NARF has played a key role in developing a body of federal law pertaining to tribal sovereignty, tribal land and natural resources, human rights, and the accountability of governments to Native people. Today, there are hundreds of thousands of treaties, acts of Congress, court decisions, Executive Orders, regulations, and administrative rulings that acknowledge the rights of American Indian and Native Alaskan tribes and peoples. A few states today also have bodies of state law that are specific to the legal rights and roles of tribes.
While much of Indian law is well-known to practicing attorneys, law professors, and tribe leaders, far less is known by the general public, non-tribe governments, and businesses that interact with Native peoples. Over the years, NARF has educated legislators, judges, attorneys, and officials about Indian law and tribes’ rights through consultations and training. Since 1972, NARF’s National Indian Law Library, which is open to the public, has been recognized for its specialized research and unique collection of Indian law materials. Today, NARF distributes tremendous amounts of Indian law information and materials through print, electronic, and social media.