Native American Heritage


Finding Present-Day Federal Records about American Indians and Alaska Natives

Other federal agencies have more current records relating to American Indians and Alaska Natives. The following are a few examples. Consider contacting one of these entities for additional information.

U.S. Department of the Interior

Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA)

The BIA's mission is "to enhance the quality of life, to promote economic opportunity, and to carry out the responsibility to protect and improve the trust assets of American Indians, Indian tribes and Alaska Natives." Learn more about this agency

American Indian Records Repository (AIRR)

The AIRR is under the directorship of the Records Officer and the Deputy Special Trustee of Program Management. AIRR staff and staff from the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) are working together to preserve Indian Affairs records. AIRR is a product of a partnership between NARA and the Department of the Interior (DOI).

Stored at AIRR are Indian Affairs records from BIA agencies and Office of the Special Trustee for American Indians (now known as the Bureau of Trust Funds Administration) offices all over the nation. Records—from as far back as the 1700s—include trust, education, and other historic Indian Affairs records.

AIRR provides authorized researchers, federal employees conducting historical trust accounting, tribes, and contractors secure access to inactive records for research.

Bureau of Land Management (BLM)

The BLM is the federal agency tasked with administering over 245 million acres of public land, largely in the western United States. Within this mission comes frequent interaction and overlap with American Indian nations and reservation land. Learn more about this agency

Indian Arts and Crafts Board (IACB)

The IACB promotes Indian arts and crafts through general business advice, promotional opportunities, and enforcement of the Indian Arts and Crafts Act that prohibits false advertising in the marketing of Indian arts or crafts. Learn more about this agency

In addition, the IACB also operates three regional museums in South Dakota, Montana, and Oklahoma; creates museum exhibition programs; and produces the Source Directory of American Indian and Alaska Native Owned and Operated Arts and Crafts Businesses.

U.S. Census Bureau

The Census Bureau provides statistics about the U.S. population and economy. Learn more about this agency

The Census Bureau website provides online access to select population statistics, which can be retrieved by race, ethnicity, gender, or ancestry. See American Indian and Alaska Native Data Links.

U.S. Federal Court System

As one of the three branches of government, the United States Federal Court system plays an important role in our democracy. Issues involving civil and criminal matters are resolved through the U.S. District Courts, the U.S. Courts of Appeal, and the Supreme Court of the United States. Learn more about the Federal Court system

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Indian Health Service (IHS)

The IHS "is responsible for providing federal health services to American Indians and Alaska Natives. The provision of health services to members of federally-recognized Tribes grew out of the special government-to-government relationship between the federal government and Indian Tribes." Learn more about this agency