Researching American Indians and Alaska Natives

Navigating Record Group 75
Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) Records

This guide is arranged geographically by state and thereunder contains a listing of tribes and bands living within that state’s borders. Under each entry for a tribe or band is a list of the BIA offices which had a jurisdictional relationship with that tribe, and for which the National Archives holds records. The NARA facility which has records for that office is listed in parentheses next to the entry. We have provided direct links into NARA's Online Catalog whenever possible. While there is an effort to make more National Archives documents available online, many of these records have not been digitized.

It has been impossible to include the name of every subagency and special agency. The most significant omissions are the agencies and subagencies established during the early years of a superintendency, when agents were moved about without permanent assignments to a particular tribe or locality.

Alaska

The United States purchased Alaska from Russia on October 26, 1867.  Alaska was admitted as a state in 1959.  Between 1867 and 1959, Alaska Natives were regulated by the Alaska Territorial Government (now the state of Alaska).  In 1885, the Alaska Division of the Office of Education was established to provide education for all children in Alaska, many of whom were Native.  In 1971, the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act established Village Corporations, which own surrounding lands privately.  Therefore those areas are not overseen in any special way by the Federal government, except by an occasional special census. With a few exceptions, the Bureau of Indian Affairs was largely responsible for Native Alaska health, education, and both natural and economic resource management.

Native Alaska Tribes (Not including small bands or Native Alaska Villages):

  • Athabascan
  • Aleut
  • Eskimo
  • Gwich’in
  • Haida
  • Holikachuk
  • Ingolik
  • Inuit
  • Tlingit
  • Tsimshian

For a list of Native Alaska Tribes and Villages see: http://www.bia.gov/WhoWeAre/RegionalOffices/Alaska/WeAre/Tribes/index.htm

Records from BIA Headquarters Office or Divisions:
1889-1972 Office of Indian Education Programs (National Archives at Washington, D.C.)
Records from BIA Agencies, Field Offices, and Superintendencies:
1885-1947 Alaska Division (National Archives at Washington, D.C.)
1901-1975 Alaska Reindeer Service (National Archives at Seattle)
1933-1956 Alaska Indian Service (National Archives at Seattle)
1946-1984 Seattle Support Center. Alaska Resupply Program (National Archives at Seattle)
1946-1984 Seattle Support Center. Alaska Resupply Program. North Star III (Ship) (National Archives at Seattle)
Records from BIA Area Offices:
1956-1974 Bethel Area Office (National Archives at Seattle)
1956-1973 Juneau Area Office (National Archives at Seattle)
1956-1972 Juneau Area Office. Fairbanks Agency (National Archives at Seattle)
1958-1973 Juneau Area Office. Kotzebue Agency (National Archives at Seattle)
1958-1973 Anchorage Area Office (National Archives at Seattle)
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