Public Health Legal Preparedness in Indian Country

This article provides an evidence base for understanding existing tribal health law. It discusses deficiencies in the scope and integration of tribal health laws and recommends ways to strengthen tribal public health legal preparedness.

Available online:

It is included in the CJS Resource Library under the categories listed below. Select a link to find other resources in that category.

  • Background / History: The article discusses tribal membership and sovereignty and their relationship to tribal public health authority.
  • Legal Issues: The article discusses existing formal agreements between tribes and other governments related to emergency preparedness, data sharing, and specific health issues.
  • Monitoring and Improving: The article recommends ways to strengthen tribal public health legal preparedness.
  • Preparedness / Emergency Response: The article discusses deficiencies in codification of public health matters in tribal laws and makes recommendations for improvement.
  • Tribal Issues: The article analyzes how tribal laws currently support public health practice in tribal communities.

This resource is also linked to the Roadmap. Select a link below to read more about each area.


Bryan, R. T., Schaefer, R. M., DeBruyn, L., & Stier, D. D. (2009). Public health legal preparedness in Indian country. American Journal of Public Health 99(4), 607–614.