Native American Heritage


Finding Information about Present-Day American Indians and Alaska Natives

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

U.S. Department of the Interior

Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA)

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

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 (OST) 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 who are conducting the historical trust accounting, tribes, and contractors secure access to inactive records for research.

Bureau of Land Management (BLM)

The Bureau of Land Management 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.

Indian Arts and Crafts Board (IACB)

The Indian Arts and Crafts Board (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. 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. The American FactFinder, a Census Bureau database, provides access to recent population statistics that can be retrieved by race, ethnicity, gender, or ancestry.

  1. Click on "Advanced Search,"
  2. Click on "Show All,"
  3. Click on the "Race and Ethnic Groups" box on the left side to retrieve current and recent statistical data

You can select data about Native Americans, Alaska Natives, or a specific group.

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. To learn more about the work of the courts, the records created, and where the nearest location is, visit the United States Federal Courts page.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Indian Health Service (IHS)

The IHS "provides 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."