In 1971, NARF created the National Indian Law Library (NILL) to serve as a central clearinghouse on Indian law. To this day, NILL offers a unique and valuable service responding to individuals’ Indian Law research needs.
Here are examples of NILL’s recent work…
Renee, a tribal attorney, needed to create a cultural resource preservation code for her tribe. She wanted to find example laws from other Native nations. After contacting the Bureau of Indian Affairs and searching the internet with no luck, she discovered the NILL Tribal Law Gateway and emailed the library for assistance. She was able to get a variety of tribal codes and regulations.
Jeremy was serving time at a federal prison on the East Coast. The prison would not let him bring in the sacred objects that he needed for his Native spiritual practice. He did not have an advocate and there was nothing in the prison library to explain his rights, so he wrote to NILL to learn more about the relevant law. Library staff sent him NARF’s guide to protections for prisoners’ native spiritual practices.
Susan, a law clerk in a California court, was preparing for the day’s docket, which included an adoption case. She wasn’t sure if the Indian Child Welfare Act would apply to the case and needed to get more information quickly, so she called the librarians at NILL. After determining exactly what issues Susan was facing, the librarian sent her a resource that answered her questions.*
This is justice through knowledge.
NILL answers about 150 questions from the public each month. That’s 150 people who need help, and NILL may be the only place that makes available the information that they need.
You can make an immediate impact and extend justice to hundreds of people across Indian Country with a gift to the National Indian Law Library today.
Donate to support justice through knowledge.
(And happy National Library Week!)
*All names and details have been changed to preserve privacy.
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