Native American Heritage Month
We observe Native American Heritage Month in November to recognize the achievements and contributions of Native Americans. In 1990 President George H. W. Bush approved a joint resolution designating November 1990 “National American Indian Heritage Month.” Similar proclamations, under variants on the name (including “Native American Heritage Month” and “National American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month”) have been issued each year since 1994.
The National Archives holds hundreds of thousands of U.S. Government records relating to Native Americans, from as early as 1774 through the mid-1990s. These include original treaties signed with Native Americans, records from the Indian Schools, Indian Census Rolls, and Bureau of Indian Affairs records.
Indigenous Digital Archive’s Treaties Portal
NARA collaborated with the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture (MIAC) to launch the Indigenous Digital Archive’s Treaties Portal. This website provides public access to digital copies of NARA’s series of ratified Indian Treaties. The award-winning project was made possible by a generous gift from an anonymous donor and with the support of the National Archives Foundation, a nonprofit partner of the National Archives. Read more in the news release.
Research ResourcesThe National Archives holds hundreds of thousands of federal records relating to Native Americans. Find them in the research portal for American Indian records and Bureau of Indian Affairs photo finding aid. View related records in the National Archives Catalog.
Native CommunitiesOur Native Communities program is an educational resource providing step-by-step instructions for locating important Native American records. We offer hands-on practice, and special Citizen Archivist Missions to make records easily accessible.
History HubThe Native American Records Community on the History Hub is a space where you can learn about researching American Indian records. Ask a question, answer an unanswered question, or share your tips on how you research.
National Historical Publications and Records Commission
NHPRC-Mellon Start-Up Grants in Native American History: Support for collaborative Native American history projects including:
- Native Narratives: The Representation of Native Americans in Public Broadcasting, a digital exhibit exploring how mainstream American public media and media produced by Native Americans depict and document Native peoples.
- Carlisle Indian School Digital Resource Center, includes teaching kit for use in schools, libraries, and other educational institutions in the United States.
Genealogy Series: Civilian Conservation Corps Indian Division on the Reservation - Cody White surveys records of the CCC Indian Division, which employed thousands of Native Americans and brought material aid and conservation efforts to their reservations.
Genealogy Series: From Here to There: Researching Office of Indian Affairs Employees - Archivists offer guidance on how to research ancestors who worked for federal agencies.
New Insights: Native American History in the Colonial Period - The John F. Kennedy Library hosted a forum in March 2019.
“New Indian,”1977 - A Native American woman speaks about the American Indian Movement at the Ecumenical Conference of the North Central States.
Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI. David Grann discussed his book at an author lecture at the National Archives. (See the accompanying interview with the Archivist of the United States in the Pieces of History blog.)
Video highlights from the Nixon Library’s April 2015 conference
National Archives News
AOTUS Blog: The Importance of Acknowledging History—The Archivist's blog series acknowledges the ancestral lands on which the National Archives’ buildings are situated across the country.
AOTUS Blog: Ratified Indian Treaties—Making Access Happen
Education Updates: Native Warriors on Both Sides of the Battle of Little Bighorn
History Hub: Blog posts on Native American records
Pieces of History: Native American Heritage Month: N. Scott Momaday
Pieces of History: Terror on the Osage Reservation
Pieces of History: Carlisle Indian School's World War I Soldiers
Pieces of History: Middle Oregon Treaty of 1855
Pieces of History: The Power of American Indian Boarding School Records
Pieces of History: “Observations” of Native American Records at the National Archives
Pieces of History: Quiet Revelations at Navajo Nation
Pieces of History: Researching the Osage Murders - interview with Archivist Ferriero
Pieces of History: Nation to Nation: Treaties at the National Museum of the American Indian
Pieces of History: The Navajo Treaty Travels to the Navajo Nation
Pieces of History: On Exhibit: the Indian Removal Act
Pieces of History: Indian Treaties at the Museum of the American Indian
Pieces of History: The Navajo Treaty of 1868: A Personal Story
Pieces of History: Treaties at the National Museum of the American Indian
Pieces of History: Minnie Spotted Wolf and the Marine Corps
Pieces of History: “Indian New Deal”
The Text Message: Back to the Future: Conserving Ratified Indian Treaties, 1722–1869
The Text Message: Ratified Indian Treaties Digitization Project
The Text Message: Remembering Tony Dedman
The Text Message: “Invasion”: The 1918–1920 Pandemic on the Reservation
The Text Message: Righting a Wrong: The Return of Blue Lake to the Taos Pueblo
The Text Message: The War After the War: The American Indian Fight for the Vote after WWII
The Text Message: John Werito Goes to War; A Story of a WWII Diné [Navajo] Code Talker
The Text Message: We Hold the Rock!
The Text Message: The Blue Arrow Head
The Unwritten Record: The Bureau of Indian Affairs—Photographs Finding Aid: A Closer Look
The Unwritten Record: “Who Has Given More Than the Indian?”
The Unwritten Record: Dr. Paul Owen: The First PHS Optometrist
The Unwritten Record: The Indian School for Practical Nursing
Related article by Truman Library Supervisory Archivist Sam Rushay: The complex tale of Truman and Native Americans
Self-Determination and Tribal Sovereignty: The Lasting Impact of the Nixon Administration — an April 2015 academic conference at the Nixon Library
Conference video highlights:
- American Indian Activism, Tribal Sovereignty, and Nation Building: A Conversation with Tribal Leaders
- American Indian Policy of the Nixon Administration
- U.S. American Indian Policy in Early 20th Century
Online Interactive Exhibit: Record of Rights, Rights of Native American Indians
National Museum of the American Indian’s “Nation to Nation” exhibition Treaties Between the United States and American Indian Nations. September 21, 2014– 2021, all treaties on loan from the National Archives.
What are people asking on History Hub about Native American Records?
- I was told that my great great grandmother was called the Kanawa river indian but I've looked and looked and cannot find anything written on that could you please help please and thank you
- I'm looking for info on Lola Bell Cobbs
- Looking for info about Bertha Mildred Butler 1897 - 1944
- Dawson rolls- I have an application by a lou frierson, I believe this is my ancestor, however when I look at the application number, I see other names on this application number. How do I clarify? Additionally, we cannot trace my father's gm due to r
- How can I find out if I am Native American?