Skip to Main Content

American Indian Law: A Beginner's Guide


The main agencies involved in regulating matters involving American Indian tribes and Indian country are the Department of the Interior (DOI) and its sub-bureau, the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA). You will find virtually all American Indian regulations under Title 25 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR).

A sepia-toned panoramic photograph of individuals from a 'Ute Indian Camp', in front of their camp in Colorado, from 1913
Stewart Brothers, copyright claimants. Ute Indian Camp, Garden of the Gods, Shan Kive, 1913. 1913. Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division.

In addition to issuing agency rules, DOI's Interior Board of Indian Appeals (IBIA) performs quasi-judicial functions and issues administrative law decisions on specific topics, such as appeals from BIA administrative decisions. The topics addressed by these administrative bodies can include Indian lands and natural resources, approval of tribal ordinances, Indian business development grants, and more. The IBIA's administrative decisions from 1970 to the present are available on its website, which provides both a chronological listing of cases and instructions for performing a keyword search for specific topics.

Below you will find additional books and online resources related to American Indian regulatory law.

Administrative Law Resources

Below you will find a list of selected legal reference materials relating to American Indian administrative law from the Law Library's collection.

The following titles link to fuller bibliographic information in the Library of Congress Online Catalog. Links to additional online content are included when available.

The following resources link to freely available online resources regarding American Indian administrative law.

The following resources link to research guides created by the Law Library of Congress on the topic of case law research.