WRTG: Native Americans Research

​Iroquois Confederacy/Six Nations Flag

IC Library Print & Media Resources

Subject Searches in the IC Library Catalog

(Click to run targeted Subject searches in the IC Library catalog)

Indians of North America
      Apache Indians  [White Mountain Apache]
           Apache Indians--Religion
      Cayuga Indians 
      Dakota Indians & Teton Indians  [Lakota]
           Dakota Indians--Religion  Teton Indians--Religion
      Delaware Indians  [Lenape]
          Delaware Indians--Religion
      Iroquois Indians  [Haudenosaunee] [also see Six Nations]
          Iroquois Indians--Folklore
          Iroquois Indians--Rites and ceremonies
      Hopi Indians
      Mohawk Indians
      Ojibwa Indians  [Anishinabe]
      Oneida Indians--Claims--History [land claim dispute]
      Paiute Indians
      Navajo Indians
      Siksika Indians  [Blackfoot]
          Siksika Indians--Religion
      Susquehanna Indians
      Ute Indians
          Ute Indians--Religion
          and so on by tribe
Indians of North America--Alaska
Indians of North America--Arizona
Indians of North America--California
          and so on by state
Indians of North America --Alcohol use 
Indians of North America--Antiquities
Indians of North America--Civil rights 
Indians of North America--Cultural assimilation
Indians of North America-- Economic conditions 
Indians of North America--Education 
     see also Indian students--United States and Indian children--Education--United States
Indians of North America--Ethnic identity 
Indians of North America--Ethnobotany
Indians of North America--Folklore
Indians of North America--Gambling
     see also  Gambling on Indian reservations--United States
Indians of North America--Government relations 
          subdivided by time period
Indians of North America--Great Plains
Indians of North America--History
Indians of North America--Land tenure
Indians of North America--Languages
Indians of North America--Legal status, laws, etc.
Indians of North America--Missions 
Indians of North America--Music 
Indians of North America--New England 
Indians of North America--New York (State) 
Indians of North America--Pictorial works 
Indians of North America--Politics and government
Indians of North America--Public opinion 
Indians of North America--Religion 
     see also Shamanism and Vision quests,
Indians of North America--Rites and ceremonies 
     Also see Powwows--North America
Indians of North America--Sexual behavior
Indians of North America--Social conditions
Indians of North America--Social life and customs 
     Also see sweatbaths
Indians of North America--Southern States 
Indians of North America--Southwest, New 
Indians of North America--Treaties 
Indians of North America--Wars 
          subdivided by time period or listed by name:
     King Philip\'s War, 1675-1676
     Pequot War, 1636-1638 
     United States—History--French and Indian War, 1755-1763 
     Little Bighorn, Battle of the, Mont., 1876 
     Wounded Knee Massacre, S.D., 1890
          and so on by war or battle
Indians of North America--West (U.S.) 

see also  Indians of North America--CanadaIndians of Central America, Indians of Mexico, or  Indians of South America

Crazy Horse, ca. 1842-1877
Geronimo, 1829-1909
Pocahontas, d. 1617
Sitting Bull, 1834?-1890
     and so on by individual

Indian art
Indian astronomy
Indian captivities
Indian dance--North America
Indian gays--North America--Social conditions
Indian literature--History and criticism
Indian masks--North America
Indian mythology--North America
Indian philosophy--North America
Indian weapons--North America
Indian women--North America

Indian reservations--United States
      Fort Apache Indian Reservation (Ariz.)
      Hopi Indian Reservation (Ariz.)
      Navajo Indian Reservation
      Pine Ridge Indian Reservation (S.D.)
          and so on by reservation
Off-reservation boarding schools--United States--History

Indians--Ethnic identity 
Indians--First contact with Europeans
Indians--Government relations 
Indians in literature 
Indians in motion pictures
Indians in popular culture--United States 
Indians on television
Indians--Religion and mythology
Indians, Treatment of 
Indians, Treatment of--United States

Indians of South America  [may be subdivided by country, region, or tribe]
      Indians of South America--Peru--Religion and mythology
      Indians of South America--Amazon River Valley
      Yanomamo Indians
Indians of South America--Religion

See also  InuitInuit—MusicInuit—Social customs

Indigenous peoples  [may be subdivided by country or region]
      Indigenous peoples--Kenya
      Indigenous peoples--Africa
Indigenous peoples--legal status, laws, etc.
Indigenous peoples--Religion
Sacred space

Recommended Databases (Articles)

Recommended Databases

     JSTORProject Muse
  • JSTOR is a large database of 100% full text scholarly literature and on the subject of Native Americans it can retrieve articles from across the entire 20th and 19th centures--and even back to the late 18th century.  But there is no Subject searching available here--just Keyword searching of all that full text.  So you need to experiment with what combination of keywords and phrases (put phrases in quotation marks) works best at focusing your results.  AND KEEP IN MIND: the indigenous people of America have only been referred to as "Native Americans" for about the last 40 years.  Articles before then will speak of "Indians" or "American Indians" or "North American Indians" etc.
  • Although a smaller database, Project Muse complements JSTOR.  LIke JSTOR it provides 100% full text of mostly scholarly journals, but its coverage is entirely current--mainly spanning the last 10-15 years.  Muse offers a basic keyword search (be sure to put the titles of literary works in quotation marks).  Once you've retrieved a set of articles you can sort them into broad categories using the Research Area options on the left.  
        Note: Checking the "Articles" box under Content Type before you run a search will eliminate reviews of books about your topic and leave you with just the articles on your topic. 
  • Note: There are a lot of book reviews in scholarly journals, so for both JSTOR and Project Muse it's a good idea to check the box below the search slots that will limit your search to just "articles."  Otherwise the articles may be buried by reviews of books on your topic.

     ProQuest Research Library : Click "Continue" on the first screen and at the search interface click on "More Search Options" on the lower left to see all your input options.  "Native Americans" is the main Subject Heading" used here, and it can be combined with other Subjects such as "Education" or "Land" or "Religion" or with specific Keywords such as "Cayugas" or "vision quest."
     Note: to run a Subject search on a particular tribe, you must enter the tribe's name in the "Company/Org" search slot: Apache Tribe, Mohawk tribe, Oneida Tribe, etc. 

     General OneFile : Run a search on the Subject Heading "Native Americans" and scroll down the page to see if any of the--mostly regional--Headings is more pertinent to your needs.  Also open the "Related Subjects" link and scan that extensive list to see if one of these provides better focus.  If not, open the "Subdivisions" link and take advantage of this faceted approach: "Civil rights," "Economic aspects," "Health aspects," "Laws," "Political aspects," "Rites, Ceremonies," and "Social aspects," to name only a few.

     Academic Search Premier : For a preview of all the specific Subject Headings available here, click on "Subject Terms" above the search slots and put "Indians of North America" in the Subject slot--that's the lower of the two slots there.  This will bring up a list of all the available subheadings in alphabetical order.  And note that by double clicking on these headings you can "explode" them--that is, open a list of related terms.  And also note: in this database "Native American" is only used in a few Subject Headings such as "Native Americans in Motion Pictures" and "Native Americans on Television."

   ATLA religion database with ATLASerials : Our religion and theology database.  To browse the Subject Headings available here, click on "Indexes" above the search slots  and select "Subjects ALL"  from the drop-down menu. In particular, browse the Headings beginning with Indians of North America, including Indians of North America--Religion.  

     ScienceDirect :  Dont't be misled by the name--this also covers the Social Sciences. Because it’s a large database with a great deal of full text, the absence of Subject searching means that your Keyword searches will often retrieve large sets of articles, many of which mention but don’t discuss your search term(s). One way around this is to limit your initial search to the “Abstract Title Keyword” field. Once you have found an article that sounds on-target, click the “Related Articles” link beneath the citation. This will open a range of articles on the same topic.  For instance, try "native american*" in the Abstract Title Keyword field (the * is the truncation symbol here: American* retrieves both American and Americans).  Hundreds of articles on a wide range of Native American topics are retrieved.

     LexisNexis Academic  News:  Offering a keyword search of 100% full text from a vast number of national and international newspapers, this is an easy database to use poorly and a bit tricky to use well. In order not to be overwhelmed with articles in which your search terms are mentioned anywhere—first or last paragraph—or any number of times—once or ten times—use commands to target articles in which your topic words are mentioned early or mentioned often.
     Use the hlead command (headline and lead paragraphs) to target articles in which your topic words occur in the prime news-story position of headline or first paragraphs. For example: hlead(fracking and pollution) will retrieve just the articles in which the words “fracking” and “pollution” are used in the headline or first paragraphs. Note: the term or terms to which you want this command to apply must be put in parentheses after hlead, with no space between.
     Use the altleast command to target articles in which your topic words occur a set number of times. For example: atleast5(“gay marriage”) will retrieve only the articles where this phrase is used at least 5 times—indicating that it must be a main topic. You can plug in any number after atleast—atleast3 or atleast7. Note: the term or terms to which you want this command to apply must be put in parentheses with no space between the number you choose and the first parenthesis.
     Use the date range offered under Advanced Options. Because this is a large database of 100% full text, one of the most effective ways to retrieve fewer than 1000 hits is to set up a time frame. Note: if you use the calendar icons to set beginning and end dates, you need to choose a year, a month, and a day for each. Without the day, the date won’t register.

     LexisNexis Academic  Law Reviews: Offering a keyword search of 100% full text law reviews (publishers of scholarly articles on legal issues), this is an easy database to use poorly and a bit tricky to use well. In order not to be overwhelmed by articles in which your search terms are mentioned in passing but are not the prime focus, use the atleast command to target articles in which your topic words are required to appear at least a certain number of times. For example, atleast5(“gun control”) or atleast7(genes and patents) will retrieve only the articles in which those terms are used repeatedly. Note: the term or terms to which you want this command to apply must be put in parentheses with no space between the number you choose and the first parenthesis.
     Use the date range offered under Advanced Options. Because this is a large database of 100% full text, one of the most effective ways to retrieve fewer than 1000 hits is to set up a time frame. Note: if you use the calendar icons to set beginning and end dates, you need to choose a year, a month, and a day for each. Without the day, the date won’t register.

      Ethnic NewsWatch : This database covers many Native American newspapers and periodicals that are available nowhere else--and most with full text.  Click "continue" on the first screen.  One way to begin is to click on "Topics" and enter "Native Americans" and scan some of the broad Subject searches available.  But--for all the most recent articles the Subject heading used here is "Native North Americans." Just add some Keywrods for focus.  Also note: below the search slots you can set an "Ethnic Group" limit to "Native People,"  but be aware that this includes indigenous people throughout the world. 

      New York Times (1851-2009)  gives access to the full text of the New York Times 1851-2006. Click the "Continue" button and at the home page reset the default search of "citation and document text" to "citation and abstract" (since this is a Keyword search of 100% full text, you are likely to generate too many passing mentions of your search terms if you search all the text; first try the more focused "citation and abstract" search and only broaden it to "document text" if you retrieve too few hits). 
     Use the "date range" limits to target the primary sources available here--contemporary/eyewitness reports. Without a date range limit you may retrieve hundreds of articles written decades after the events they discuss. For example, a search on "Geronimo" with a date range limit of 1880-1909 will target the Time's original coverage of Geronimo's career (though be sure to add "Apache" in this case, since there are other people and places with the same name).
     User Advisory: when searching for materials from earlier eras, be aware that language changes over time. For example, the term "Native Americans" was not used prior to the 1970s, so when searching for articles the term "Indians" will be needed to retrieve relevant newspaper stories.   

     AnthroSource : A good full text resource for this subject area, but only a Keyword search option.  Be sure to click on "Advanced Search" for a little more flexibility in how you can enter and combine search terms.

     Philosopher's Index : A surprising number or hits if you search Native American as a Subject.

     America: History and Life : A large scholarly database, with much of the full text supplied by JSTOR, but the advantage to searching here is the availability of Subject searching and an "Historical Period" limit.  That said, the Subject Heading used is broad--Indians--so you will need to add more specific Keywords.  But whereas the date limit in most databases refers to the date articles were published, the "Historical Period" limit available here allows you to target the period of time discussed in the article.  And while the emphasis here is on "History," if you set the date range to 2005-2011, you will retrieve hundreds of articles with at least one foot in the present.  Note: setting the "Document Type" to "Article" will winnow out all the reviews and book citations.

     CQ Researcher : each issue is entirely devoted to a social/political/public policy issue of the day.  For this topic you might want to look at a fairly recent issue (2006) titled "American Indians" (and note, this was updated in August 2010).

Where's the Full Text for this Article??

     Few databases offer 100% full text.  Most retrieve a mix of full text articles and article "citations"--article title, author(s), publication info, and usually an "abstract" or one-prargraph summary of the content.  When a citation makes you want the full text, look below it for this icon: 
     Clicking "GETIT" checks (almost all) the IC Library's other databases to see if any offers the full text of the article--or if the Library has a print subscription to the journal in which the article appeared. 
  • "GETIT" will usually find the full text in another database and open it in a new window.  
  • If none of our databases can access the full text but we have a print subsciption to the journal, "GETIT" will retrieve the Library catalog record for the journal so that you can see if the date of the article falls within the date range we have on hand.

Contact Us

picture of Dr. Brian Saunders

Dr. Brian Saunders

Humanities Librarian
(607) 274-1198

Search Argos

And Don't Just Take My Word For It . . .

Check out our Social Science Librarian John Hendrson's Native American Studies guide.

Web Resources

Selected Sites

  • Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development: There's a wealth of linked publications here.  For a sense of the range, click on "Publications & Research" and choose "Publications Search." Note the drop-down menu of tribes to select from. And note that you can choose a "Type" of resource ("Field Reports" seem especially plentiful).
  • Tribal Court Clearinghouse: Be sure to visit the "Federal Law," "State Law," and "Topics" headings at the top, as well as the Quick Links along the right margin.
  • Indian Country Today: A widely circulated weekly publication of current Native American news and events.
  • NativeWeb: Resource Categories: The scope here is wide--Indigenous Cultures around the World--but there are plenty of links to Native American resources.  Use the topical categories (notice the one for "Activism) and if you want to zero in on a particular tribe or region use the Nations Index or the Geographic Region Index on the left.
  • Native Sites: A gateway to online resources by tribe, from the Cradleboard teaching project.

Web Directories

     Web Directories differ from search engines like Google in that all the online resources have been selected and annotated by editors, thereby promising a much higher degree of quality control.  The two best should prove useful in their categorization of Native American resources: 

Print Reference Resources

  • Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy REF B51 .R68 1998 “Native American Philosophy”
  • Man, Myth & Magic REF BF1407 .M34 1997 search by tribe
  • Encyclopedia of Religion REF BL31 .E46 1986 by tribe—Iroquois—or subject—Shamanism
  • New Catholic Encyclopedia REF BX841 .N44 2003 articles under “Mission”
  • Racial and Ethnic Relations in America REF E49 .R33 2000
  • Encyclopedia of American Indian Contributions to the World REF E54.5 .K46 2002
  • Encyclopedia of North American Indians REF E76.2 .E53 1996
  • Chronology of Native North American History REF E77 .C555 1994
  • Gale Encyclopedia of Native American Tribes REF E77 .G35 1998
  • Handbook of North American Indians REF E77 .H25
  • Native American Almanac REF E77 .H59 1993
  • Cambridge History of the Native Peoples of the Americas REF E77 .N63 1996
  • Notable Native Americans REF E89 .N67 1995
  • Encyclopedia of American Indian Costume REF E98 .C8 P37 1994
  • Encyclopedia of American Shamanism REF E98 .M4 L98 1998
  • Statistical Record of Native North Americans REF E98 .P76 S73
  • Encyclopedia of Native American Religions REF E98 .R3 H73 2000
  • Dictionary of American History REF E174 .D52 1976 “Indian, American—Native Cultures”
  • American Folklore: An Encyclopedia REF GR101 .A54 1996 “Native American Folklore”
  • International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences REF H40 .A2 I5 “Indians, North American”
  • Encyclopedia of Native American Legal Tradition REF KF8204 .E53 1998
  • Dictionary of Art REF N31 .D5 1996 “Native North American Art”
  • Dictionary of Native American Literature REF PM155 .D53 1994
  • Native American Literatures REF PS153 .I52 W47 1999

Citation Help

MLA Citation

MLA is the citation style used by most disciplines in the Humanities. Here is my guide to the latest (2016) update of the MLA style.