The National Tribal Justice Resource Center (NTJRC) is the program arm of the National American Indian Court Judges Association (NAICJA). The Resource Center, its staff, and its website provide referrals, training & technical assistance, and a wide variety of resources to tribal justice system personnel – whether working with formalized, modern tribal courts or with tradition-based dispute resolution forums – in order to assist in their development and enhancement. NAICJA and its NTJRC staff believe that tribal justice systems are the most visible manifestations of tribal sovereignty.
The Resource Center was initially established by NAICJA, with funding from the U.S. Department of Justice's Bureau of Justice Assistance, in September 2000. The Center was the culmination of years of advocacy and work by NAICJA and its membership to fulfill their dream of providing a source of daily support and assistance to tribal justice systems nationwide. From 2000 to 2009, the NTJRC maintained the largest and most comprehensive website dedicated to tribal justice systems, personnel and tribal law and was the national clearinghouse of information for Native American and Alaska Native tribal justice systems. In 2009, like many nonprofits during the recent economic downtown, NAICJA was faced with the loss of its primary funding that allowed it to operate the Center. While the website and Resource Center were no longer operating, NAICJA remained active and looked for a way to revive the NTJRC. In April 2012, NAICJA reopened a small NTJRC office in Boulder, Colorado and re-hired two of its former NTJRC staffers.
The Resource Center is gearing up to provide on-line resources highlighting tribal court funding opportunities, training events and a repository of tribal bench books and practice guides as well as information related to both Indian Child Welfare issues and tribal civil and criminal legal assistance for tribal legal aid attorneys and public defenders.