Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version

August 1994


Published in Great Plains Research 4:2 (August 1994). Copyright © 1994 The Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska–Lincoln. Used by permission.


The problems with this book begin with premises set out in the "Foreword." TheAmerican Indian Law Deskbook is a product of the Conference of Western Attorneys General. It was collectively written by the attorney general's offices of Montana, Utah, Idaho, Washington, North Dakota, Montana, Nevada, and Colorado because these offices "have long felt that they have been hampered [in their work] by the absence of a comprehensive and objective treatise on Indian law" (p. xiv). "Exacerbating the problem [of a complicated legal structure of Indian law] has been a relatively small amount of legal scholarship in the area of Indian law. While numerous books, treatises, and articles have been published, the attention given to this area of law has been small compared to other areas. And much of what has been published has been polemical rather than pure scholarship, not surprising given the emotion this topic often arouses" (p. xiii).