Northwest Intertribal Court System
Working for the good of tribes in the Northwest
(Dated: March 10, 2000)
The Northwest Intertribal Court System (NICS) is a consortium of Native American Indian Tribes in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States, It is one of the only intertribal court systems in the country.
Each tribe has its own independent court and codes.
NICS provides trial and appellate judges, assistance with code development, training and technical assistance.
NICS was founded in July of 1979 and incorporated on March 11, 1980.
Each member tribe appoints by resolution a representative to the NICS Governing Board, which sets policy for and governs all administrative actions of the organization.
Initially comprising thirteen members - Chehalis, Lummi, Muckleshoot, Nisqually, Port Gamble S'Klallam, Puyallup, Sauk-Suiattle, Skokomish, Squaxin Island, Suquamish, Swinomish, Upper Skagit, and Shoalwater Bay - the consortium quickly grew to fifteen members with the addition of Hoh, Nooksack and Tulalip (Puyallup withdrew in 1991). The original fifteen tribes, through their representatives on the NICS Governing Board, adopted the following mission statement for the organization:
NICS mission is to assist the member tribes, at their direction , in a manner which recognizes the sovereignty, individual character and traditions of those tribes in the development of tribal courts which will provide fair, equitable and uniform justice for all who fall within their jurisdiction.
Over time, realizing this expressed organization goal, some tribes left the organization to operate in complete independance, while other tribes became new members. The current composition of NICS includes member tribes: Chehalis, Muckleshoot, Sauk-Suiattle, Shoalwater Bay, and Tulalip.