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.
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.
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.
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.