American Native Press Archives
American Native Press Archives is devoted to the preservation and dissemination of the written words of Native peoples…It stands today as one of the world’s largest repositories of Native thought.”
This collection of Native American resources is maintained and hosted by the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. Much of the website is dedicated to the contents of the Archives and will not be of much use to the casual browser. However, the digital library, or Native Writers Digital Text Project is very useful. It contains various pieces of Native American literature that give a unique view on historical events. The most valuable resource on the site is the information on the Trail of Tears. The texts in this section contain a wealth of information, primary documents and even related images of this tragic event. (BR)
Camping with the Sioux: Fieldwork Diary of Alice Cunningham Fletcher
“Although they contain scant ethnographic information, Fletcher’s writings provide an important insight into the attitudes of many white scientists and administrators in the late nineteenth century with regard to what they termed ‘the Indian Question.’"
The information on this website concerns Alice Cunningham Fletcher and her ethnographic work among the Sioux. Educated in the best Bostonian preparatory schools, she gained some repute as a lecturer before her western travels. Her interest in the Siouan peoples eventually lead Fletcher to live among the tribes in order to study their culture. Digital reproductions of her diary, photographs, and a collection of oral literature recorded by Fletcher are included.
Drawing the Western Frontier: The James E. Taylor Album
“In a period when the American public hungered for "authentic" images from the American West (indeed, from around the globe), these drawings had an immense impact on the public imagination.…”
Drawing the Western Frontier, a website in the National Anthropological Archives, brings light to the problem of certain stereotypes in America’s past; specifically those that the American people had toward Native Americans. James Taylor’s illustrations serve to show how popularized stereotypes of the Western frontier and Indian-White relations in the post Civil War years were perpetuated. The images seen on this site reflect the attitude of the time with the savage Native American versus the civilized American. This site contains nearly 750 photographs spanning such topics as Indians, the Battle of the Washita, Gold Mining, Mexican Life, and Frontier Life. This site has high quality photographs, and is designed to make locating specific images easy.
Edward S. Curtis’ The North American Indian: Photographic Images
"The North American Indian by Edward S. Curtis is one of the most significant and controversial representations of traditional American Indian culture ever produced…”
The website first and foremost offer a wide selection of pictures and photographs, with the option of downloading higher resolution pictures that would print out well for overhead use. The photographs, easily located on this site, cover many areas including daily life, ceremonial and daily dress, living areas (both internal and external dwelling photos), and photos of the plains (including wildlife).
George Catlin and His Indian Gallery
"The exhibition, George Catlin and his Indian Gallery, showcases more than 400 artworks from one of the most important collections at the Smithsonian American Art Museum George Catlin’s original Indian Gallery…”
From 1830 to 1836 George Catlin traveled the route taken by Lewis and Clarke on their famous expeditions. During that time period he visited 50 tribes west of the Mississippi River, from North Dakota to Oklahoma. George Catlin’s paintings recorded the manners and customs of the Native Americans, and this site brings those paintings to you. There is a Virtual Exhibit section that offers many images with supporting background information, as well as a link to a Classroom section.
Indian Center, Inc.
“The Indian Center, Inc.'s mission is to provide information, services, and resources to empower our community.…”
With its mission to “promote cultural awareness” of Native Americans, the Indian Center, Inc. website offers visitors information pertaining to many Great Plains Indian tribes. Through the brief tribal histories of the Ho-Chunk, the Omaha, the Ponca, and the Santee Sioux one is able to get a better overall picture of the general history of the Great Plain’s American Indian. Also located on this site are pictures of the culture center and individual tribes, information pertaining to upcoming events such as pow-wows, and general contact information.
The Indian Congress of 1898 Photo Gallery
With over 500 photographs of Native Americans, including portraits of individuals, group photos of families, and photos of various activities, The Indian Congress of 1898 Photo Gallery offers a unique glimpse into Native American life near the end of the 19th century. This website, which is linked from the Omaha Public Library contains portraits taken by F.A. Rinehart, and is very clean and clear to navigate through. Consisting exclusively of photos, this site includes such tribes as the Chippewa, Cheyenne, Crow, Omaha, Sioux, Apache, Ponca, and Arapahoe.
Indian Peoples of the Northern Great Plains
“Images of the Indian Peoples of the Northern Great Plains is a searchable online photograph database created with grant support from the Institute of Museum and Library Services National Leadership Grant Program.…”
The Indian Peoples of the Northern Great Plains website provides the visitor direct access to primary source material on the Plains Indian cultures (focused in the area of Montana). The main strength of this site, besides the large amount of photographs, lies in its search engine. The search ability of this site makes locating pertinent information easy and quick as one is able to search by subject, date, biographical information, location, tribal, etc. Not limited to photographs though, this site also has links to unique collections such as the Barstow Ledger Drawing Collection, Blackfoot Indian Tipis / Design and Legend, and 1874-1875 Treaty.
Indian Pueblo Cultural Center
“Dedicated to the preservation and perpetuation of Pueblo Indian Culture, History and Art. The Indian Pueblo Cultural Center is your Gateway to the 19 Pueblos of New Mexico. Committed to educating all generations of visitors.”
At this site, browsers will discover information about the nineteen pueblo communities of New Mexico. Each pueblo has a brief summary of its history located under the “19 Pueblos” tab. These summaries offer information about the history, culture, and present experiences of the communities. For those interested in visiting the pueblos, the narratives also give advice on proper tourist etiquette, dates when the community can be accessed, and announcements on whether or not the pueblo is a closed community. Finally, the site has images of modern pueblo art. The pieces are creations of professional, pueblo artists, and definitely worth examining.
Kiowa Drawings in the National Anthropological Archives
“The Smithsonian’s collections of Kiowa drawings include works of art on buffalo hide and more recent examples on paper, a medium that Kiowa artists adopted after it became widely available in the late nineteenth century. Together, these drawings offer a unique source of information on tribal social and artistic traditions.”
Provided by the National Anthropological Archives, Kiowa Drawings in the National Anthropological Archives offers browsers a chance to peruse the beautiful art of the Kiowa tribe. The on-line collection includes selections drawn by the Fort Marion artists, Silver Horse, Spencer Asah, Jack Hokeah, Stephen Mopope, Monroe Tsatake, and Lois Smokey. Accompanying text places these drawings in a historical context for the viewer, while digital images reveal the rich, colorful pictures.
Legends of Our TimeNative Ranching and Rodeo Life on the Plains and Plateau
“Legends of Our Times: Native Ranching and Rodeo Life on the Plains traces the history of Native people as buffalo hunters, horsemen, ranchers, and cowboys, and as entertainers and participants in the sport of rodeo.”
Dedicated to Native American involvement with bison, horses, and ranching, this site describes Native Americans’ attempts to preserve portions of their cultures. Although this site was designed to highlight a museum exhibition, browsers can examine objects used in native ranching. Also, image captions explain the objects. Overall, this is a good sight for a quick glimpse into this subject.
The Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin
“The Menominee Tribe's history is unique because our origin or creation begins at the mouth of the Menominee River, a mere 60 miles east of our present Menominee Indian Reservation. This is where our five clans: ancestral Bear, Eagle, Wolf, Moose, and Crane were created. Not many tribes in this region can attest to the fact their origin place exists close or near to their present reservation. This is where our history begins.”
The Menominee tribe offers on-line visitors the opportunity to explore their rich culture and modern political system. A detailed historical narrative recounts the story of the Menominee people from their cultural perspective. Also, the website creators provide an environmental history of the region and its people. They include such factors as epidemics and geological formations. Definitely worth the visit!
National Museum of the American Indian
“Native people are profoundly connected to their origins, the places they come from. These places are the source of community identity and cultural continuity.”
National Museum of the American Indian, maintained by the Smithsonian Museum is a good source of information pertaining to the subject of the indigenous peoples of the Americas. Located on this site one can find information in the form of online exhibits such as “Legends of Our Times: Native Ranching and Rodeo Life on the Plains and the Plateau,” where one can find many pictures of Native Americans past and present. Also located on this site is a section titled “Education and Programs” which has a resource center complete with lesson plans written from the Native American perspective, links that provide access to other Native American sites and information, and links for teachers to other resource centers. While this site is a good source of information, it does use Flash technology making it slow to load.
National Park Monument: Navajo National Park, Arizona
“The Dineh, or "The People," as the Navajo call themselves, migrated to the Southwest from the North around the 15th century. They were first noticed by other peoples between the 14th and 15th century, between the Champa and upper San Juan rivers. The Spaniards brought sheep and horses which the Navajo adapted to their nomadic lifestyle.”
The Navajo National Park, Arizona, website contains information regarding the park and the Navajo people. The site designers included some pictures of pottery, paintings, and archaeological sites, and the National Park Service text is very general. However, there is one distinguishing characteristic that makes this website attractive to those studying the Navajo culture. The “History & Culture” tab takes the visitor to an on-line book entitled, Navajo National Monument: A Place and Its People. While it is a work intended to highlight the history of the National Monument, the author, Hal K. Rothman, gives the reader information regarding Navajo history and culture. Moreover, this material does not stop with the close of the nineteenth-century. It includes information regarding the Navajo involvement with the monument, the tribe during the Great Depression, and a narrative of Navajo involvement in state politics and Native American organizations following the Civil Rights Movement. It is well documented and worth the visitor’s time to read
Native American Documents Project
“This project was begun in 1992 by Prof. E.A. Schwartz to develop methods for making documents of federal Indian policy history accessible by computer. The first documents used, now in the Rogue River War and Siletz Reservation collection, were originally gathered for dissertation research.”
For teachers, students, and scholars looking for primary documents, this is a wonderful source! Native American Documents Project has digital images of the reports of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, principally from the 1870s. It also includes sources about the Dawes Allotment Act, including accompanying charts, tables, and narratives about allotment and its effects on Native Americans. The narrative about the Rogue River War is well documented and very helpful for people uninformed of the event. Finally, teachers searching for maps of reservations in the West will be very pleased with this site. The researchers for Native American Documents Project include a colored, detailed map of the reservations located west of the Mississippi River.
Native American Maps
This website contains a link to a map of the Native American tribes of North America. The illustrations and calligraphy alone are interesting to examine, but the value of it as a reference tool takes priority. For those desiring a visual aid in locating the Native American tribes, this is a good site. Viewers can examine the entire map or limit their search by geographic region.
Plains Indian Ledger Art Digital Publishing Project
“The Plains Indian Ledger Art Digital Publishing Project represents a cooperative effort to publish scholarly electronic editions of important examples of nineteenth century Plains Indian drawing done on paper. This genre, often called Ledger Art, formed a transitional genre of Plains Indian artistry corresponding to the forced reduction of Plains tribes to government reservations, roughly between 1860 and 1900.”
The Plains Indian Ledger Art Digital Publishing Project is maintained by a team from University of California-San Diego, under the guidance of Ross Frank. It is an online collection of ledger drawings by Black Hawk, a Sans-Arc Lakota, and from a general Southern Cheyenne ledger. While studying the cultures of the Plains Indians, students are highly recommended to familiarize themselves with this art form. As the website points out, ledger art developed during the mid to late Nineteenth Century. The disappearance of the more traditional mediums due to Buffalo and game depletion, as well as acculturation to reservation life, forced the natives to rely on paper, pencils, and other “American” writing utensils for art. Ledgers have been found in many forms. The Plains Indian Ledger Art Digital Publishing Project displays some of the more common forms of this medium. Quality digital reproductions of the originals, the pictures provide glimpses into the Plains Indians culture, conflicts, and transitions.
Pueblo of Sandia Home Page
“The Sandia people are members of the pre-Columbian Tiwa language group who once dominated the Albuquerque area and our lineage can be traced back to the Aztec civilization who later migrated to the New Mexico region. The present site has been our home, where we have cultivated the land and raised our families, since at least 1300 AD.”
The Sandia Pueblo site provides information regarding their history and culture as well as current issues. The segment on the Sandia Mountain settlement gives researchers valuable primary sources and a general history of this prolonged court battle for Sandia Pueblo rights to 10,000 acres of land ceded to them by the Spanish. For those interested in environmental history, the web designers have a section that discusses modern efforts to promote a healthy and stable environment.
Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center
“The Arctic Studies Center invites you to explore the history of northern peoples, cultures, and environments and the issues that matter to northern residents today. Join us as we excavate arctic sites; support indigenous efforts to preserve cultural heritage; and work with communities and scholars to share the treasures preserved in museum collections and archives.”
Visiting the Arctic Studies Center website, visitors come face-to-face with the history of the North American and Siberian Arctic regions. During this encounter, the visitor explores the rich cultures, histories, wild life, and geography of the region. To enhance this experience, the web site provides a sweeping array of images, videos, and virtual tours. These interactive features make the website especially attractive. By reading extracts from explorers’ and anthropologists’ original documents, readers also have the opportunity to discover the initial reactions of Russian and American colonists to the region and its inhabitants. In addition to European and American experiences within this region, the Arctic Studies Center website offers an insight into the indigenous cultures. On-line displays of various tribal artifacts bring the ancient cultures to life and portray living native peoples in their cultural settings. he exhibition of the Yamal expedition to Siberia is another place of interest. Here, students and teachers can learn about a living indigenous culture that still maintains a traditional way of life. Last, but definitely not least, the website provides an interesting exhibit on the Ainu, thus opening students’ perspectives on indigenous Japanese cultures. Overall, this website provides an enjoyable experience as one lingers in the Arctic.
The Southern Ute Indian Tribe
Created and maintained by the Southern Ute Indian Tribe, this site offers a good introduction to Ute history. The material contained on this website ranges from modern tribal government history to cultural information about the tribe. Their historical narratives provided here offer an account of the tribe since it entered the Southwest until the present. Also, the website creators include information about up-coming events sponsored by the Southern Ute.
Teaching with Documents:
Maps of Indian Territory, the Dawes Act, and Will Rogers’ Enrollment Case File
“Federal Indian policy during the period from 1870 to 1900 marked a departure from earlier policies that were dominated by removal, treaties, reservations, and even war. The new policy focused specifically on breaking up reservations by granting land allotments to individual Native Americans.”
The primary purpose of this site is to provide instructors with a lesson plan and resources to teach students about the Dawes Act and Indian Territory. Activities rely on group activities, primary documents, and creative writing assignments, as well as a research project geared toward learning the dismantling of Indian reservations. While the site includes some textual explanation about this event, students accessing the material will find more use from the primary documents and should refer to other sources for an in-depth explanation of the Dawes Act and Will Rogers’ life.
Welcome to Colorado Ute Legacy
“This web site is sponsored by the Southern Ute Indian Cultural Center.”
This site is sponsored by the Southern Ute Cultural Center located in Ignacio, Colorado (Southern Ute Reservation). It gives information in two forms: timeline and narrative. The material traces the history of the Utes from their entrance in present day Colorado and the surrounding states to the American conquest and removal of the Utes from their traditional tribal lands. Pictures of historic figures and places accompany the text, in addition to pictures of local flora and fauna. Furthermore, the website has questions for classroom discussion. While students can answer these questions by reading the web material, the designer(s) actually intended teachers to ask these questions after the students finished watching a documentary of the Utes (provided by the cultural center for $20.00). Finally, while this material primarily focuses on the Utes, the author(s) include information about American and Mexican/Spanish settlers.