Native American Heritage

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Administrative Records Related to American Indian and Alaska Native Schools

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Jim Thorpe Standing in His Carlisle Indian School Football Uniform, 1909 (National Archives Identifier: 519348)

In addition to student case files, the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) also has Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) administrative records pertaining to schools for American Indians and Alaska Natives.

These records often include information about local American Indian and Alaska Native students attending non-reservation boarding schools. These record series may include:

  • Annuals, journals, and publications
  • Attendance records
  • Correspondence
  • Financial documents
  • Medical records
  • Photographs
  • Registers
  • Reports
  • School applications
  • School censuses

Examples of School Administrative Records

BIA administrative records related to Native American schools are housed at different NARA research facilities, depending on the BIA school or office that maintained the records. Select series are listed below.

Select the National Archives Identifiers for the full archival records descriptions in the National Archives Catalog. For questions related to the records, please contact the custodial unit indicated.

For more information about BIA records, see Navigating Record Group 75. For a full list of National Archives research facilities, see Visit Us.

Textual Records

  • Indian School Journal from Chilocco Indian School

    The Indian School Journal, 1904–1926 (National Archives Identifier: 1105265) was published by students and printed at Chilocco Indian School in Oklahoma. The magazine included articles about the Indian service, various tribes, stories, poems, inspirational pieces, and many photographs of students, faculty, school buildings, American Indian houses, and artifacts. The complete Indian School Journal is digitized and available in PDF format in the National Archives Catalog.

    BIA Education Division (Headquarters): "Quarterly School Reports, 1910–1939" (National Archives Identifier: 1822378)
  • Blackfeet Agency: "Descriptive Statements of Children, 1889–1907" (National Archives Identifier: 1184821)
  • Fort Berthold Agency: "Applications for Enrollment in Indian Schools, 1905–1951" (National Archives Identifier: 6995951)
  • Pine Ridge Agency: "School Censuses, 1895–1953" (National Archives Identifier: 1151862)
  • Sherman Institute: "Commencement Programs and Related Records, 1928–1945" (National Archives Identifier: 563586)
  • Sisseton Agency: "School Attendance Records, 1922–1922" (National Archives Identifier: 7551457)


Thousands of individual photographs related to Native American schools are digitized and available in the National Archives Catalog. Many of these photographs can be accessed through the BIA Photographs Finding Aid.

Many more photographs are not yet digitized. These are available by contacting the appropriate NARA regional facilities or the Still Picture Branch at the National Archives at College Park, MD.