaw and Lexis offer access to treatises on Native American law. In Westlaw, you can limit your searches to secondary sources that focus on Federal Indian Law. Choose "Native American Law" from the list of "Practice Areas," then go to "Secondary Sources."  In Lexis, you can choose "Native American Law" under "Practice Area," and then "Secondary Materials."