Published on November 1, 2021 by Leigh A. Jones, Evening and Weekend Reference Librarian
As National Native American Heritage Month begins, you might decide to celebrate the month by learning more about legal research resources that relate to Native American Law and Native American Tribal Law. One place to begin that exploration is the Indigenous Digital Archive (IDA) Treaties Explorer, which is a website where you can learn more about the 374 Ratified Indian Treaties that have been conserved and digitized by the United States National Archives and Records Administration. In partnership with the U.S. National Archives Office of Innovation and the National Archives Foundation, the IDA Treaties Explorer was created by the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture. The original documents that are found on the site span more than 100 years. In addition to treaties, you can explore historical documents that provide some background information about the agreements.
The information within the IDA Treaties Explorer is divided into four areas:
You can browse the treaties, or you can perform a search by title, tribe, or date. Also, you can filter results by treaties, accompanying documents, or both.
These are the land transfers that were mapped out by government clerks in the 1890s – 1900s.
You can find out which historical and present-day tribes are named within the treaties and other documents.
You can explore current and historical maps by state, region, or ZIP code.
If you need assistance with learning how to navigate the IDA Treaties Explorer, three guides are available on the website:
- “Treaties – What are They?”
- “Treaties – Historical Context”
- “Research You Can Do with the Indigenous Digital Archive’s Treaties Explorer”
The three guides include slides and video presentations. They were developed by Sherri Thomas, a professor of law librarianship and assistant library director of the University of New Mexico School of Law.