Legal Code Development Series 


TLPI is proud to offer the following Legal Code Development series as part of our organization’s vision to empower Native nations to create and control their own institutions for the benefit and welfare of all community members. 


Please visit our Projects and Services page for more information on our various grant projects that allow for free technical assistance to Native nations that are creating or revising legal codes. Additionally, we have a Fee For Service option for projects that are not eligible for free technical assistance under one of our operating grants.


Guide for Drafting or Revising Victim-Centered Tribal Laws Against Sexual Assault and Stalking is designed to assist Native nations interested in developing or revising victim-centered laws on sexual assault and stalking. This resource includes sample language and exercise questions designed to guide discussion on what laws will best reflect tribal values. Originally published in 2008, this resource was revised and updated to reflect innovations in tribal law and new federal requirements. (2017)

Guide for Drafting or Revising Tribal Laws to Implement TLOA Enhanced Sentencing and VAWA Enhanced Jurisdiction is designed to provide guidance for Native nations interested in implementing enhanced sentencing under the Tribal Law and Order Act and/or the special domestic violence criminal jurisdiction under the 2013 Violence Against Women Act. (Updated 2016)

Guide for Drafting or Revising Tribal Civil Dependency and Related Laws is designed to assist Native nations in drafting or revising their civil dependency laws as part of the development or reform of their child welfare system. Topics covered range from incorporating custom and tradition, to child-in-need-of-assistance proceedings to foster care in Native nations. (2017)

Guide for Drafting or Revising Tribal Juvenile Delinquency and Status Offense Laws  is designed to assist Native nations in drafting or revising their juvenile statutes as part of the development or reform of their juvenile justice system. Topics covered range from criminal offenses, to nondelinquency proceedings to integrating culture and tradition. (2015)

Resource Guide and Workbook for Drafting New or Amended Tribal Laws on Crimes Against Children is designed to provide a process for enacting a culturally-appropriate criminal code that address the victimization of tribal children. This resource attempts to balance the goals of protecting the sacredness of children while also assuring due process protections for the accused. (2008)

Guide for Drafting or Revising Tribal Laws Against Domestic Violence is designed to offer suggestions on how tribal laws can be drafted in a way that provides safety and support for the survivors of domestic violence. (2015)

Co-Authored Publications: 

Banning Conversion Therapy On Minors. Co

The Banning Conversion Therapy on Minors code development guide was created for tribal and state legislators and governments interested in banning harmful conversion therapy practices on minors. It provides the latest research and policy on conversion therapy, with chapters that address each major legal code section, including examples and recommendations. The resource was developed by the American Bar Association's Commission on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and is endorsed by the National Native American Bar Association.(2019)

While not formally co-authored by TLPI, the resource was reviewed by TLPI and has its complete endorsement and support.

The Model Tribal Housing Code  was designed to provide Native nations with an illustrative guide for drafting their housing codes in order to reduce the cost of code development. Since a model code cannot meet the needs of all Native Nations; this publication provides a series of options worth considering and provide a framework that can be adapted to meet the needs of their individual communities. (1999)

The Tribal Legal Code Project is a collection of tribal legal codes covering: housing, land use, zoning, commercial, corporation, environmental, probate and building codes.  Each code section is accompanied by analysis and best practices recommendations designed to assist Native nations in their code development efforts. (1999)