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The National Indian Justice Center, Inc., (NIJC) is an Indian owned and operated non-profit corporation with principal offices in Santa Rosa, California. NIJC was established in 1983 through the collective efforts of the National American Indian Court Judges Association, the American Indian Lawyer Training Program, and the Bureau of Indian Affairs in order to establish an independent national resource for Native communities and tribal government. The goals of NIJC are to design and deliver legal education, research, and technical assistance programs which seek to improve the quality of life for Native communities and the administration of justice in Indian country.

For more than 20 years, NIJC has designed and conducted effective education programs via regional trainings, on-site training and conferences for tribal courts, tribal government, law enforcement, social services, medical personnel, victims assistance programs and other interests throughout Indian country. Some of the programs include alcohol and substance abuse, alternative methods of dispute resolution, child abuse and neglect, domestic violence, Indian youth and family law, juvenile justice, and federal Indian law.

We are not only the pioneers of providing technical assistance to Indian tribes, tribal organizations and government agencies, but we have established ourselves as the true leaders in providing training sessions, on-site consultations, and publication services throughout Indian country.

NIJC staff have been dedicated to Improving Justice in Indian Country. Click here to view the video shown as Mr. Joseph Myers, Executive Director, NIJC, received the Haas Award at U.C. Berkeley.

Thank you for taking the time to browse through our website to learn about the services that NIJC may be able to provide for you. The services described herein may be provided through a contractual arrangement between NIJC and your tribe or organization.

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  • Hon. William Johnson, President (Umatilla)
  • Hon. William A. Thorne, Jr., Vice-President (Pomo)
  • Jeff Davis, Attorney (Chippewa)
  • Hon. Michael Petoskey, Chief Judge (Ottawa)
  • Ted Quasula, Consultant (Hualapai)
  • Doug Nash, Attorney (Nez Perce)


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NIJC has been in business since 1983, which establishes us as the true pioneer in providing services and training for tribal personnel. The staff and consultants of NIJC possess extensive skills and experience and a sound reputation for providing training and technical services to Indian tribes and their court systems. The services offered by NIJC are performed by Indian and non-Indian professionals who are accomplished and have a demonstrated commitment to Indian people and to the improvement of their tribal governmental institutions. With sound national and local presence, NIJC staff and consultants have worked to develop tribal justice, political and social services infrastructures in tribal communities throughout the country.

NIJC Staff and Consultants are constantly involved in ongoing research regarding issues in Indian country in order to ensure that NIJC provides the most current, updated, and relevant training.

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NIJC has designed and conducted numerous education programs for tribal courts, tribal governments, law enforcement, social services, medical personnel, victims assistance programs and others throughout Indian country since 1983, including:

  • Advanced Criminal Law
  • Alcohol and Substance Abuse
  • Alternative Methods of Dispute Resolution
  • Child Abuse and Neglect
  • Child Sexual Abuse
  • Civil Law and Procedure in Indian Country
  • Rez Violence
  • Indian Civil Rights Act
  • Indian Housing Law
  • Juvenile Justice Systems
  • Rez "Meth Crisis" (issues and answers)
  • Tribal Court Management
  • Tribal Court Probation
  • Tribal Government Executives Management Course
  • and many more!!!

For a detailed list of courses and materials, please go to the NIJC Training Schedule or Publications, or contact NIJC directly.

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NIJC offers for sale many of the written training materials employed in our educational programs. For further information go to the NIJC publications list.

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To improve the quality of judicial services, tribal court systems should be reviewed periodically to determine the strengths and weaknesses of operations and procedures. This may be accomplished by conducting a comprehensive evaluation of the entire system or the evaluation can focus upon specific areas of concern.

The staff of NIJC is experienced in evaluating the management practices of tribal courts. If you use NIJC's services in this area, we will examine your court system on-site and brief your court staff of our findings at the end of the site visit. Within five weeks of the site-visit, NIJC will submit to you a detailed report of these findings, including both short and long-term recommendations. Additionally, upon request NIJC will prepare for your court an operations and procedures manual tailored to your court and personnel with follow-up training to implement the manual or make operational changes.

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In the past many tribal justice programs have suffered from defective code drafting and code revision. At NIJC, we believe that code drafting and revision must be made with an understanding of the special needs and legal requirements of each Indian jurisdiction. Indian tribes face problems that do not exist off-reservation. In addition, residual sovereignty permits them to provide unique solutions to the maintenance of law and order in Indian country.

The staff and consultants of NIJC have extensive experience in code development and practical experience in the day-to-day operation of tribal court systems. For example, NIJC has developed a model juvenile justice code and a tribal child/family protection code. For further information concerning these and other model codes, please contact NIJC.

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The skills and experience of NIJC staff offer a vast resource to tribes and Indian organizations. Legal research, along with commentaries or opinions on specific issues, can be provided on the administration of justice in Indian country. NIJC also provides tribal governments with specialized consulting services in the broad categories of education, technical assistance and training. NIJC does not offer representation in the prosecution or defense of criminal cases or civil litigation.

NIJC welcomes inquiries by tribes or Indian organizations concerning particular projects or problems.