Native American Resources in GovDocs

Posted on November 4th, 2021 by

November is federally designated National Native American Heritage Month. Several national agencies and museums have created a portal of government resources and events that cover the history, art, culture and heritage of indigenous populations in the United States.

Team photo.

Sports, Standing Rock Agency, 1937. National Archives.

Government documents from U.S. Commision on Civil Rights.

From the display on 1st Floor, November 2021.

The library has put together a display on the first floor showcasing the variety of available government resources covering Native American history and politics in print and online. Though resources that affect Native Americans are available in almost all government agencies, the display tries to highlight three resources that cover the nineteenth century, the twentieth century and today.

  1. Nineteenth CenturyThe University of Oklahoma Law School Library has been digitizing documents related to the Native Americans experience included in the Congressional Serial Set from 1817-1899. The serial set attempts to collect the complete papers of Congress and includes legislation, hearings and executive department reports submitted to Congress. While most of the reporting is limited to federal agents, often from the precursor to the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and not Native American voices, the serial set is a great primary resource to incorporate in researching this tumultuous and destructive century for Native American. Events covered included the Indian Removal Act of 1830 and the Trail of Tears relocation of southeastern tribes, military conflict and removal of Native Americans from their lands in the Midwest and Great Plains, and the General Allotment Act of 1887. This website is useful in that it is keyword searchable. (There are over 4,000 very thick volumes of the serial set that covered these years.)
  2. Mid-Twentieth Century – Our print holdings of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights have a wealth of reports and hearings that cover Native American issues in the 1960s and 1970s: discrimination, reclaiming tribal sovereignty, and protest movements, including the American Indian Movement, which was founded in Minneapolis. Many of these Civil Rights Commission resources are also available in the HeinOnline Civil Rights and Social Justice database. Among these reports include Bridging the Gap: The Twin Cities Native American Community prepared by Minnesota Advisory Committee in 1975.
  3. Today – To follow current programs and legislation in the federal government, we recommend checking out the following resources:

    Maple sugar industry, Red Lake Agency, 1939. National Archives.


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