Researching American Indians and Alaska Natives

Navigating Record Group 75
Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) Records

Records created by the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) document the U.S. Federal government’s interaction with American Indians.

Chemawa Indian School Baseball Team, 1939.
National Archives Identifier: 5585776

Though administrative in nature, the records can include:

  • Account ledgers
  • Case files
  • Censuses
  • Correspondence
  • Enrollments
  • Estate cards
  • Issuances
  • Leases
  • Reports
  • Resolutions and more

Native Americans from Southeastern Idaho, ca. 1897.
National Archives Identifier: 519208

These records can provide information regarding:

  • Agricultural work
  • Agriculture
  • Birth
  • Buildings
  • Conservation
  • Divorce
  • Education
  • Employees
  • Employment
  • Equipment and supplies
  • Health
  • Indian allotments
  • Inheritance
  • Law enforcement
  • Leases
  • Marriage
  • Property
  • Trade agreements and more

Locating specific records can be tricky, due to the continual changes in reservations, tribes, and geographic areas. In many instances, tribal records are split between National Archives (NARA) offices and affiliated archives. Given the complexity of BIA records, this research tool was created to help identify the locations of agency, office, and school records within NARA. More specific information relating to our records can be found by contacting the NARA facility listed in parentheses next to each agency, office, or school. Additional resources can be identified using our Online Catalog.

If you are having difficulty finding information on this guide related to your research, please contact the National Archives with the nature and scope of your research question, your name, and your personal email address and phone number.

About this Navigational Resource:

NARA staff throughout the country compiled this resource to better direct researchers to the appropriate NARA facility or affiliated archives.  It is arranged geographically by state and thereunder by tribe or band.  Under each entry for a tribe or band is a list of the BIA offices which had a jurisdictional relationship with that tribe, and which NARA office holds records. When it is available, the corresponding office or agency are hyperlinked to the Online Catalog; each of these agencies and offices can be associated with multiple descriptions and series in the Catalog.

It has been impossible to include the name of every subagency and special agency. The most significant omissions are the agencies and subagencies established during the early years of a superintendency, when agents were moved about without permanent assignments to a particular tribe or locality.

Additional Resources:

Researching American Indians and Alaska Natives >

The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration
1-86-NARA-NARA or 1-866-272-6272

.