top of page

Current Projects


TLPI is pleased to offer the following projects for the improvement of tribal justice systems. Take a look and visit the corresponding websites to learn more.


TLPI provides training and technical assistance for tribes interested in implementing the “Special Tribal Criminal Jurisdiction” provisions of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) of 2022. This project’s Tribal Implementation of VAWA website was developed as a resource focusing on Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) Special Tribal Criminal Jurisdiction. It contains an overview of the Violence against Women Reauthorization Act of 2022: Tribal Criminal Jurisdictions over Non-Indians, categories of criminal conduct under VAWA 2022, Frequently Asked Questions, news, webinars and resources, events, funding information, and information for the Intertribal Technical-Assistance Working Group (ITWG). With funding from the Office on Violence Against Women and Bureau of Justice Assistance – TLPI has developed resources under this project: Tribal Criminal Jurisdiction over Non-Indians: Violence Against Women Act Reauthorization of 2022; Implementing TLOA and VAWA; a comprehensive VAWA resource on the Tribal Court Clearinghouse; and, which serve as an online resource on the drafting and enforcement of tribal protection orders.


TYRC logo_white space 2.PNG

The Tribal Law and Policy Institute in partnership with the National Native Children’s Trauma Center serves as the Training and Technical Assistance provider for OJJDP Tribal Youth Programs and Tribal Juvenile Healing to Wellness Courts grantees, as well as to all interested federally recognized tribes. This free training and technical assistance center is designed to help expand tribes’ potential in protecting and nurturing their most sacred asset – tribal youth – through a culturally based and trauma informed lens. The Tribal Youth Resource Center accomplishes this mission through a variety of regional trainings, web-based trainings, onsite trainings, and teleconference consultations ranging from court development, assessing compliance with OJJDP grant requirements, strategic planning through sustainability, restorative practices, youth leadership & empowerment, parent engagement to a whole host of all other programmatic training and technical assistance offerings. Request training and technical assistance at and please visit the website.

TLPI provides resources and training/technical assistance to develop, promote and enhance intergovernmental collaborations, with a special focus on judicial collaborations, such as joint jurisdiction courts. This project includes the website which serves as a resource on tribal-state-federal-local collaborations and contains a wealth of collaboration resources, including an interactive map with memorandums of agreements searchable by subject matter.


This project - currently funded by a grant from the Bureau of Justice Assistance – also includes providing resources for implementing both the Tribal Law and Order Acts “enhanced sentencing” provisions and the Violence Against Native Women Act “Special Domestic Violence Criminal Jurisdiction.” 


~Tribal-State Collaboration Project Brochure

TLPI provides a Tribal Healing to Wellness Court Training and Technical Assistance project which includes onsite and offsite technical assistance, regional and national trainings, a publication series, and a webinar series.


This project – currently funded under a grant from the Bureau of Justice Assistance - includes the website which serves as a resource center for  project resources and contains relevant law and policy updates for Tribal Healing to Wellness Courts.


~Healing to Wellness Courts Project Brochure


TLPI is a major partner in the Capacity Building Center for Tribes. The Center for Tribes is a cooperative agreement between the Federal Children's Bureau and the Butler Institute for Families, at the University of Denver. The Center for Tribes is comprised of four organizations (DU, TLPI, University of Southern Maine, Westat), each with experience working with tribal and state partners designing, delivering and evaluating technical assistance and capacity building services in Indian country. 
TLPI is a major partner in the Capacity Building Center for Tribes and provides the Center with significant Tribal child welfare expertise, including highly experienced staff, a pool of consultants, and a National Advisory Committee.


This project provides capacity building assistance with American Indian and Alaska Native Nations to help strengthen the child and family systems of Native nations in order to nurture the safety, permanency, and well-being of Native children, youth, and families.

Be sure to visit the Center for Tribe's Tribal Child Welfare Information Exchange for the latest news and resources, including a tribal ICWA managers peer-to-peer network.

~Capacity Building Center for Tribes Project Brochure


TLPI is partnering with NORC at the University of Chicago on the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) funded Census of Tribal Court Systems (CTCS). The CTCS is part of a larger effort on the part of the BJS to address the Tribal Law and Order Act’s requirements around tribal criminal justice data collection.  The CTCS will collect information from tribal court systems, Alaska Native Village judicial forums, and Code of Federal Regulation courts operated by the BIA. The surveys will be designed to capture unique attributes of tribal criminal justice agencies, including information on staffing and recruitment and retention, budgets and sources of funding, caseload and disposition, services and support provided, and interactions with federal, state, regional, and local agencies. Data collection is planned for 2025. For more information, please contact

American Bar Association Programs and Activities

Over the past ten years, a number of TLPI staff members have been actively involved with various programs and activities of the American Bar Association (ABA) including the following entities:



~Human Rights Magazine; Vol. 40, No. 4- Tribal Sovereignty

~Native American Concerns Committee Brochure

~Tribal Courts Council Brochure

TJC Logo.png

The mission of the Tribal Justice Collaborative (TJC) is to protect family unity and ensure children have meaningful relationships with both parents and their extended families including the larger tribal community to which the child belongs. This is achieved through collaboration among tribal courts, state courts, tribes, child welfare, and all systems providing services to Native children and families.

The Tribal Justice Collaborative is guided by a judicial advisory, whose goal is to improve outcomes for tribal children and families by promoting best practices for courts and child serving agencies.

Clearinghouse Logo (Original TLPI Logo).

The Tribal Court Clearinghouse is a comprehensive website established in June 1997 to serve as a resource for American Indian and Alaska Native Nations, American Indian and Alaska Native people, tribal justice systems, victims services providers, tribal service providers, and others involved in the improvement of justice in Indian country. It is one of the most comprehensive websites on tribal justice system issues, and includes a wealth of tribal, state, and federal resources. The Clearinghouse website contains extensive resources on tribal, state, and federal law along with extensive Indian country subject-matter resources, a training events calendar, and resources from all TLPI webinars


TLPI Logo (on white background).png

TLPI has developed a series of community based Tribal Legal Code Resources which are designed to provide guidance for tribes interested in drafting and/or revising their laws. These resources are not model or sample codes. Instead, they draw from many sources and provides tribes a range of options to choose from, based on the specific vision, values, and needs of their specific tribal community. These code resources includes various examples of different tribal statutory language with critical commentary along with discussion questions and exercises designed to help tribes customize their laws to meet the needs of the individual community.


Current Tribal Legal Code Resources include:

Coming Soon:

  • Tribal Civil Children’s Laws (Child Welfare/Child Dependency Laws)

Since 1998, TLPI has provided a Tribal Legal Studies program which is designed to formalize and institutionalize tribal legal education – most recently through the development of a series of textbooks and instructor guides for use by tribal colleges and tribal justice systems courts as well as use as in-service training and self-study. Four textbooks in the series have been published (some with multiple editions) with several additional volumes planned, including Tribal Code Development.


With funding from the Bureau of Justice Assistance, this Tribal Legal Studies project provides a copy of each textbook, free of charge, to every tribal court and maintains, where purchase information is available.


Tribal Legal Studies Textbook Series

  • Introduction to Tribal Legal Studies: 3rd Ed. (coming December 2015)

  • Tribal Criminal Law and Procedure 2nd Ed. (2015)

  • Structuring Sovereignty: Constitutions of Native Nations (2014)

  • Sharing our Stories of Survival: Native Women Surviving Violence (2008)

TLPI - in partnership with the National Congress of American Indians and the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges - provides training and technical assistance for tribes interested in implementing the “Special Domestic Violence Criminal Jurisdiction” provisions of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) of 2013.


This project’s Tribal Implementation of VAWA website provides resources developed in conjunction with the Inter-Tribal Working Group concerning due process, jury pools, code development, and other topics relevant to the exercise of this tribal authority to prosecute non-Indians for domestic violence, dating violence, and violations of protection orders. With funding from the Bureau of Justice Assistance – TLPI has developed three additional resources under this project:


  1. An Implementing TLOA and VAWA Tribal code resource which provides guidance for Native nations interested in implementing enhanced sentencing under the Tribal Law and Order Act (TLOA) and/or the special domestic violence criminal jurisdiction under VAWA 2013

  2. A comprehensive VAWA resource on the Tribal Court Clearinghouse.

  3., which serve as an online resource on the drafting and enforcement of tribal protection orders.

bottom of page