Native Americans

Search Strategies

Books & Manuscripts


  • Search tribe/nation names by themselves in WestCat , the library's online catalog, or
  • Search the subject heading Indians of North America.
  • Use the Quick Search option and enter +american +indian or +native +american in the search box and select Any Word Anywhere as the search.
  • Use the Advance Search option and search "American Indian?" or "Native American?" as phrases.
  • If you are having trouble finding material on your topic, try searching I-Share (through WestCat ), a database of the catalogs of over 70 Illinois libraries or WorldCat , a database of library catalogs from all over the world.
  • Any book you find which we don't have may be requested through Interlibrary Loan. Allow a week to 10 days.


  • Search the database American State Papers, 1789-1838
    • tips: you can browse tribal names under the subject "Groups of People, Professions, etc." or search by keyword
  • Search the database U.S. Congressional Serial Set (1817-1980)
    • tips: you can browse tribal names under the subject "Groups of People, Professions, etc." or search by keyword
  • Search the database U.S. Congressional Serial Set Maps (1817-1980)
    • tips: you can browse tribal names under the subjects "Groups of People, Professions, etc." and "Armed Forces and Conflicts" or search by keyword
  • Search the database Anthropological Literature
    • tips: enter your search terms and select full-text articles and articles available at WIU if you're in a rush (searching the term indians produced 444 results under those conditions in 2/08)
  • Search the database America: History & Life
  • Search the database Sociological Abstracts.
  • Search the multi-disciplinary databases, like Academic Search Complete .
  • Search Nexis Uni for full-text law review articles.
  • Make sure WIU doesn't have access to articles you find in databases that don't make all articles available full-text by searching the Periodicals Holdings List for the journal title. The PHL contains full-text e-titles purchased by WIU Libraries, and print/microform periodicals shelved in the Libraries.
  • Any article you find to which we don't have access may be requested through Interlibrary Loan.

Notable Federal Documents

Annual Reports of the Bureau of American Ethnology (Smithsonian)
These reports, made available online by the Bibliothèque nationale de France, contain research from early anthropologists concerning the customs, beliefs, medical practices, arts, and linguistics of indigenous populations. Each Annual Report contains several papers. The index to them is kept at the Reference Desk on level 2. (1879-1931)
GOVPUBS. SI 2.1: alternate link
Bulletins of the Bureau of American Ethnology (Smithsonian)
These 200 Bulletins, published between 1887 and 1971, are single-subject volumes describing various aspects of tribal life. WIU Libraries is fortunate to have most of them. The indexes to them are kept at the Reference Desk on Level 2. Individual titles may also be found through the library catalog, WestCat and they are available freely through the Internet Archive online and also full-text to WIU Students as part of the U.S. Congressional Serial Set database from Readex.
GOVPUBS. SI 2.3:no.
Handbook of North American Indians (Smithsonian)
The encyclopedic volumes in this set organize the Indian Tribes and Nations by geographic region. Though produced decades ago, not all of the volumes have been published to date.
GOVPUBS. SI 1.20/2:
The Dawes Rolls (Final Rolls of the Citizens and Freedmen of the Five Civilized Tribes in Indian Territory)
Having a relative listed in the Dawes Rolls is a requirement for proving lineage in the Five Civilized Tribes.
Tribal Leaders Directory
This directory from the Department of the Interior shows regional Bureau of Indian Affairs offices and tribal leaders by region.


Indian Affairs: Laws and Treaties (Kappler)
This seven-volume set is available for online viewing thanks to Oklahoma State University.
Vols. 1-5 GOVPUBS. Y 4.IN 2/2:L 44/
Vols. 6-7 GOVPUBS. I 1.107:
Indian Treaties, 1778-1883 (Oklahoma State Univ.)
This is volume two of the above described set. Treaties are organized by Tribe and year.
LEGLREF. Y 1.1/3:57/1-452
Early Indian Treaties
The kind folks at the Center for Digital Research in the Humanities at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln have provided the online community with access to nine early (pre-Independence) treaties between Indian tribes and the British.
Indian Treaties at University of Oklahoma
This webpage includes links to three treaties not included in Kappler's Indian Affairs: Laws and Treaties volume 2.
Indian Affairs, 1789-1927 (American State Papers)
These two volumes, made available by the American Memory Collection at the Library of Congress, cover dealings and treaties with the Indians.
Also available in microfiche. Ask at the Government and Legal Information Office, 4th floor.
United States Statutes at Large volume 7 (Library of Congress)
This volume includes all ratified Indian Treaties from 1789 to 1845.
Also available in Legal Reference.
Native American People Treaties, Ratified and Unratified via Nexis Uni -- WIU Only
This database includes the full text of all Indian Treaties and tells you whether or not they were ratified.
Pathway: Sources Directory: Browse/Treaties & International Agreements/Native American People Treaties...

Statutes & Regulations

Title 25 of the United States Code (Indians) (Cornell)
All the current statutory law on the books - searchable.
Or use the annotated version (USCS) through  Nexis Uni (WIU only) to link to court cases brought under the federal statutes.
Title 25 of the Code of Federal Regulations (Indians) (GPO Access)
Here you can search multiple years of codified regulations written by various agencies concerning Indian Affairs; choose title 25.


Atlas of Historic Tribes in Illinois: 1673-1832
Made available online by the University of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign.
Gallatin Map (Library of Congress) , (David Rumsey)
Map of the Indian tribes of North America, about 1600 A.D. along the Atlantic, & about 1800 A.D. westwardly / published by the American Antiquarian Society from a drawing by Hon. A. Gallatin.
Early Indian Tribes, Cultures & Languages from the National Atlas
This zoomable map, made available online by the Library of Congress, makes it easy to find the locations of Indian Tribes.
State Maps of Federal Lands (Library of Congress)
These printable state maps from the National Atlas show Federal and Indian Lands.
Indian Land Cessions in the United States, 1784-1894 (Library of Congress)
You can browse these zoomable maps by date, tribe, state or territory.
Indian Land Areas Judicially Established 1978 (map courtesy of the National Park Service)
The Indian Claims Commission was created to resolve land claims disputes between the Indian Tribes and the Federal Government. These land claims have been used to repatriate Indian remains and artifacts.
Indian Treaties and the Removal Act of 1830 (State Department)
This is a short history of early Federal dealings with the Indians.
The American Indians and Alaska Natives in the United States Wall Maps
This map shows areas with large Native American populations, viewable in .gif and .pdf -- from the 2000 Census.


American Indian and Alaska Native (AIAN) Data and Links
This website from the Census Bureau contains links to various data available there.
We the People: American Indians and Alaska Natives in the United States
This Special Report from the Bureau of the Census includes data by tribal grouping. Data includes educational attainment, income, occupation, language spoken at home, more. Data is from 1999-2000.
We the...First Americans
This 20 page document includes statistics ending with the 1990 census.
American Indian and Alaska Native Populations - Race Data
This page has many links to data available from the Census Bureau, including population projections and estimates, housing on reservations, and social and economic statistics.
Characteristics of American Indians by Tribe and Language -- 1990 Census of Population
Lots of statistics by tribal grouping.

Notable Illinois Documents

Indian Place Names in Illinois
The study by Virgil J. Vogel lists and explains the origin of Indian names given to Illinois rivers, counties and towns.
ILLINOIS. 977.3 I29p no.4
Green Corn and Violets
This Native American recipe book includes dishes and cooking methods from all over the United States.
American Indian Ways of Life
This paper published by the Illinois State Museum describes the peoples who lived in Illinois from the earliest times to the Illini.
ILLINOIS. 500.9 I29s No.9

Archeological Investigations

The Windrose Site:
An Early Nineteenth-Century Potawatomi Settlement in the Kankakee River Valley of Northeastern Illinois
ILLINOIS. 507 I29r No.56
The Riverton Culture:
A Second Millenium (sic) Occupation in the Central Wabash Valley
ILLINOIS. 507 I29r No.13
The Zimmerman Site:
Further Excavations at the Grand Village of Kaskaskia
ILLINOIS. 507 I29r No.32
The Mound 72 Area:
Dedicated and Sacred Space in Early Cahokia
ILLINOIS. 507 I 29r 1999 No.54
The Prehistory of Dickson Mounds:
The Dickson Excavation
ILLINOIS 507 I29r No.35
Dickson Camp and Pond:
Two Early Havana Tradition Sites in the Central Illinois Valley
ILLINOIS 507 I29r No.36
Early Archaic Projectile Points
Hunting Patterns in the Lower Illinois Valley
ILLINOIS. 507 I29r No.19 1986

Legal Reference Materials

Native Americans and the Law: a Dictionary.
This dictionary offers short descriptions of issues and cases related to Indian Law.
LEGLREF. KF 8203.6 .S66 2000
"Retained by the People" : a History of American Indians and the Bill of Rights.
This book describes tribal struggles with the U.S. Government concerning rights granted to Indians; includes discussion of the Indian Bill of Rights.
LEGLREF. KF 8205 .W86 1994
American Indian Law in a Nutshell.
This is a good primer on the history and current state of Indian Law.
LEGLREF. KF 8205 .Z9 C36 1998
Landmark Indian Law Cases.
This book is a compilation of significant legal cases concerning Native Americans.
LEGLREF. KF 8204.5 .L36 2002
Native Americans and the Law : Contemporary and Historical Perspectives on American Indian Rights, Freedoms, and Sovereignty.
This 6-volume set includes discussion on such topics as the Indian Bill of Rights, Native American sovereignty, cultural and religious freedoms, and pre- and post-colonial interactions with the government of the European immigrants.
LEGLREF. KF 8205 .A1 N37 1996
The Encyclopedia of Native American Legal Tradition.
This encyclopedia describes the legal traditions of various tribes as well as American Indian legal issues.
LEGLREF. KF 8204 .E53 1998