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2020

American Indian Records

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Treaties Explorer

Hundreds of Native American treaties have been scanned and are freely available online, for the first time, through the National Archives Catalog. Also, in partnership with The Museum of Indian Arts and Culture (MIAC), these treaties and extensive additional historical and contextual information are available through Treaties Explorer.

Ratified Indian Treaty showing signatures
Ratified Indian Treaty 37: Eel River, Wyandot, Piankashaw, Kaskaskia, and Kickapoo - Vincennes, Indiana Territory, August 7, 1803. National Archives Identifier 81145643

Thanks to an anonymous donation, the National Archives was able to do needed conservation work, scan and digitize this historically and culturally important collection. These records are accessible for anyone, anywhere, through our National Archives Catalog.

Through the Treaties Explorer, you can view historic maps and the agreements and tribes that relate, as well as the historical and present day tribes involved in the treaties.

Screenshot of the Treaties Explorer website, showing Treaties and Cessions with the Shawnee

Now, many more descendants of the original peoples can examine the names and seals and read the words set down by their ancestors so long ago. But more than that, the treaties are still relevant today as tribal leaders and lawyers continue to use them to assert their rights in court, such as in cases over land and water rights.

Be sure to check the Resources on the Treaties Explorer website, which include classroom ready curriculum and a set of three guides to increase your knowledge of treaties and how to research using the Treaties Explorer.

Volunteer as a Citizen Archivist

Ratified Indian Treaties

Would you like to help make these treaties more searchable online? Help us transcribe handwritten treaties, attested Senate resolutions of ratification, printed copies of treaties, and manuscript copies of Presidential ratifications and confirmations of the treaties. Some treaty files contain copies of messages from the President to Congress, copies of messages or letters of instruction to the treaty commissioners, and journals and correspondence of the commissioners.

Ratified Indian Treaty first page
Ratified Indian treaty showing signature page

Ratified Indian Treaty 316: Sauk [Sac] and Fox of the Missouri and Iowa - Great Nemaha Agency, Nebraska Territory, March 6, 1861. National Archives Identifier 74799192

New to the Citizen Archivist program? Learn how to register and get started.

 

Be sure to join the Citizen Archivists community here on History Hub!

History Hub
Also be sure to explore the American Indian Records community here on History Hub!  Bring your questions about Native American history and records, or help answer other users' questions!

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