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Native American Studies Research Guide: Find Articles


  • An article is a written piece from a publication such as a journal, magazine or newspaper. 
  • Faculty expect edited pieces from a valid publisher; information on the web from companies or individuals and wikipedia are usually unacceptable
  • Faculty may require articles of a particular type, i.e. newspaper, popular magazine, or scholarly journal.  See this chart for a refresher.
  • Access to articles is provided through licensed databases on the library website. These databases collect articles from many publications.
  • Some of the most useful of these databases for your discipline are listed to the right.  Others are found on our Electronic Resources web page where you find electronic resources broken out by type (indexes, newspapers, journals, for example) or by category (environmental studies).


How To Choose the Best Indexes/Databases

Off Campus Access

In order to use the MSU Library's Electronic Resources from off campus, you need to use Library-provided links that include the proxy server. For details see Off Campus Access instructions.

Selected Journals

American Indian Culture and Research Journal. Courtesy of the UCLA American Indian Studies Center.

American Indian Quarterly : AIQ - The complexity and excitement of the burgeoning field of Native American studies are captured in the American Indian Quarterly (AIQ), a peer-reviewed, interdisciplinary journal of the anthropology, history, literature, and arts of Native North Americans. Wide-ranging in its coverage of issues and topics, the AIQ is devoted to charting and inciting debate about the latest developments in method and theory. It publishes original articles, shorter contributions, review articles, and book reviews.

Journal of American Indian Education - A professional journal that publishes papers directly related to the education of American Indian/Alaska Natives. The Journal also invites scholarship on educational issues pertaining to Native Peoples of the world, including First Nations (Aboriginal People of Canada), Native Hawaiian, Maori, Indigenous Peoples of Latin American and others. The goal of the Journal of American Indian Education is to improve Native Education through knowledge generation and transmission to classrooms and other educational settings. It encourages dialogue between researchers and teachers through research-based scholar and practitioner articles elucidating current innovations in the classroom. Essays that advance a point of view about an educational question or issue, if supported by cited research literature, are acceptable for consideration as well as manuscripts that present views of literature in areas that are relatively unexplored. Studies grounded in Native Research methodologies are especially encouraged. The JAIE also seeks expository manuscripts that present an explicative or interpretive perspective to an existing theory or issue....The JAIE was founded in 1961, and has been published continuously since. It is published by the Center for Indian Education of the School of Social Transformation at Arizona State University three times a year: fall, winter and spring.

NARF Legal Review.    Published biannually and provides updates on NARF’s cases and information on other timely Indian law topics. Native American Rights Fund. Topics covered include: Boarding school healing, Civil rights/voting rights, Development of Indian law, Environmental protection, Federal recognition of tribal status, Human rights, Hunting and fishing rights, Indian child welfare act, Indian education, Indigenous peacemaking initiative, International matters, Native lands, Religious freedom/sacred sites/repatriation, Tibal sovereignty and jurisdiction, Violence against women act, Water rights.

Native Peoples. The magazine started with an initial Heard Museum-member circulation of 3,000; since then it has grown to a circulation of about 50,000 copies per issue (and a readership of 155,000 per issue). It is the only Indian-oriented magazine sold coast to coast in the United States on major news stands, including Barnes & Noble, Hastings and Borders, and is considered the periodical voice of record of the American Indian community. It is now published six times a year and while its focus remains on the arts, culture and lifeways of the Native peoples of the Americas, it also reports on topics related to business, health, education, politics, sports, travel in “Indian Country”, the environment, food, language, history and other subjects associated with Native American life past and present.Articles are available online via WilsonSelect.

Studies in American Indian Literatures - Also available via the Association for the Study of American Indian Literatures (ASAIL) web site.

Tribal Law Journal.  This journal promotes indigenous self-determination by facilitating discussion of the internal law of the world's indigenous nations. The Tribal Law Journal provides native peoples, practitioners, and law students an opportunity to contribute their work to the discussion relating to internal indigenous law.

Wicazo Sa Review - The essential source for new thought in Native American studies....During the past two decades, Native American Studies has emerged as a central arena in which Native American populations in the United States define the cultural, religious, legal, and historical parameters of scholarship and creativity essential for survival in the modern world. Founded in 1985 Wicazo Sa Review is a journal in support of this particular type of scholarship, providing inquiries into the Indian past and its relationship to the vital present. Its aim is to become an interdisciplinary instrument to assist indigenous peoples of the Americas in taking possession of their own intellectual and creative pursuits....Each issue contains articles, essays, interviews, reviews, literary criticism, and scholarly research pertinent to Native American Studies and related fields. Past contributors have included Thomas King, Joy Harjo, Ray Young Bear, Gerald Vizenor, Vine Deloria Jr. and Simon Ortiz.


Don't know where to start?   Beginning in the Fall Semester 2014, the MSU Libraries is offering a discovery layer or interface called SearchPlus.  SearchPlus pulls together a large number of databases (including the Library Catalog) into a unified search engine, increasing one's chances of finding results by keyword or phrase.  Whenever possible, links are provided directly to the online source identified.

So this is a great tool for undergraduates not knowing where to start.   It is also a good starting point for graduate students and faculty looking for materials outside their established silos.  Once you do a search; note how SearchPlus offers a large number of facets on the left side to refine your search.

SearchPlus is a starting tool.   Advanced researchers will still want to explore more deeply in specialized databases, particularly those that are not covered by SearchPlus.

Recommended Indexes/Databases

Below is a list of SELECT indexes and databases relevant to Native American Studies, starting with some general coverage tools first and then progressing to more subject-specific tools. Use these to find articles and other research on your topic. For a list of other databases (and electronic resources) available in the MSU Libraries, go to the Electronic Resources page.

Expanded Academic ASAP (1980 to date).  Provides coverage of 3,000 indexed and 1,900 full-text titles in a wide variety of disciplines including: social science journals, humanities journals, science and technology journals, national news periodicals, general interest magazines, newswires, The New York Times and many others. More than 1,400 journals are peer reviewed, and more than 20 years of backfile coverage are included.  Check out the browse subject section for all the entries starting with Native American!

JSTOR.  Searchable database of the full text of journals covering a wide array of academic topics including anthropology, Asian Studies, ecology, economics, education, finance, history, literature, mathematics, philosophy, political science, population studies, and sociology.  Years available vary with each title, but the most recent issues available in JSTOR will normally be 4-5 years old due to embargoes from publishers.  When searching this database, remember that the indigenous peoples of the Americas have only been called "Native Americans" for the last 40 years.  Articles from before this time period will refer to "Indians" or "American Indians" or "Native American Indians"

Periodicals Archive Online (1770-1995) is a database of millions of articles published in the arts, humanities and social sciences, across more than 300 years, by Proquest. Covers more than 3,000 journals.  Now includes a 1996-2000 update.

Project Muse.  This database provides access to two hundred humanities and social science journals from 29 not-for-profit, scholarly publishers.  Years offered by each journal vary but usually are only the most recent issues. Muse is a unique collaboration between the participating publishers and the Milton S. Eisenhower Library at the Johns Hopkins University.  Try standard LC subject headings in addition to keywords when searching.

Proquest Research Library (indexing: 1971 to date; full-text: 1991 to date).  Provides online access to an extensive collection of published material. You can search for information in thousands of different journals, periodicals, dissertations, newspapers, and magazines. Complete articles -- in full text, page image, or UMI's unique Text+Graphics format -- are available for many of the most popular and important sources. Provides full text coverage of over 400 journals. However, full text coverage varies by date from journal to journal.

Social Sciences Full Text (EBSCOHost)

Google Scholar, current.  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.

Alt-PressWatch (Proquest).  Full-text database of selected newspapers, magazines and journals of the alternative and independent press. Coverage complements the reporting in the mainstream press. Also listed under Newspapers.

Ethnic NewsWatch (Proquest).  An interdisciplinary, bilingual (English and Spanish) and comprehensive full text database of the newspapers, magazines and journals of the ethnic, minority and native press. Designed to provide the "other side of the story," ENW titles offer additional viewpoints from those proffered by the mainstream press. Coverage varies by paper, but goes as far back as 1960 for some publications. Also listed under Newspapers.

ERIC pulls together numerous resources - including government documents, but primarily journal articles and other resources -- related to Native Americans.  Facets allow one to narrow down the results by date of publication, by subject, by source, by author, by publication type, by educational level, and audience type.  Try the following:

ERIC American Indian Culture Collection.

ERIC American Indian History Collection

ERIC American Indian Language Collection

ERIC Amerian Indian Literature Collection.

ERIC American Indian Studies Collection.

ERIC American Indians Collection.

ERIC Federal Indian Relationship.

ERIC Tribes Collection.

First Nations Periodical Index.  Indexes journal articles only -- focusing mainly on Canadian Native content.

Indigenous Peoples' Literature Index : These articles are part of a collection of writings celebrating the rich and diverse cultures of Indigenous Peoples' that thoughtfully assert the sovereign rights of the Peoples' of North and South America. This body of work was researched and cataloged by Glenn Welker and graciously shared with and first published on .

Native Health Database : The Native Health Databases contain bibliographic information and abstracts of health-related articles, reports, surveys, and other resource documents pertaining to the health and health care of American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Canadian First Nations. The databases provide information for the benefit, use, and education of organizations and individuals with an interest in health-related issues, programs, and initiatives regarding North American indigenous peoples. The Health Research Database has citations and abstracts for information dating back to the 1800s.

Race Relations Abstracts.  Provides approximately 50,000 bibliographic records with abstracts covering topics such as discrimination, immigration studies, and other areas highly relevant to Native American Studies and Ethnic Studies in general.

Anthropology Databases

Many scholars interested in Native American Indians also use Anthropology databases.  Here is a list of anthropology databases available to MSU faculty and students:

Abstracts in Anthropology (print).  Main Library GN1 .A2 v.1 (1970)-v.59 (2009) : Classified index and abstract of all four subfields of anthropology: cultural anthropology, physical anthropology, archaeology and linguistics. Includes abstracts of site reports, analytical studies, and reports on field techniques and artifacts.

AnthropologyPlus : Combined index of Anthropological Literature from Harvard University and Anthropological Index, Royal Anthropological Institute. Provides extensive worldwide indexing of journal articles, reports, commentaries, edited works and obituaries in the fields of social, cultural, physical, biological and linguistic anthropology, ethnology, archaeology, folklore, material culture and interdisciplinary studies. 

Anthropology Review Database (ARD) : The Anthropology Review Database is intended to improve the level of access of anthropologists to anthropological literature by making them more aware of what is being published and helping them to evaluate its relevance to their own interests.  For more information, see ARD's description of itself.

AnthroSource. : The premier online portal serving the needs of educators, students, researchers, and practitioners. An online service of AAA, AnthroSource offers access to more than 100 years of anthropological knowledge.

EHRAF World Cultures. : A cross-cultural database that contains information on all aspects of cultural and social life. The annually-growing eHRAF database is unique in that the information is organized into cultures and ethnic groups and the full-text sources are subject-indexed at the paragraph level.  eHRAF is produced by the Human Relations Area Files, Inc. (HRAF) at Yale University. The mission of HRAF, a non-profit consortium of universities and colleges, is to encourage and facilitate worldwide and other comparative studies of human behavior, society, and culture.

International Bibliography of the Social Sciences (1951 to date) : Anthropology is a core discipline covered by this database. Journal and book coverage draws significantly on the collection of the Library of the London School of Economics and Political Science. Over 50 percent of journals indexed are published outside the US or the UK; 25 per cent of references are in languages other than English.

Social Sciences Full Text (EBSCOHost) :

For more information about Anthropology, visit the MSU Library Anthropology Research Guide by Deborah Margolis.

Supplemental Databases

Since Native American Studies is truly an interdisciplinary field, many databases from other academic disciplines can prove useful.  Try some of the following databases for articles related to Native American Studies.

America History and Life (1964 to date). Provides access to the citations of articles (and in some cases, the full text of articles), book reviews, and dissertations in American and Canadian history.  Note : America History and Life is located near the bottom of the list.

Communication and Mass Media Complete.  Provides indexing and abstracting for more than 600 publications, and includes selected full-text coverage for more than 240 journals in communications, mass media, and related fields. Topics include (among many others) health communication, gender and communication, communication theory, and mass media.

Criminal Justice Abstracts (1968 to date). Contains hundreds of in-depth abstracts of current books, book chapters, journal articles, government reports, and dissertations published worldwide. Also offers extensive coverage of new books from scholarly and commercial publishers and valuable reports from public and private agencies in many nations. For each document, a summary of the finding, methodology, and conclusions is provided.  Topics include crime trends, prevention projects, corrections, juvenile delinquency, police, courts, offenders, victims and sentencing.

HeinOnline American Indian Law Collection. Since the American Revolution, American Indian law has evolved into a complex web of treaties, federal statutes and regulations, federal case law, tribal codes, constitutions, and jurisprudence. This collection contains more than 800 titles and 750,000 pages.

LexisNexis Academic. Provides access to full-text news, business, and legal publications, using a variety of flexible search options. One of the most heavily used databases in higher education.

PAIS International (including Archive) (1915 to date)   Indexes selected books, government documents, and periodical articles on contemporary public issues and the making of public policy.  Note: try Indians of North America, Indians, American Indian Movement, names of tribes, events, etc.

PsycInfo (including PsycArticles)  (1887 to date).  Contains summaries of the world's journal literature, of dissertations and technical reports, and of English-language chapters and books in psychology and related disciplines. Covers over 1300 journals in over 30 languages from approximately 50 countries. No full text content within PsycInfo, but there are links to full text in other databases, including PsycARTICLES. Also includes psychology articles from related disciplines such as sociology, linguistics, education, medicine, law, physiology, business, psychiatry, and anthropology.

Race Relations Abstracts.  Includes bibliographic records covering essential areas related to race relations, including ethnic studies, discrimination, immigration studies, and other areas of key relevance to the discipline. The index contains more than 46,000 records, which are carefully selected from the most important sources within the discipline.

Sociological Abstracts (1952 to date).  Provides access to the latest research in sociology and related disciplines in the social and behavioral sciences.  Includes citations (and abstracts since 1974) for articles in over 1,500 journals. Draws information from an international selection of journals, serials, conference papers, books, and dissertations.  Note: try American Indians. 

Web of Science. Indexes science, social sciences, and arts and humanities information from nearly 9,300 of the most prestigious, high impact research journals in the world. Note: you can restrict your search to the Science Citation Citation Index (1900 to date), the Social Sciences Citation Index (1956 to date), or the Arts and Humanities Citation Index (1975 to date).

Proqust Congressional. Provides users with efficient, targeted access to the most comprehensive collection of historic and current  congressional information available anywhere online. This collection includes the full text of  congressional publications (including hearings, reports, and documents), finding aids, a bill tracking service, and the full text of public laws and other research materials to enable both novice and experienced researchers to complete many types of research projects using a single, user-friendly interface. Since Congress is interested in all public policy, social, and economic issues, the database is an effective source for general research in many academic disciplines, in addition to research related to specific legislative proposals and laws. Note: not everything identified in this database is available full-text; however with the citation we can track down the items for you.

Subject Guide

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