Skip to main content
Michigan State University

Native American Studies Research Guide: Web Sites

Contents

A compilation of selected web sites related to Native Americans.

MSU-Specific Web Sites

Michigan State University American Indian Studies Program.  The American Indian Studies Program (AISP) at Michigan State University seeks to form an understanding of American Indian cultures and identities, the place of American Indian/ Indigenous people in today’s world, and the changing demands of American Indian/Indigenous peoples in the pursuit of cross-cultural diversity. We believe these are issues that transcend traditional boundaries between academic disciplines. To understand the complexity of these subjects and to respond to them thoughtfully, students require a range of training both across disciplines and outside university settings. Michigan State University’s AISP is designed to meet this need.  The Native population of Michigan is proportionally one of the largest of those states east of the Mississippi. The American Indian Studies undergraduate specialization at MSU insures that the state's largest university offers a program of study that explores the indigenous foundations of this country and recognizes the continuing contribution of Native/Indigenous peoples to North American and Global society.

Michigan State University American Indian Programs and Organizations.   This web site is designed as a portal to the university’s many resources for American Indian scholarship, outreach, and support services.  Michigan State is home to one of the nation’s most inclusive approaches to American Indian studies in the nation, offering a wide range of programs and organizations related to American Indians, exploring all aspects of indigenous life. MSU has a long history of sharing the knowledge and resources created at the university with surrounding communities, adding to the vitality and richness of American Indian life—in Michigan and beyond.

Native American Institute.  The mission of the Native American Institute (NAI) is to provide training, technical assistance, research, and educational assistance to Native American Tribes and organizations in Michigan. Serve Michigan officials and lawmakers by offering periodic information on policy alternatives regarding Indian issues. Promote and enhance the public's knowledge and awareness of Michigan Indian communities, initiatives, history, and culture. House in the MSU College of Agriculture and Natural Resources.

Indigenous Law and Policy Center. The Michigan State University College of Law, Indigenous Law and Policy Center is committed to the education of Native law students and the training of lawyers prepared to work on behalf of tribes around the country, whether for tribal governments, private law firms or non-profit organizations.

Turtle Talk.  The blog for the Indigenous Law and Policy Center at Michigan State University College of Law. We post news items related to Indian law and politics, with a special emphasis on topics related to Indian tribes in Michigan and the Great Lakes region. We also post announcements about our activities and about the activities of the MSU Native American Law Students Association.  In addition, Turtle Talk offers links to every Supreme Court case involving federal Indian law in the modern era (1959 to present). Finally, Turtle Talk provides links to the primary documents key to Michigan Anishinaabe legal and political history, including a link to every federal and state legal decision involving one of the Michigan Ottawa/Odawa tribes. We also offer links to all kinds of scholarship about the Anishinaabek and Anishinaabe tribes.

NAISO.  The North American Indian Student Organization (N.A.I.S.O.) is a non-profit student organization for students of Michigan State University. Discussion includes NAISO activities and issues and can be a great way to meet other Native Americans at the MSU community or in the larger Lansing area.

Undergraduate Specialization - Specialization in American Indian Studies

Newberry Consortium for American Indian Studies.  Membership in the Consortium will be limited to 20 institutions and is being offered to universities in the United States and Canada. The Consortium draws on the Newberry’s world-renowned collections in American Indian and indigenous studies and the resources of the McNickle Center to offer programs such as institutes, conferences, and annual workshops, as well as provide fellowships to graduate students and faculty at member institutions.  Learn more about the American Indian Studies Seminar Series, the NCAIS Spring Workshop in Research Methods, the NCAIS Graduate Student Conference, and the NCAIS Summer Institute. The D’Arcy McNickle Center frequently hosts summer institutes exploring topics in American Indian and Indigenous Studies. Funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, these institutes feature guest lecturers in American Indian studies, American history, art history, and literature, as well as Newberry staff experts in American Indian materials in several collections, including visual arts and cartography. Learn more about the NEH Summer Programs.

Portals

Michigan Tribal Search Engine.  Bruce Sarjeant who serves as the Reference, Documents & Maps Librarian at the Lydia M. Olson Library of Northern Michigan University developed this custom Google search engine that searches the Internet domains of the 12 federally-acknowledged tribes in the state of Michigan.

Google Scholar, current.  Feeling lucky?  Google has created this database to speed location of reports and journal articles available on the Internet. Google is also working hard on facilitating links to subscription resources offered by university libraries. However not all the links work yet. So if you find an interesting article or resources via this database, be sure to check whether it is available via the MSU Libraries electronic or print collections.

Index to Native American Resources on the Internet.

Native American Sites and Home of the American Indian Library Association.  Last updated September 16, 2008.  Lisa Mitten.

Native Land.  Ask any person to name a Native American tribe and you’ll probably come up with the same handful of names (or a blank stare). But visualization tool Native Land can help you identify hundreds of tribes, even ones in your current town. It’s a colorful and informative visualization and gateway to a history of which you were probably unaware.  Native Lands is a web app that, after entering your location and selecting the information you’re interested in (choices include territories, languages, and treaties), presents you with color-coded regions.  Hover over whatever region you’d like to see links to external sites providing even more information. The links included are neat, as they usually lead to either government-hosted sites explaining the history of a tribe or a site hosted by the tribe itself rather than a Wikipedia page.

The Open Directory Project: Indigenous Peoples of the Americas.

Techniques for Evaluating American Indian Web Sites. Advice from Elaine M. Cubbins, University of Arizona, July 25, 2000.

Selected Web Sites, A-C

Aboriginal Connections : United States.   Provides extensive links to arts, business and economy, computers and internet, education, events, government, health, heritage and culture, law, links, nations and tribes, news and media, organizations, people, resources, and travel.

All Things Cherokee.   Includes a collection of articles.

American Indian Boarding Schools: An Exploration of Global Ethnic and Cultural Cleansing.  Developed by the Ziibiwing Center of Anishinabe Culture & Lifeways.

American Indian Health.  An information portal to issues affecting the health and well-being of American Indians.  Courtesy of the National Library of Medicine.

American Indian Heritage Teaching Resources.  Courtesy of the Smithsonian Institution.

American Indian Higher Education Consortium (AIHEC) Virtual Library .  A collection of resources by for and about Native Americans available online -- selected and reviewed by Tribal College librarians.  Includes search engine.

American Indian History and Culture : from the Encyclopedia Smithsonian.

American Indian History and Related Issues.  American Indian Studies programs were created at a number of universities throughout the United States beginning in the late 1960s. The American Indian Studies Program at California State University, Long Beach celebrated its 43rd anniversary in 2012 and is the oldest continuous existing program....This world wide site is a developing site supervised by Professor Troy Johnson and is dedicated to the presentation of unique artwork, photographs, video and sound recordings which accurately reflect the history, culture and richness of the Native American experience in North America and has been expanded to include Indian people of Central America and Mexico.

American Indian Law Collection (via Hein Online).  With more than 1000 unique titles and 1,000,000 pages dedicated to American Indian Law, this collection includes an expansive archive of treaties, federal statutes and regulations, federal case law, tribal codes, constitutions, and jurisprudence. This library also features rare compilations edited by Felix S. Cohen that have never before been accessible online.

American Indian Library Association Resources.

American Indian Movement

American Indian MovementWest's Encyclopedia of American Law, 2005.   Encyclopedia.com.  March 18, 2014.

American Indian Movement Some digitized materials from the MSU Libraries Special Collections.

American Indian Movement.  LibGuide prepared by Minnesota History Center.

American Indian Movement Profile courtesy of Nadra Kareem Nittle from About.com

American Indian Sports Names, Mascots, and LogosA collection of resources including journal articles.  Part of TurtleTalk. Michigan State University College of Law Indigenous Law and Policy Center Blog.

American Indian Wars (History Channel).   Brief article including 10 videos, 3 picture galleries, and links to other topics from the Encylopedia Britannica.

American Indians In Children's Literature.  Established in 2006, American Indians in Children's Literature (AICL) provides critical perspectives and analysis of indigenous peoples in children's and young adult books, the school curriculum, popular culture, and society. Scroll down for links to book reviews, Native media, and more.

American Indians in North Carolina.  Courtesy of the University of North Carolina Library.

American Indians in the U.S. Army.

America’s Other Original Sin.  Article by Rebecca Onion, Slate, January 18, 2016. :Europeans didn’t just displace Native Americans—they enslaved them, and encouraged tribes to participate in the slave trade, on a scale historians are only beginning to fathom.

Ancient Architects of the Mississippi. Wonders of Geometric Precision, the earthworks of the lower Mississippi were centers of life long before the Europeans arrived in America. As was the river itself. The alluvial soil of its banks yielded a bounty of beans, squash, and corn to foster burgeoning communities. Over the Mississippi’s waters, from near and far, came prized pearls, copper, and mica.  Today, most of the moundbuilders’ legacy is gone. Many of their earthworks have been plowed, pilfered, eroded, and built over. Yet evidence of the culture remains. This National Park Service website is part of an effort to preserve the legacy that survives along the banks of the lower Mississippi.

Anishnaabeg Bimaadiziwin : An Ojibwe Peoples Resource.   Although dealing with the Anishnaabeks of the Georgian Bay region, it is also of interest to those living in Michigan and elsewhere.   Note a section on the Clan system under Culture.

Anishinaabemowin and Anishinaabemdaa. Anishinaabemowin, the language of the Anishinaabe nation, is one of the oldest and most historically important Native American languages in North America, but it is in danger of becoming extinct if not passed on to a new generation. In earlier times, the language was passed on orally from a tribe’s elders to its younger members, but in more recent times, this practice has fallen victim to outside influences.  Kenny Neganigwane Pheasant grew up on the Wikwemikong Reservation in South Bay, Ontario, Canada speaking Anishinaabemowin. As an adult, Kenny’s love of his native language has only intensified, and he has devoted his life to teaching it to others from the elementary to the college level. A few years ago, he applied for and received a grant from the Administration for Native Americans (ANA) to fund equipment and programs that would allow him to share his expertise with a greater number of people. Among other things, that grant made it possible for Kenny to assist the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians in the production of this new, interactive Anishinaabemowin website and companion CD-ROMs.

Assimilation Through EducationA collection of resources from the Library of Congress for teachers.

Battle of Hayes Pond : The Day Lumbees Ran the Klan Out of North Carolina.   Article by Dr. Dean Chavers from Indian Country, January 18, 2017.  The KKK's plan backfired J

Bay-Journal.com Native American History. An overview of Native American History in the Bay City, Michigan area.  Website started by Marvin A. Kusmierz. 

Black Hawk War of 1832.

Breath of Life Collections Orientation. An orientation for Native American researchers on using Library of Congress collections.

The Buffalo WarA companion Web site to The Buffalo War, a provocative chronicle of the ongoing clash between Native Americans, ranchers, government officials, and environmental activists over the killing of America's last wild buffalo. Hear the opinions of all the players and get a chance to walk in their shoes.

Carriers of Culture : Living Native Basket Traditions : The Smithsonian Institution Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, the National Museum of the American Indian, and the Michigan State University Museum, in collaboration with Native American basketmakers' organizations across the country, will launch a multi-year, multi-faceted celebration of the rich, living Native basket traditions of North America and Hawaii. Through a festival, exhibition, and other related activities, Carriers of Culture: Living Native Basket Traditions will examine the ways in which Native baskets — and their makers — are literally and symbolically "carriers of culture."

A Celebration of Women Writers : First Nations Writers.  The Celebration of Women Writers recognizes the contributions of women writers throughout history. Women have written almost every imaginable type of work: novels, poems, letters, biographies, travel books, religious commentaries, histories, economic and scientific works. Our goal is to promote awareness of the breadth and variety of women's writing. All too often, works by women, and resources about women writers, are hard to find. We attempt to provide easy access to available on-line information. The Celebration provides a comprehensive listing of links to biographical and bibliographical information about women writers, and complete published books written by women. A compilation of web sites compiled by the University of Pennsylvania Libraries.

Cherokee History, Part 1 and Part 2.  Lee Sultzman.

Cherokee Trail of Tears.

Chief Joseph (Hin-mah-too-yah-lat-kekt, 1840-1904).  Read the tale of the famous Chief of the Nez Perce Indians. Chief Joseph always hoped the United States would begin to treat Native Americans better. There are links provided for further study.

Chief Okemos entry from H2G2, Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.  Okemos, Michigan named after this individual 

Chief Pontiac's Siege of Detroit.  Article by Jenny Nolan appearing in Detroit News, June 14, 2000.

Chippewa Tribe via Hodge, Frederick Webb, Compiler. The Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico. Bureau of American Ethnology, Government Printing Office. 1906 and AccessGeneology.

Comanche Nation National Museum and Cultural Center.

The Conquest of North America by Hernando de Soto, Coronado, and Cabeza de Vaca. A fascinating reinterpretation of the fifteen-year conquest of Native Americaby Spanish conquistadors by Donald E. Sheppard.  Conquistador Hernando de Soto, rich from the 1536 Conquest of Peru, explored North America for a northern passage to trade Spain's New World Gold with China, the finest market in the world. He followed trails which became our highways. His people described native villages along those trails at places which are cities today. DeSoto's Trails through fourteen states are described here.  At one point some of de Soto's scouts traveled far enough north to have discovered Lake Michigan, which they correctly deduced was not the Pacific Ocean they were looking for. Explains why Schoolcraft's estimation of DeSoto's Trail  (1857) and the later Final Report of the United States DeSoto Expedition Commission (76th. Congress, 1st Session, House Document, no. 71, Government Printing Office, Washington. DC, 1939)  have had a negative impact on American understanding of Hernando de Soto's travels and their impact on Native America.  According to Sheppard, de Soto's account of the Native Americans, their cities, and so forth were the first European accounts of the native civilization before diseases brought by de Soto's army wipes most of them out.  It also provides an explanation of the "red devil" which stirred the psyches of later European explorers and settlers.  Sheppard also provides de Soto's path plotted out on Google Earth and a Conquest Calendar based on all available evidence.

Controversies and Cases : the Indigenous Peoples of Michigan.  Courtesy of the Michigan Supreme Court Historical Society.

Cultural assimilation of Native Americans wikipedia entry.

Crazy Horse Memorial.

Crazy Horse: The Strange Man of the Oglalas : 'Crazy Horse' is a biography of one of the most famous Native American warriors in recent history. Mari Sandoz, the author, interviewed dozens of Crazy Horse's people in the 1930's, all of them by then old people. From interviews, facts, and letters, she constructed this semi-fictionalized biography of the great Sioux warrior. He is most famous for defeating Custer at the Battle of the Little Big Horn, but there was much more to his life than merely that one battle. The book attempts to describe and chart the lives of Crazy Horse and his Sioux people during the mid to late nieteenth century, during which they were enduring the immense pressures of the United States' Indian Wars, as well as settlers pressure on the Sioux land.

Seledted Websites, D-H

The De Soto Chronicles : The Expedition of Hernando de Soto to North America, 1539 to 1543.  University of Alabama Press, 1993.  The De Soto expedition was the first major encounter of Europeans with North American Indians in the eastern half of the United States. De Soto and his army of over 600 men, including 200 cavalry, spent four years traveling through what is now Florida, Georgia, Alabama, North and South Carolina, Tennessee, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, and Texas. For anthropologists, archaeologists, and historians the surviving De Soto chronicles are valued for the unique ethnological information they contain. These documents, available here in a two volume set, are the only detailed eyewitness records of the most advanced native civilization in North America—the Mississippian culture—a culture that vanished in the wake of European contact.  Available in print or online from the MSU Libraries.  Note:  W. Michael Gear and Kathleen O'Neal Gear have published three historical novels Coming of the Storm (Book 1), Fire in the Sky (Book 2), and A Searing Wind (Book 3) reimaging what happened during this invasion, part of the Contact: The Battle for America Trilogy.

Did You Know the US Apologized to Native AmericansA posting by Robert Longley in About.com

DMOZ Open Directory Project Native American Links.

Early Images of Virginia Indians. Companion to an exhibit of prints of Native Americans made by Europeans in the late-16th and 17th centuries. Includes illustrated essays about interpreting historical images, invented scenes from narratives (such as the abduction of Pocahontas), and fanciful figures. From the Virginia Historical Society William W. Cole Collection.

Encyclopedia Smithsonian.  Select American Indian History and Culture.

Faces of the Frontier : Photographic Portraits of the American West, 1845-1924, includes portraits of Red Cloud, Sitting Bull, and Geronimo.

Federal Indian Policy wikipedia entry.

Federal Websites For and About American IndiansLinks provied by the Oklahoma Department of Libraries U.S. Government Information Division.

The Fire Burns Yet.  Article by Peter Whitely appearing in Aeon, November 25, 2013.  Native American peoples are still here and still caring for the land.  Can their conquerors say the same?

"First Nations Experience Television", 2011, Official Website, multi-media platform, a partnership between the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians and KVCR, a PBS member station located in California's Inland Empire.

First Nations History.  Offers histories on over forty different tribes as well as a location list showing where each tribe settled.

First Nations Seeker.  Directory of North American Indigenous Portals.  Be sure to check out Lake Superior Chippewa, Odawa, Potawatomi under Algonquian.

Flags of our Fathers.  Includes snippets about Ira Hayes, one of the flag raisers on Iwo Jima, whose story is related in Clint Eastwood's movie.  Courtesy of Awesome Stories.

Geoff Mangum's Guide to Native American History & CultureThis webpage features North America before the Europeans, and during the ensuing four centuries (1500-1900) of European dispossession of the native populations by violence and deceit, euphemistically termed "the clash of cultures", and with modern information on tribes and cultures. The collection of Google Maps contains about 15,000 feature-rich placemarks organized topically and usually with dates, and the Google Earth viewer allows seeing the entire collection at once. The overarching idea is to portray accurately and in detail the great change that swept the American landscape between 1500 and 1900, or the first three centuries 1500-1800 of native-European contact before the creation of the United States (1791) and the following century 1800-1900 of federal warfare against the remnant tribes in pursuit of Manifest Destiny.

George Catlin and His Indian Gallery.  The Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum has this George Catlin exhibit up until the end of January, 2003. Catlin spent his life recording the customs and cultures of Native American tribes, and lobbying to protect their way of life. (Also listed under Art tab)

George Colbert.  Half-Scot and half-Chickasaw, Colbert operated a successful inn on the Natchez Trace and a ferry across the Tennessee River between 1800 and 1819.   In addition to charging Andrew Jackson $75,000 to ferry his army across, Colbert was often called upon to help negotate treaties between the U.S. and the Chickasaw Indians.

Geronimo and Fort Pickens : An Unwilling Tourist AttractionGeronimo was an Apache medicine man fighting against being forced onto reservations. He and his band were captured at Skeleton Canyon in 1886. He was then sent to Fort Pickens in Pensacola, Florida where he was held and treated as a tourist attraction. Learn more about Geronimo and his time in captivity.  Article by Martin Kelly from About.com 

H-AmInd. A joint project between Arizona State University and H-NET, H-AmIndian includes an edited discussion list for scholars, academicians, and Native peoples to consider the history, culture, ideas and events relating to indigenous peoples from the North Pole to Mexico.

An Historical Analysis of the Saginaw,Black River and Swan Creek Chippewa Treaties of 1855 and 1864. A report by Anthony G. Gulig, Ph.D., Department of History, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater commissioned for the State of Michigan, July 30, 2007.

History Link 101 Native American Indian Page

History of the American Indians : a summary provided by History World. 

History of the Ottawa and Chippewa Indians of Michigan.  From Native American Nations web site.

How Do I Trace Indian Ancestry?  Information courtesy of the U.S. Department of the Interior.

How Native American Women Inspired The Feminist Movement. Article by Sally Roesch Wagner, Ph.D., appearing in Bust Magazine. Where did early suffragists ever get the idea that women should have the same rights as men? The answer may be in their own backyards—in the egalitarian society created by Native Americans

Selected Web Sites, I-M

Index of Native American History Resources on the Internet. This site is constructed primarily to provide information resources to the Native American community and only secondarily to the general community. It is maintained by Karen Strom with help from many other individuals.

Index to Native American Resources on the Internet.

Indian Country TodayNote: Selected articles from the Indian Country Media Network are also posted under the Newspaper link.

Indian Peoples of the Northern Great Plains. A photographic database courtesy of Montana State University.

Indian Pride. A PBS Series showcasing topics about Native Americans, including: Historical Overview; Treaties and Sovereignty; Spirituality; Tribal Relations with the U.S. Governmen; Cullture, Traditions, and Celebration; Indian Advocacy; Myths and Real Truths; Economic Development; Health and Healing; Indian Education; Heroes; Tribal Government Structure; Indian Gaming

Indian Removal and the Trail of Tears : Andrew Jackson's Policy of Indian Removal Led to the Notorious Trail of TearsArticle by Robert McNamara from About.com

Indian Villages, Towns, and Settlements of Michigan via Hodge, Frederick Webb, Compiler. The Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico. Bureau of American Ethnology, Government Printing Office. 1906. and AccessGeneology

Indians of the Midwest.  Conceived and developed by the Newberry's D'Arcy McNickle Center for American Indian and Indigenous Studies, "Indians of the Midwest, Past and Present" is a multimedia educational website that will engage and inform a broad public audience about major issues in American Indian history and culture. Marrying the library's rich collections on Native American history with state-of-the art interactive web capabilities, the site will contribute to the public discourse on contemporary issues involving American Indians— such as tribal sovereignty, hunting and fishing rights, casinos, treaties, museum collections, identity and stereotypes. These issues are discussed in the context of the history and cultures of the tribes in the Great Lakes region.

Indians.org - The American Indian Heritage Foundation was established to provide relief services to Indian people nationwide and to build bridges of understanding and friendship between Indian and non-Indian people.

IndianZ.com - Pulls together current news, popular stories, hot topics, and other news compilations.

The Indigenous American.

Indigenous Americans Facebook Page.

Indigenous Digital Archive - courtesy of the University of New Mexico.  Part of an effort to find and share unknown documents on Indian boarding schools and meet a growing demand for information about a destructive and damaging era.

Indivisible : African-Native American Lives in the Americas.  This online exhibition is a collaboration between the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, National Museum of African American History and Culture, and the Smithsonian Institution Travelling Exhibition Service (SITES).

Inter-Tribal Council of Michigan, Inc. - A consortium of Michigan's federally recognized tribes.  Inter-Tribal Council of Michigan, Inc. (I.T.C.) was incorporated as a 501 (c) 3 non profit organization on April 16, 1968 by the four original tribes, those being: Bay Mills Indian Community, Hannahville Indian Community, Keweenaw Bay Indian Community, and the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe.  The original purpose was to establish a joint Tribal organization of the four Indian communities and all such other Indian villages or communities as may seek membership to conserve common property, to develop common resources, to promote the common welfare of the members of the participating member tribes, to negotiate with the Federal, State, and Local governments on all matters within the concept of improving the socio-economic status of Michigan Indians, and in general to carry on any activities in connection with being non-profit under the state laws of Michigan.

"The invasion of America".   Article by Claudio Saunt appearing in Aeon, January 7, 2015. The story of Native American dispossession is too easily swept aside, but new visualisations should make it unforgettable.

Jean Baptiste de Richardville.  When it came to negotiating with the United States government, perhaps no Native American ever did it better than Miami Chief Jean Baptiste de Richardville.  Not only did he successfully arrange for half of the Miami tribe to remain in Indiana, he became the richest man in Indiana at the time of his death by controlling the portage between the St. Mary's and Wabash watershed in the Fort Wayne area, connecting Canada and Detroit with Mississippi River valleys.  His brick home, partially financed by U.S. government funding, survives today -- the oldest Native American residence in the midwest.

Jim Thorpe.  Imagine an athlete with enough prowess to not only play one or two sports professionally but three. That was Jim Thorpe, an American Indian of Pottowatomie and Sac and Fox heritage. Thorpe overcame tragedies in his youth—the death of his twin brother as well as his mother and father—to become an Olympic sensation as well as a professional player of basketball, baseball and football. Thorpe’s skill earned him praise from royalty and politicians alike, for his fans included King Gustav V of Sweden and President Dwight Eisenhower. Thorpe’s life was not without controversy, however. His Olympic medals were taken away after newspapers reported that he’d played baseball for money as a student, even though the wages he made were eager. To boot, after the Depression Thorpe worked a series of odd blue-collar jobs to support his family. He had so little money that he could not afford medical care when he developed lip cancer. Born in 1888, Thorpe died of heart failure in 1953.  Article by Nadra Kareem Nittle from About.com

Kalamazoo’s First Residents: Our Native Americans.  Courtesy of the Kalamazoo Public Library.

Kill the Indian, and Save the Man”: Capt. Richard H. Pratt on the Education of Native Americans.  From History Matters.  Beginning in 1887, the federal government attempted to “Americanize” Native Americans, largely through the education of Native youth. By 1900  thousands of Native Americans were studying at almost 150 boarding schools around the United States. The U.S. Training and Industrial School founded in 1879 at Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania, was the model  for most of these schools. Boarding schools like Carlisle provided vocational and manual training and sought to systematically strip away tribal culture. They insisted that students drop their Indian names, forbade the speaking of native languages, and cut off their long hair. Not surprisingly, such chools often met fierce resistance from Native American parents and youth. But some Indian young people responded positively, or at least ambivalently, to the boarding schools, and the schools also fostered a sense of shared Indian identity that transcended  tribal boundaries. The following excerpt (from a paper read by Carlisle  founder Capt. Richard H. Pratt at an 1892 convention) spotlights Pratt’s pragmatic and frequently brutal methods for “civilizing” the “savages,” including his analogies to the education and “civilizing” of African Americans.

Lame Deer, Seeker of Visions. Colonialism in North America did not stop with the Revolution of 1776. It had new names: "Westward expansion", "Manifest Destiny"; but those who were called pioneers still did the same things based on the same values that caused colonialism in the first place. The text, Lame Deer Seeker of Visions was originally published in 1972 and is the story of both Lame Deer and the Lakota nation as they were affected by our expansion. It gives us the history and brings us up to date on the continued oppression of America's native population.

Law Library of Congress : Indians of North America

Legends of our Times: Native Ranching and Rodeo Life on the Plains and Plateau.  A cooperative site of the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of the American Indian and the Canadian Museum of Civilization, this site complements a traveling exhibit exploring the complex relationships between North American Plains Indians and the horse, dog, and buffalo.  Additional online exhibitions sponsored by the National Museum of the American Indian are also available.

Lewis and Clark and the Indian Country: 200 Years of American History.   Inspired by the bicentennial of the expedition of the Corps of Discovery, the three-year mission launched by President Thomas Jefferson to explore the newly purchased Louisiana Territory.  A milestone in the history of American exploration, the journey was also a major event in the ten thousand-year history of Native peoples in North America. Based on an exhibition originally mounted at the Newberry Library, this website explores how these two histories, that of the United States and that of Indian peoples along the expedition route, came together two hundred years ago and how they remain intertwined today.

The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fist Fight in Heaven. The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fist Fight in Heaven is what is referred to as a collection of short stories. It could also be seen as a memoir by Sherman Alexie made up of a collection of vignettes about life in and around the Spokane Indian Reservation. Each vignette focuses on a different character. While we see several of the characters in more than one story, the book as a whole doesn't focus on any one character. The book opens with "Every Little Hurricane" which describes the turbulent relationship of Victor's parents,and the atmosphere of the reservation. This short story gives us our first vision of the reservation and its inhabitants, and does a fairly accurate foreshadowing of the connectivity of the collection.

The Lost City of Cahokia.  Ancient Tribes of the Mississippi Brought to Life. Article by Emmett Berg appearing in Humanities, Vol. 25, No. 5, September/October 2004.

Massacre at Wounded Knee, 1890.

Meriam Report, see The Problem of Indian Administration.

Michigan Indian Tribes via Swanton, John R. The Indian Tribes of North America. Bureau of American Ethnology, Bulletin 145. Washington DC: US Government Printing Office. 1953. and AccessGeneology.

Michigan Odawa History Project.  We will be uploading academic articles, legal materials, and other documents on this page in conjunction with the Center’s ongoing project to collect materials related to the histories of the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians, Little River Band of Ottawa Indians, and the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians. These materials will, of course, include information about other tribes as well.  Part of TurtleTalk. Michigan State University College of Law Indigenous Law and Policy Center Blog.

Michigan's Mysterious Indian Mounds.  Article by By Vivian M. Baulch , The Detroit News, June 6, 1997.

Morality vs. Legality: Michigan’s Burt Lake Indians and the Burning of Indianville by Matthew J. Friday.  Relates the story of how Burt Lake Indians were driven from their land on Burt Lake and their attempts since then to receive federal recognition.  Michigan Historical Review 33:1 (Spring 2007), 87-97.

Selected Web Sites, N-P

Narragansett.  History Channel.  Native Americans of Rhode Island.

National American Indian Heritage Month.  A web portal provided by the National Park Service which includes many web links

National American Rights FundFounded in 1970, the Native American Rights Fund (NARF) is the oldest and largest nonprofit law firm dedicated to asserting and defending the rights of Indian tribes, organizations and individuals nationwide....NARF's practice is concentrated in five key areas: the preservation of tribal existence; the protection of tribal natural resources; the promotion of Native American human rights; the accountability of governments to Native Americans; and the development of Indian law and educating the public about Indian rights, laws, and issues.

National Congress of American Indians.   The National Congress of American Indians, founded in 1944, is the oldest, largest and most representative American Indian and Alaska Native organization serving the broad interests of tribal governments and communities.   Provides numerous resources such as a tribal directory, an introduction to trival governments, Native American demographics, the annual State of Indian Nations, new and updates, and a lot more.

National Indian Law Library (NILL)

National Museum of the American Indian : part of Smithsonian Institution.  Believe it or not, but there are two locations - one in Washington, D.C. and one in New York City.  Check out the online exhibits and the extensive list of films shown since 1995.

Native America Calling.  A live call-in program linking public radio stations, the Internet and listeners together in a thought-provoking national conversation about issues specific to Native communities. Each program engages noted guests and experts with callers throughout the United States and is designed to improve the quality of life for Native Americans. Native America Calling is heard on 52 stations in the United States and in Canada by approximately 500,000 listeners each week.

Native American culture feels effects of boarding schools decades after system closedMichelle Merlin.  Traverse City Record Eagle.

Native American Ethnobotany.  A database of foods, drugs, dyes, and fibers of Native American peoples, derived from plants.  Courtesy of the University of Michigan Dearborn.

Native American Heritage Month.  A web portal provided by the Library of Congress.

National American Indian Heritage Month.  A web portal provided by the National Park Service which includes many web links

Native American History in MichiganWritten for school children by the University of Michigan.

Native American Life on the Great Plains.  Slide show by Liz Olson.

Native American Medal of Honor Recipients.  In the 20th century, five American Indians (Jack C. Montgomery, Ernest Childers, Van Barfoot, Mitchell Red Cloud Jr., and Charles George) have been among those soldiers to be distinguished by receiving the United States' highest military honor: the Medal of Honor. Given for military heroism "above and beyond the call of duty," these warriors exhibited extraordinary bravery in the face of the enemy and, in two cases, made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.

Native American Netroots a forum for the discussion of political, social and economic issues affecting the indigenous peoples of the United States, including their lack of political representation, economic deprivation, health care issues, and the on-going struggle for preservation of identity and cultural history

Native American Sites.  Lisa Mitten provides web links broken down into the following categories:

  • Information on Individual Native Nations
  • Native Organizations and Urban Indian Centers
  • Tribal Colleges, Native Studies Programs, and Indian Education
  • Languages
  • The Mascot Issue
  • Native Media - Organizations, Journals and Newspapers, Radio and Television
  • Powwows and Festivals
  • Native Music and Arts organizations and Individuals - Singers, Drums, Artists, Peformers, Celebrities, Actors, Actresses, Storytellers, Authors, Activists
  • Indians in the Military
  • Native Businesses
  • General Indian-Oriented Home Pages

Native American Treaties: Their Ongoing Importance to Michigan Residents.  When Indians and Europeans first met on the North American continent they brought distinct and very different world views to the encounter. Over several centuries the Indian communities of North America and the European immigrants who settled on this continent shared very mixed experiences that ranged from war to negotiation. This web page focuses on the negotiations that have occurred between Euro-Americans and three Native American communities, the Chippewa, Odawa, and Potawatomi.  This web site explores the treaties that effect the people, Indian and Euro-American, who live in Michigan, and offers six case studies to explain how treaties signed between 1795 and 1864 had relevance in the past and continue to have importance today.  Also see Understanding Treaties and The Historical Context Preceding Treaty Negotiation in the 1820s : ​​​An essay by Joshua D. Cochran and Frank Boles. All courtesy of The Clarke Historical Library at Central Michigan University (Mt. Pleasant, MI).

Native American Treaty Signers in the Great Lakes Region.  The Clarke Historical Library (Mt. Pleasant, MI) mounted an exhibit in 2004 that explored the world of Native American leaders from the Great Lakes area who signed treaties with the federal government during the 1820s. This online version of the exhibit features images of 22 Native American treaty signers (drawn and published in full color by J. O. Lewis in 1835-36) and an essay about these leaders which was originally published in the catalog that accompanied the exhibit.

Native American Tribes of the Great Plains.  Slideshow by Liz Olson. 

Native American Web Sites (NAWBIT)A compendium of Native American Web sites collected by Michelle Biehl, an archivist and document specialist with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The site includes sections on the environment, genealogy, anthropology, archaeology, education, and politics.

Native Americans: a bibliography of resources in the Bentley Historical Library at the University of Michigan.

Native American Civil Rights wikipedia entry.  Although indigenous to the Americas, Native Americans became one of many minorities and the movement for Native American civil rights began almost as soon as Europeans started to arrive in the Western Hemisphere. Following the establishment of the United States of America, Native Americans were denied basic civil rights for many years. While Native Americans did not have a particular period of fighting for their civil rights like the African American Civil Rights Movement, measures have been taken to achieve equal rights for Native Americans throughout history.  Because Native Americans are citizens of their tribal nations as well as the United States, and those tribal nations are characterized under U.S. law as "domestic dependent nations", a special relationship exists which creates a particular tension between rights granted via tribal sovereignty and rights that individual Natives retain as U.S. citizens. This "dual citizen" status creates tension within the U.S. colonial context even today, but was far more extreme before Natives were uniformly granted U.S. citizenship in 1924. As non-whites, and non-citizen indigenous people, the United States built discriminatory language into their own laws and took on special colonial projects that denied basic human rights—particularly in the areas of cultural expression and travel—to their indigenous non-citizen "wards"  Sections include; Education, Indian Civil Right Act (1968), Religious Rights, Sovereignty, Fishing and Hunting Rights, Traveling Rights, Voting, and Land Rights.

Native Americans in Grand Rapids.

Native Americans in Michigan : An annotated Bibliography of Material in the Clarke Historical Library : Compiled by Evelyn Leasher, Robert Hendershot, Michael Phillips, and Jennifer Wood.  Check out the various topics : archaeology, arts and crafts, biography, education, ethnography, explorers and travelers, fur trade, genealogy, general, government relations, literature and legends, local history, mascots, missionaries and missions, native language materials, removal, treaties, treaty rights, wars, and maps.

Native Americans in the Great Lakes Region.  This page was created for GEO 333: Geography of Michigan and the Great Lakes Regiona courtesy by Dr. Randall J. Schaetzl of Michigan State University.

Native Americans of the Clinton River Watershed.  Includes bibliography.

Native Americans of the Region (Great Lakes Information Network)

Native Celebs.  In addition to documenting Native American actors and actresses, it also identifies movies by and about Native Americans.

Native Languages of the Americas : Native American Indian Legends and FolkloreA collection of Native American folktales and traditional stories that can be read online. We have indexed these stories tribe by tribe to make them easier to locate; however, variants on the same legend are often told by American Indians from different tribes, especially if those tribes are kinfolk or neighbors to each other.

Native Languages of the Americas : Preserving and promoting American Indian languagesA compendium of online materials about more than 800 indigenous languages of the Western Hemisphere and the people that speak them.

Native Lives Matter: Police Killing Native Americans at Astounding Rate   Nonprofit Quarterly, July 16, 2015. A recent report by the Center for Juvenile and Criminal Justice reports that Native Americans are killed by police at a higher rate than any other ethnic Group, though in fewer numbers than African Americans.

Native Peoples of the Great Lakes Region : Interesting collection of information by the Great Lakes Information Network Teach Project.

Native Voices Timeline (National Library of Medicine). Native peoples and their healing traditions have histories that extend into the distant past. No single exhibit can capture the full story of these diverse peoples and their practices. This timeline presentation highlights key events and themes from antiquity to today. Explore the richness of Native history!

Nativeculture.comA portal to the history and culture of Native Americans. "Learn" is the richest section by far, featuring original articles, links to North American tribal sites, an exploration of Native American art, and educational resources.

NativeWeb's Resource Database - History. NativeWeb provides "Resources for Indigenous Cultures around the World." Its History Section has a number of Canadian and U.S. sources on native peoples.  If you prefer, you can also search by the names of Nations or by Geographic Region.

Navaho Code Talkers.  This web site is dedicated to my father, Harrison Lapahie, a Navajo Code Talker during World War II, the Navajo Code Talkers, the Navajo Platoons of 1981 to 1985, and all Navajo men and women who have stepped forth and gallantly fought in all of the U.S. great wars. These Navajo Warriors have been a vital part of every American war since their last treaty with the United States in 1868. It is the bravery and courage of these Navajos that helped to make the United States the free and proud place it is today.

Navajo Code Talkers, America's Secret Weapon. How the Navajo and Choctaw Languages Scrambled Secret Military Communications in WWII.  Courtesy of John Shepler.

Navajo Code Talkers: World War II Fact Sheet.  The Navajo code talkers took part in every assault the U.S. Marines conducted in the Pacific from 1942 to 1945. They served in all six Marine divisions, Marine Raider battalions and Marine parachute units, transmitting messages by telephone and radio in their native language -- a code that the Japanese never broke.

New World Images.  Includes images from Theodore de Bry's The New World (1590) and Sir Francis Drake's New World (1586).  Check out John White's image in A New World : England's First View of America.

Nokomis Learning Center.  A non-profit Native American cultural learning center located near Lansing, Michigan, dedicated to the preservation and presentation of Anishinaabeg (Ojibwa, Odawa, and Potawatomi) arts, culture, and history.  Also check the Nokomis Learning Center facebook page.

Occupation of Alcatraz wikipedia entry.

Ojibwa entry by Loriene Roy from Countries and Their Cultures.

Ojibwe : A History of the Ojibway People As Written By William W. Warren (1885)

Ojibwe People's Dictionary.  Currently the dictionary features (1) Search capabilties in Ojibwe and English; (2) Browsing with short dictionary entries, arranged alphbetically; (3) Expanded dictionary entries with audio, example sentences, word parts and derivation, word families, semantically related words, Ojibwe texts, historical documents, photos, illustrations, and videos; (4) Cultural search results of historical documents, photos, illustrations, videos and Ojibwe texts related to the search word.  Sponsored by the Department of American Indian Studies at the University of Minnesota.

Ojibwe : Waasa-Inaabidaa (We Look in All Directions).  A six-part historical documentary series for public television featuing the history and culture of the Anishinaabe-Ojibwe people of the Great Lakes.

Oklahoma's Tribal Government Websites: History and CultureCourtesy of the Oklahoma Department of Libraries U.S. Government Information Division.

Ottawa Tribe entry via Hodge, Frederick Webb, Compiler. The Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico. Bureau of American Ethnology, Government Printing Office. 1906. and AccessGenalogy.

Peyote and the Native American ChurchArticle by Catherine Beyer from About.com

Pocahontas Archive. Courtesy of Ed Gallagher, Lehigh University.

Pokagon Band of Potawatomi.  See Harold Henderson, "This Land Is Their Land", Chicago Reader.

Potawatomi Tribe via Hodge, Frederick Webb, Compiler. The Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico. Bureau of American Ethnology, Government Printing Office. 1906. and AccessGenealogy.

Pow Wow -- Native American Traditions.  Just a Platform, June 13, 2015.

The Problem of Indian Administration (The Meriam Report).   Report of a Survey made at the request of Honorable Hubert Work, Secretary of the Interior,
and submitted to him, February 21, 1928. The report combined narrative with statistics to criticize the Department of Interior's (DOI) implementation of the Dawes Act, and overall conditions on reservations and in Indian boarding schools. The Meriam Report was the first general study of Indian conditions since the 1850s, when the ethnologist and former US Indian Agent Henry R. Schoolcraft had completed a six-volume work for the US Congress. The Meriam Report provided much of the data used to reform American Indian policy through new legislation: the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934. It strongly influenced succeeding policies in land allotment, education, and health care. The report found generally that the US federal government was failing at its goals of protecting Native Americans, their land, and their resources, both personal and cultural. Wikipedia summaryNational Indian Law Library copy. Wisconsin Historical Society copyMSU Library print copy.

Selected Web Sites, R-Z

Remembering Kin-ne-quay by Etta S. Wilson, her granddaughter.  Shared by Grand Rapids Historical Commission.  The story of an Ottawa princess and medicine woman.

Restorative Dispute Resolution in Anishinaabe Communities - Restoring Conceptions of Relationships Based on Dodem.  Patricia D. McGuire.  May 2008.

RezNet NewsA compilation of news by the University of Montana School of Journalism. 

Sacagawea (c. 1790-1812 or 1884). A near-legendary figure in the history of the American West for her indispensible role on the Lewis and Clark Expedition, Sacagawea has become an enigma for historians seeking to trace her later life.

Sacajawea.  One of the most famous teenagers in American history.  Courtesy of Awesome Stories.

Sequoyah. From the Tsalagi (Cherokee), this brilliant man is the only person to have invented an entire alphabet from scratch. He made his Nation literate. From Bob Fester's pages of great Native American leaders.

Sequoyah National Research Center located at the University of Arkansas Little Rock.  In keeping with the Sequoyah Research Center's purpose of preserving and disseminating the written words of Native peoples, this site provides research materials documenting all aspects of life among American Indians, Alaska Natives, and First Nations of Canada. Along with the American Native Press Archives, the Center documents contemporary Native American communities by creating, maintaining, and providing to the public the most comprehensive collection possible of Native newspapers, periodicals, and other publications; maintaining Native manuscripts and special collections; and acquiring other materials related to Native communities, press history, and literature. The Center serves tribal communities and the general public by developing and maintaining the means of accessing the content of these collections and by providing educational resources through various media and public programming. ANPA stands today as one of the world's largest repositories of Native thought.  Also see the Tribal Writers Digital Library.

Sitting Bull (Tatanka Yotanka).  Leader of the Lakota tribes, perhaps the most renowned chief in history. From Bob Fester's pages of great Native American leaders.

Six Ridiculous Lies You Believe About the Founding of America.  When it comes to the birth of America, most of us are working from a stew of elementary school history lessons, Westerns and vague Thanksgiving mythology. And while it's not surprising those sources might biff a couple details, what's shocking is how much less interesting the version we learned was. It turns out our teachers, Hollywood and whoever we got our Thanksgiving mythology from (Big Turkey?) all made America's origin story far more boring than it actually was for some very disturbing reasons. For instance ...Insights by Jack O'Brien, and Elford Alley  appearing in Cracked, May 15, 2012

Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian.  In addition to having one of largest collections of Native American art and artifacts in the world, the Smithsonian also shares many online exhibitions.

A Song for the Horse Nation : Horses in Native American Cultures.  Current exhibition at the National Museum of the American Indian.

Southeastern Native American Documents, 1730-1842, contains approximately 2,000 documents and images relating to the Native American population of the Southeastern United States from the collections of the University of Georgia Libraries, the University of Tennessee at Knoxville Library, the Frank H. McClung Museum, the Tennessee State Library and Archives, the Tennessee State Museum, the Museum of the Cherokee Indian, and the LaFayette-Walker County Library. The documents are comprised of letters, legal proceedings, military orders, financial papers, and archaeological images relating to Native Americans in the Southeast. This site includes historical materials that may contain offensive language or negative stereotypes reflecting the culture or language of a particular period or place. These items are presented as part of the historical record.

Teaching a People's History : Native American.  Courtesy of Zinn Education Project.  The Zinn Education Project promotes and supports the teaching of people’s history in middle and high school classrooms across the country.  Its goal is to introduce students to a more accurate, complex, and engaging understanding of United States history than is found in traditional textbooks and curricula. The empowering potential of studying U.S. history is often lost in a textbook-driven trivial pursuit of names and dates. People’s history materials and pedagogy emphasize the role of working people, women, people of color, and organized social movements in shaping history. Students learn that history is made not by a few heroic individuals, but instead by people’s choices and actions, thereby also learning that their own choices and actions matter.

Traders : Voices from the Trading Post.  This site from the Northern Arizona University Special Collections Department covers a history of trading post, oral history interviews, and the goods and services offered at trading posts in the American West. Oral interviews focus on trading posts in Navajo and Hopi reservations.

Trail Tribes: History with a Tribal Perspective, along Trails Followed by Lewis and Clark.  Originally produced by the Lifelong Learning Project at the University of Montana

Uncovering Powhatan’s Empire.  Although the Jamestown settlement may have seemed like the edge of the world to its English colonists, it was, in fact, in the middle of a thriving empire, ruled by the Algonquin Indian leader Wahunsunacock, better known as Powhatan. In December 1607, Jamestown's John Smith was first brought to meet the Indian chief at Werowocomoco, Powhatan's seat of power in the Tidewater area of Virginia.  Article by Louisa Woodville appearing in Humanities, Vol. 28, No. 1, January/February 2007.

VG/Voices from the Gaps.  A website based in the English Department at the University of Minnesota and dedicated to bringing together marginalized resources and knowledges about women artists of color to serve secondary and college education across the world.  Note : click on categories such as Blackfoot, Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Monominee, Ojibwa, etc., plus Native Americans.

Voice of the Shuttle : Native American / American Indian, Indigenous, AboriginalVoS is woven by Alan Liu and a development team from the University of California, Santa Barbara, English Department.

War Chief Joe Medicine Crow.  Legendary Crow Indian who won the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama.

Who Stole the Teepee?  This Smithsonian site explores the influence of U.S. culture on Native American traditions and beliefs.  "Who stole the tee pee?" is a question posed by artist George Littlechild. It's another way of asking, "What happened to our traditions?" Missionaries, soldiers, teachers, government officials, and social reformers took away much of what our ancestors had. Did they steal the tee pee? Or did they create a situation in which some of our relatives were more than willing to give it up?  Works by contemporary Native American artists explore the impact of those changes-social, political, cultural, and personal. The artists look back in order to examine the processes of change, to understand what their relatives went through during the period of forced assimilation, boarding school education, and relocation to distant cities. The artists also reflect on their own realities that are still affected by those same forces of change or influenced by an entirely new set of circumstances.  The older works and historic photographs in this exhibit, taken from the NMAI collections, provide a context for understanding the artistic changes that have been born since 1900.  An online exhibit of the National Museum of the American Indian.  Additional online exhibitions sponsored by the National Museum of the American Indian are also available.

Why Treaties Matter: Self-Government in the Dakota and Ojibwe Nations exhibit"This exhibition is part of a statewide tour throughout the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System. In 2010, a resolution creating a unique partnership between the Minnesota Indian Affairs Council, the Minnesota Humanities Center, and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C. was approved by tribes in Minnesota, making it possible for the exhibition to be developed as an educational tool for Minnesota audiences." View educator guides: http://treatiesmatter.org/exhibit/  University of Minnesota Duluth

William and Mary Government Information : Native Americans.  A collections of government documents about Native Americans.

Wind Talkers : Navaho Code Talkers In WWII.   Courtesy of Awesome Stories.

World Beaters.  In the early days of basketball, the girls from the Fort Shaw Indian School took on all comers.  Article by Delia Cabe appearin in Humanities, Volume 31, No. 6, November/December 2010.

Wounded Knee.  Some digitized materials from the MSU Libraries Special Collections unit.

8 Things The History Books Don't Tell Us About Native People.  Vincent Schilling.  Do history books written by white folks tell the truth about Natives in the US?  We think not. Here are juyst some of the things they fail to mention.  Originally published in Indian Country Today.

20th Century Warriors: Native American Participation in the United States Military. American Indians have participated with distinction in United States military actions for more than 200 years. Their courage, determination, and fighting spirit were recognized by American military leaders as early as the 18th century. Prepared for the United States Department of Defense in partnership with Native American advisors.

Subject Guide

Jon Harrison's picture
Jon Harrison
Contact:
366 W. Circle Drive
E. Lansing, MI 48824
517-884-0855
Website / Blog Page

Ask a Librarian

Michigan State University