Laws, Treaties and History
The United States has a unique legal relationship with Indian tribal governments as set forth in the constitution, treaties, statutes, executive orders and court decisions. Since the formation of the union, the United States has recognized Indian tribes as domestic dependent nations under its protection. The federal government has enacted numerous statutes and promulgated numerous regulations that establish and define a trust relationship with Indian tribes. Our nation has recognized the right of Indian tribes to self-government. As domestic dependent nations, Indian tribes exercise inherent sovereign powers over their members and territory. The United States continues to work with Indian tribes on a government-to-government basis to address issues concerning Indian tribal self-government, tribal trust resources and Indian tribal treaty and other rights.
Due to the unique and distinctive political relationship that exists between the United States government and Indian governments, the Service maintains government-to-government relationships with Indian governments. The Service works directly with tribes and respect Native American values when planning and implementing programs.
Secretarial Order 3206 (PDF) — American Indian Tribal Rights, Federal-Tribal Trust Responsibilities, and the Endangered Species Act. Questions and Answers regarding Secretarial Order 3206 (Click here).
Secretarial Order 3225 (PDF) — Application of Secretarial Order 3206 in Alaska.
Secretarial Order 3317 — DOI Tribal Consultation Policy.
Executive Order 13175 (PDF) — Consultation and Coordination With Indian Tribal Governments.
Executive Order 13592 — Improving American Indian and Alaska Native Educational Opportunities and Strengthening Tribal Colleges and Universities
Indian Affairs: Laws and Treaties (compiled and edited by Charles J. Kappler).
Tribal Law and Policy Institute: The Tribal Law and Policy Institute is a Native American owned and operated non-profit corporation organized to design and deliver education, research, training, and technical assistance programs which promote the enhancement of justice in Indian country.
The National Indian Law Library: The National Indian Law Library (NILL) is a public law library devoted to federal Indian and tribal law. Our mission is to develop and make accessible a unique and valuable collection of Indian law resources and other information relating to Native Americans.
Region 5: Treaties, Acts, and History.
Region 7: Tribal Policies.
First People, Treaties and Agreement: Native American Indian Agreements and Treaties.
Region 2: Legislative Issues.
Region 5: Native American Policy Implementation Plan.
Tribes in Wisconsin Educational Series - Act 31 Resources: The Native American Education Series is a high-quality education resource ideal for teaching important lessons on the cultural heritage, customs and future of Wisconsin’s aboriginal people.
American Indians and Alaska Natives: The U.S. Department of the Interior places a high priority on respecting the government-to-government relationship between the federal government and the federally recognized American Indian and Alaska Native tribes. We are committed to their prosperity by partnering with them to address challenges in the areas of economic development, education and law enforcement as well as other issues they are concerned about.
North American Indian Tribes: From the date of its first appearance in 1891 the Powell map of "Linguistic Families of American Indians North of Mexico" has proved of the widest utility. It has been reissued several times and copied into numerous publications. There has, however, been almost equal need of a map giving the location of the tribes under the several families.
Law Library of Congress, Indians of North America: This guide is a compilation of many of the resources on the Indians of North America available at the Library of Congress as well as selected resources outside the Library. The purpose of this guide is to present researchers with selected sources through which they can begin and expand their scope of study of the Indians of North America.
The goal of Raven's Story is to record elders' stories, observations, and experiences relating to wildlife, fish, and subsistence in the Koyukuk and middle Yukon areas of interior Alaska.
Government-to-Government Relationship with Tribal Governments (PDF)
Memorandum For The Heads Of Executive Departments And Agencies, Tribal Consultation (PDF)