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Scope of the Guide

Frequency of Updates: Research was originally performed through June, 2007 for the entire web site. In April 2008, the cases and legislative history were updated. New cases through 8/1/09 were also added on 11/21/09. New cases, state court rules and statutes and tribal code provisions in 10/10. The news/update feature was also added in 10/10. New cases, state court rules and statutes and tribal code provisions in 9/11.

NARF plans to update the Practical Guide on a regular basis—at least once a year as time and funding allow. Updates will be incorporated into the website version and will also be made available for free downloading from the NARF website (www.narf.org/icwa).

Selection Policy and Process: The authors (Native American Rights Fund (NARF) and certain members of the Advisory Group) have endeavored to provide access to important and relevant federal and state judicial opinions, laws, regulations and other legal and non-legal information available on the ICWA.

Most of the primary legal information (legal opinions, laws, regulations) selected for the Practical Guide was found by performing research in the Westlaw legal databases. When relevant information was found in the Westlaw databases, we edited the documents to remove any copyrighted materials such as synopses, holdings and headnotes in cases and annotations in statutes before posting them to the website. We have excluded most unpublished/unreported cases. The major exceptions are cases from states that had no or very few reported decisions or when an author cited a case in the Frequently Asked Questions and Answers section. In a few instances, with permission from Westlaw, we provide copies of fully annotated cases and statutes. Other sources of information used to locate relevant information include ICWA guides, manuals and other print publications as well as suggestions from consultants and colleagues. During the research process, the NARF attorneys and staff used their judgment as to which legal documents should be included in the Practical Guide, and have included as many relevant primary legal sources as possible. However, the resources provided in this Practical Guide should not be considered an exhaustive list, should not be substituted for independent research and do not constitute legal advice.