Skip to Main Content
The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Native American & Indigenous Studies

A general library research guide for Native American & Indigenous Studies at UMass Amherst.


Tribal Government Documents


Council Meetings of the Major American Indian Tribes, 1907-1971 UM/Microform Storage 7033
52 reels. For a guide to the council meetings, see Ref Z 1209 M24.

Native American Constitution and Law Digitization Project
A cooperative effort among the University of Oklahoma Law Center and the National Indian Law Library (NILL), and Native American tribes providing access to the constitutions, tribal codes, and other legal documents of Native nations.

National Tribal Justice Resource Center - Tribal Courts
Includes: History of Tribal Courts, Tribal Court Programs, Tribal Court Basics (tribal court operations, including procedures and a glossary of terms), a Tribal Courts directory, Tribal Court Codes, and Tribal Court Constitutions.

United States

U.S. Government Documents


Native American Indian Studies are often aided by the use of information from the United States federal government, which has had a long, contentious history of interaction with Native American Indian communities. The executive, legislative and judicial branches produce a large, diverse body of information that will assist the researcher of these relationships.

The Government Documents Collection (Floor 6, W.E.B. Du Bois Library) houses publications from the federal government and the Massachusetts state government. Current government documents from 1976 to the present are in the Library Catalog. Recently more and more government information is available online and some documents are in other locations in the library.

For reference assistance, visit the Learning Commons desk on the Lower Level, telephone (413) 545-2623, or use one of the Ask a Librarian reference services for online assistance. For further information on the materials in the Government Documents Collection, contact Terry Billiel,, (413) 545-2765.

Please note: The following listings are not exhaustive.

U.S. Executive Branch

Some Current Executive Agency Documents

American Indian Population and Labor Force Report, 2001 UM/Gov. Docs. I 20.2:AM 3/3

American Indian Religious Freedom act report : P.L. 95-341 UM Gov. Docs. I 1.2:In 2/10

Official insignia of Native American tribes: report pursuant to P.L. 105-330 / presented by the US Patent and Trademark Office; Q. Todd Dickinson. [2000] UM/Gov. Docs. C 21.2:N 21

Reliability, validity, and authenticity in American Indian and Alaska Native research, EDO-RC-02-4, December 2002 UM/Gov. Docs. ED 1.331/2:EDO-RC-02-4

Strengthening the circle: child support for Native American children. [1998?] UM/Gov. Docs. HE 24.2:C 49

Tribal environmental & natural resource assistance handbook. [1999] UM/Gov. Docs. PREX 1.2:T 73

Using Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Assessments To Ensure that American Indian and Alaska Native Students Receive the Special Education Programs and Services They Need, EDO-RC-02-8, December 2002 UM/Gov. Docs. ED 1.331/2:EDO-RC-02-8

U.S. Legislative Branch
(U.S. Senate and House of Representatives)

The House and Senate do most of their major work in committees. Committees produce hearings which are the transcripts of testimony of witnesses and experts appearing before the committee, questions and comments of committee members, and prepared statements letters and statistics. Committees also produce reports which deal with proposed legislation or important issues of national concern. They usually include the purpose of the legislation, the findings and recommendation of the committee.

To search Hearings and Reports

LexisNexis Congressional (via Social Law library)
Search Committee hearings, Congressional reports, legislative histories and more. Use the "Advanced Search" tab.

Selected Hearings

American Indian religious freedom: hearings before the United States Senate Select Committee on Indian Affairs, Ninety-fifth Congress, second session, on S.J. Res. 102 ... February 24 and 27, 1978. UM Microfiche Storage    78 S 961-9     Request Microform

Native American Education Improvement Act: hearing before the Committee on Indian Affairs, United States Senate, One Hundred Seventh Congress, first session on S. 211, to amend the Education Amendments of 1978 and the Tribally Controlled Schools Act of 1988 to improve education for Indians, Native Hawaiians, and Alaskan Natives, March 14, 2001, Washington, DC. UM/Gov. Docs. Y 4.IN 2/11:S.HRG.107-32

Native American elder health issues: hearing before the Committee on Indian Affairs, United States Senate, One Hundred Seventh Congress, second session, on oversight hearing to examine the long term care and health care needs of Native American elders, July 10, 2002, Washington, DC. UM/Gov. Docs. Y 4.IN 2/11:S.HRG.107-601 and online.

Native American Graves Protection and Repatriations Act: hearing before the Committee on Indian Affairs, United States Senate, One Hundred Sixth Congress, second session, on oversight hearing to provide for the protection of native American graves, July 25, 2000, Washinton, DC. UM/Gov. Docs. Y 4.IN 2/11:S.HRG.106-708

Native American Languages Act amendments: hearing before the Committee on Indian Affairs, United States Senate, One Hundred Sixth Congress, second session, on S. 2688, to amend the Native American Languages Act to provide for the support of Native American language survival schools, July 20, 2000, Washington, DC. UM/Gov. Docs. Y 4.IN 2/11:S.HRG.106-648

Native American sacred places: hearing before the Committee on Indian Affairs, United States Senate, One Hundred Seventh Congress, second session, on the protection of Native American sacred places as they are affected by Department of Defense undertakings [June 4, 2002] UM/Gov. Docs. Y 4.IN 2/11:S.HRG.107-519/PT.1 and online.

Problems facing Native American youths: hearing before the Committee on Indian Affairs, United States Senate, One Hundred Seventh Congress, second session on oversight hearing on problems facing Native American youths, August 1, 2002, Washington, DC. UM/Gov. Docs. Y 4.IN 2/11:S.HRG.107-758 and online.

Selected Committee Reports

Five Nations Indian Land Reform Act: report House Committee on Resources. 2002. UM/Gov. Docs. Fiche Y 1.1/8:107-499 and online

Improve programs relative to Native Americans: report Senate Committee on Indian Affairs. 2002. UM/Gov. Docs. Fiche Y1.1/5:107-247 and online

Indian Financing Act Reform Amendment: report House Committee on Resources. 2002. UM/Gov. Docs. Fiche Y 1.1/8:107-630 and online

Native American Small Business Development Act: report Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship. 2002. UM/Gov. Docs. Fiche Y 1.1/8:107-236 and online

Historical Documents

Indian Affairs: Laws and Treaties Compiled and edited by Charles J. Kappler, Senate Committee on Indian Affairs. (1778-1940) (UM/Gov. Docs. Y 4.IN 2/2:L 44/v.1-4); (1940- ) (UM/Gov. Docs. I 1.107: )

The New American State Papers: Indian Affairs E93 .U938 1972 v.1-v.13

Census Information


Current Census Documents in the W.E.B. Du Bois Library Detailed analysis of Native American Indian communities is not yet available for the 2000 Census. The most recent detailed data are for 1990. Search under the subject heading: Indians of North America -- Census, 1990. Items include:

Online American Indian and Alaska Native Populations
Census website with compilation of demographic information, such as: Characteristics of American Indians by Tribe and Language; Top 25 American Indian Tribes for the United States: 1980 and 1990; and American Indian Languages Spoken at Home by American Indian Persons 5 Years and Over in Households. Links to the analytical document We the...First Americans.


Census of Creek Indians (Parsons and Abbott), 1832 UM/Microform Storage D 237 Census records of principal chiefs and heads of families of the Creek tribe. Counts males, females and slaves. Manuscript index by towns at beginning of the reel.

Census Roll, 1835, of the Cherokee Indians East of the Mississippi and Index to the Roll UM/Microform Storage D 171 Lists figures for such categories as number of farms, ferry boats, slaves, readers in English, and weavers.

Indian Census Rolls, 1885-1940 UM/Microform Storage D 111 692 reels. Agents in charge of reservations submitted census rolls each year, as required by an act of Congress in 1884. However, we do not have a census for each reservation or group of Indians for every year, as some tribes were not under federal jurisdiction. Information usually given includes English and/or Indian name of the person, roll number, age or date of birth, sex, and relationship to head of family. Rolls are arranged alphabetically by the name of the agency or other jurisdiction and thereunder by years. Later rolls are arranged alphabetically by the surname of the family's head.

Indian Population in the United States and Alaska, 1910 Bureau of the Census. UM/Ref C 3.910-2:IN

Report on Indians Taxed and Indians Not Taxed in the United States (except Alaska) at the Eleventh Census: 1890. Bureau of the Census. UM/Ref C 3.890:v.17

Agencies Dealing with Native American Indian Issues

Bureau of Indian Affairs

List of U.S. Agencies with Websites
Includes: American Indian and Alaska Native Affairs Desk, American Indian Liaison Office, Branch of Acknowledgment and Research, Indian Arts and Crafts Board, Indian Health Service (IHS), National Museum of the American Indian, Navajo and Hopi Indian Relocation Commission, Office of Congressional and Legislative Affairs, Office of Indian Education, Office of Indian Education Programs, Office of Public and Indian Housing, Office of the Special Trustee for American Indians, Office of Tribal Services.


Massachusetts Government Documents


Massachusetts Commission on Indian Affairs Annual Reports are online via the State Library of Massachusetts.

Acts and resolves passed by the General Court of Massachusetts KFM2425  .A25  (5th floor)   Library has: 1849 - present day. Text of laws passed in Massachusetts.

Index and guide to Massachusetts State legislative documents, 1802-1882. Compiled by Francis X. Blouin, Jr.  UM Gov. Docs. Ref.   Z1223.5.M35  B55 and  online

  • Page 84 lists many mentions of "Indians" in legislation of this time period.
  • Also, a keyword seach on "Indians" finds various particular Indian communities in Massachusetts.

Index to Massachusetts legislative documents, 1883-1899. Compiled by Leonard Adams. UM Gov. Docs.  Z1223.5.M35  A32 1994 and online

  • Page 131 lists mentions of "Native Americans" in legislation of this time period.

United Nations

edit United Nations


United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues
A UN organization whose mandate covers economic and social development, culture, the environment, education, health and human rights.