Website Review

Indigenous Law Web Archive

Library of Congress

The Indigenous Law Web Archive housed on the Library of Congress website is an archive, created and ongoing as of 2019, of documents concerning the laws and practices of Indigenous nations of the US, which have their own sovereign governments. These nations include the Navajo Nation, the Muscogee Nation, the Cherokee Nation, the Comanche Nation, the Hopi Tribe, etc. Because of the variety of creators for these primary sources, aach with their own culture and practice, there are a variety of languages and types of documents housed in the archive. The types of documents include constitutions, trial records, court documents, and more, and depending on where they come from, can be found in English, or Diné Bizaad (Navajo), Tsalagi (Cherokee), Mvskoke, Choctaw, Dakotah, or Ojibwe.

Beyond this collection, the Library of Congress website is an open-access resource available for students and teachers to browse. It boasts a wide selection of documents, many of which are free to use. These documents include photographs, books, films, web archives, legislation and more, from a range of subjects and time periods. The Library of Congress also offers some lesson plans making use of primary sources they host, a blog describing teaching methods, and other resources to enhance both the student and teacher experience. These resources, combined with its easy to use platform, make it, as well as this collection, great resources and guides for use in the classroom.

The Indigenous Law Web Archive is maintained by the Library of Congress’s Law Library, and represents another form of American government that often may fly under the radar. This resource is useful for students as it not only contains documents related to the law of Indigenous Nations, but also includes some commentary and communications by these nations to their citizens, such as through social media platforms. Students may use this resource in order to better understand the interactions between Indigenous governments and the United States government, as well as to have a different perspective of the indigenous experience and way of living.

Reviewed by Carolyn Mason, George Mason University

How to Cite This Source

"Indigenous Law Web Archive," in in World History Commons, https://worldhistorycommons.org/indigenous-law-web-archive [accessed December 1, 2021]
Image shows a judicial bench from the Cherokee Nation. Three chairs and two flags US and Cherokee are behind it.
“The Indigenous Law Web Archive is an archive of documents concerning the laws and practices of Indigenous nations of the US, which have their own sovereign governments.”