Tribal Court Clearinghouse          

BJA Tribal Justice Programs

The Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) funds a series of Tribal Programs. BJA funded tribal justice training and technical assistance programs are generally open to both tribal grantees and non-grantees.

The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) funded a 2005 process and outcome evaluation of the four initial Tribal Healing to Wellness Courts. All six parts of the final report from this 2005 NIJ study are now posted on the National Criminal Justice Reference Service:
  1. Introduction provides a detailed overview of this NIJ study. Process and Outcome Evaluations in Four Tribal Wellness Courts,  NIJ-Sponsored, December 2005, NCJ 231167.
  2. Lessons Learned provides very helpful “lessons learned” for other Tribal Healing to Wellness Courts. Lessons Learned in Implementing the First Four Tribal Wellness Courts,  NIJ-Sponsored, December 2005, NCJ 231168.
  3. Process and Outcome Evaluations of the Blackfeet Alternative Court,  NIJ-Sponsored, December 2005, NCJ 231161.
  4. Process and Outcome Evaluations of the Fort Peck Tribes Community Wellness Court, NIJ-Sponsored, December 2005, NCJ 231162.
  5. Process and Outcome Evaluations of the Hualapai Wellness Court, NIJ-Sponsored, December 2005, NCJ 231165.
  6. Process and Outcome Evaluations of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians Drug Court, NIJ-Sponsored, December 2005, NCJ 231166.

Tribal Courts Assistance Program (TCAP)

The Tribal Courts Assistance Program (TCAP) is one of the U.S. Department of Justice's primary initiatives for providing court-related support to tribal justice systems. Initially authorized under the Indian Tribal Justice Technical and Legal Assistance Act of 2000 (25 U.S.C. § 3681), the program is sponsored through the Department's Indian Country Law Enforcement Initiative, which provides federally recognized American Indian and Alaska Native communities with resources (funding, technical assistance, etc.) to develop, implement, enhance, and continue the operation of tribal judicial systems.

Tribal Court Assistance Program Resources (available at the Tribal Judicial Institute)

Tribal Courts Assistance Program (TCAP) Grants

Indian Alcohol and Substance Abuse Program  (IASAP)

The Indian Alcohol and Substance Abuse Program (IASAP) supports American Indian and Alaska Native communities to plan and implement system-wide strategies that will reduce and control crime associated with the distribution and abuse of alcohol and controlled substances. Visit the IASAP History page at the Fox Valley Technical College for more information.

Upcoming Training

BJA grantees may use their travel/training funds to attend the events below. Click on the event title for details or view additional opportunities through the BJA Tribal Justice Programs Website and the Tribal Justice, Safety & Wellness Website.

Technical Assistance

Fox Valley Technical College is the lead training and technical assistance provider for the IASA program. For more information on the type of assistance available and how to request support, visit the IASAP Technical Assistance page.

Indian Alcohol and Substance Abuse Program Funding

The Indian Alcohol and Substance Abuse Program (IASAP) FY 2009 Solicitation is now closed. Additional information can be found on the the Grant Resources page at the Fox Valley Technical College and the BJA IASAP Website.

In August 2002, the Tribal Relations Committee of the Conference of Chief Justices adopted a resolution entitled Resolution 27: To Continue the Improved Operating Relations Among Tribal, State, and Federal Judicial Systems. This resolution was intended to endorse continued efforts to Build on Common Ground, including the endorsement of the following three principles:

  • First, tribal state, and federal courts should continue cooperative efforts to enhance relations and resolve jurisdictional issues.
  • Second, Congress should provide resources to tribal courts consistent with their current and increasing responsibilities.
  • Third, tribal, state, and federal authorities should take steps to include cross-recognition of judgments, final orders, laws, and public acts of the three jurisdictions.

Walking on Common Ground ( is the most recent effort - sponsored by the Conference of Chief Justices and many other state, tribal, and federal organizations - to build upon the earlier Building on Common Ground effort. The Walking on Common Ground mission statement is: Tribal, federal, and state justice communities join together in the spirit of mutual respect and cooperation, to promote and sustain collaboration, education, and sharing of resources for the benefit of all people. Some important documents found on this site are:

  • Revised Tribal-State Collaboration Efforts Adobe Acrobat Reader is Required to View this File. (U.S. Department of Justice, July 2003)
  • Teague Protocol Adobe Acrobat Reader is Required to View this File. purpose is to effectively and efficiently allocate judicial resources by providing a legal mechanism which clearly outlines the path a legal dispute will follow when both a tribal court and a circuit have jurisdiction over a matter. This protocol does not apply to any case in which controlling law commits exclusive jurisdiction to either the tribal court or the circuit court.
  • 1993 Building on Common Ground Document Adobe Acrobat Reader is Required to View this File. (Web Version) - A Leadership Conference to Develop A National Agenda to Reduce Jurisdictional Disputes Between Tribal, State, and Federal Courts.

FY 2009 Tribal Justice Capacity Building Training and Technical Assistance Funding Results



Tribal Law and Policy Institute Logo


Tribal Law and Policy Institute
Institute Publications
Institute Webinars
Contact the Institute
Institute Philosophies/Approach to Training
About the Clearinghouse
Tribal Court Mentors Circle

Federal Agencies

Administration for Children and Families (ACF)
Administration for Native Americans (ANA)
American Indian Environmental Office
BIA Office of Justice Services
Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA)
Bureau of Indian Education
Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA)
HUD's Office of Native American Programs (ONAP)
Indian Law and Order Commission (ILOC)
Office for Victims of Crime
Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS)
Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP)
Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking (SMART Office)
Office of Tribal Justice (OTJ)
Office on Violence Against Women
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
Tribal Justice and Safety in Indian Country
Tribal Youth Program

more . . .

Native Organizations

California Indian Legal Services
National American Indian Court Judges Association (NAICJA)
National American Indian Housing Council (NAIHC)

National Congress of American Indians (NCAI)

National Indian Child Welfare Association (NICWA)

National Child Welfare Resource Center for Tribes (NRC4Tribes)

Native American Children’s Alliance (NACA)

Native American Rights Fund (NARF)

Native Elder Health Care Resource Center
Navajo Nation Bar Association
Southwest Center For Law And Policy

Walking on Common Ground

Native Law Blogs

Tribal Law Updates
Alaska Indigenous
Falmouth Institute/American Indian Report
ICWA Info Blog
Indian Legal Program – Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law
Legal History Blog
Legal Scholarship Blog
National Indian Law Library Blog
Native America, Discovered and Conquered
Native American Legal Update
Turtle Talk

- Top of Page -