Native American Heritage

National Archives Identifier: 295168

School Records

Requesting Student Case Files

How to Request American Indian Student Case Files

To request information on individual students, please contact the National Archives facility holding the records for the pertinent school, according to the state-by-state Guide to Record Group 75, Records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA). The National Archives staff will assist you further with your researching needs.

When submitting a request to the National Archives, please include the individual’s date of birth, as well as variant spellings of his or her name. Additional information, such as the names of parents or tribal affiliation, may be helpful in identifying a match.

If the individual attended a mission school, contact the mission agency or denomination that established and operated that school.

If the person you are researching attended a government day school or boarding school located on his or her own reservation, please contact the National Archives facility holding the administrative records for the Indian agency overseeing that reservation, according to information provided on the List of American Indian Schools.

Please contact us with any other questions related to American Indian Schools.

Tips for locating student case files:

  • Consider where the individual and his/her siblings lived when choosing which schools to search. Case files can often include correspondence referring to multiple family members.
  • If the first school you checked has no record of his or her attendance, look for other schools in the same or neighboring states.
  • Understand when the school was in operation and how that coincides with your individual’s school attendance.

A Note About Privacy Restrictions

Student case files and other student-related documents that are less than 75 years old may contain personal information about individuals who are still living. These records are restricted under Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Exemption (b)(6), and must be screened by National Archives staff before being released to researchers. Personal information may be redacted. Learn more about FOIA.