Native American Heritage

Native Communities Program

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A Story in Dance During the Native American Indian Heritage Celebration in Alexander Hall, at Fort Gordon, Georgia, 11/7/2003

The National Archives holds hundreds of thousands of records related to interactions between American Indian and Alaska Native communities and the U.S. government.

However, wide variations between Native community histories and experiences, complicated federal filing systems, and shifting federal agencies often combine to make these records extremely difficult to find and subsequently use.

The Native Communities program is an educational resource providing step-by-step instructions for locating these important records. It includes opportunities for training, hands-on practice, and special Citizen Archivist Missions to make specific community records more easily accessible in the future.

Get Involved!

Please note that the Native Communities research guides were created in 2018 to help users search the National Archives Catalog for records relating to Native American communities. The guides are under review, and new versions may be released as information is updated.


  1. Read the instructions for tagging documents in the National Archives catalog.
  2. Download a regional Native Communities research guide.
  3. Use the search strategies described in the guide to find documents for your chosen area in the National Archives Catalog.
  4. Tag each document or group of documents (series) that you find with the specific community’s Citizen Archivist tag (provided in the Native Community research guide) so you and others can find it again.
  5. Explore other classroom uses for the research guides.


    Native Communities Research Guides

    Or choose by state.

    Native Communities Research Guides by State (PDFs)