Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Native American Heritage Month

It's Native American Heritage Month---if pressed, could you accurately describe the legal relationship between tribes and the federal government? Did you know it might depend on whether the tribe is federally recognized? Did you know that if you move to Washington State, New Mexico, or South Dakota to practice law after you graduate that Indian Law is on the bar exam?

You may not plan on practicing in areas typically associated with Indian tribes, such as environmental law or civil rights law, but an awareness of Indian law may come in handy nonetheless. For example, if you practice family law or work as an assistant attorney general for the state, the Indian Child Welfare Act may impact your dependency cases.

If you practice intellectual property law or otherwise work with artists, knowledge of the Indian Arts & Crafts Act, the National Historic Preservation Act, the Archaeological Resources Protection Act, and the Native American Graves Repatriation Act, may also prove useful.

Here are a few primers on Indian law to get you started:
In the library, you can check out a few handy books too:
Finally, if you're looking for a little expert guidance, consult the friendly librarians at the National Indian Law Library.