Native American Tribes are sovereign nations and have formal relationships with the U.S. Federal Government. At the same time there are federal agencies which provide services to Native American people and Tribal governments. This page provides pointers to federal agencies which provide services to, or partner with, Native American tribes in the pursuit of their mission.
Dept of Agriculture
Dept of Health & Human Services
Dept of the Interior
Search the U.S.Government Manual which provides names and contact information for agencies and staff, organizational charts, and descriptions of responsibilities.
Use the indexes to locate relevant entries in any of the following ebooks:
Wilkins, David. "The "Peculiar" Relationship of Indigenous Peoples to the U.S. Government." American Indian Histories and Cultures. 2013. Accessed August 16, 2018. http://www.aihc.amdigital.co.uk/FurtherResources/Essays/USGovernment
The Bureau of Indian Affairs was established in the War Department in 1824 and transferred to the Dept of the Interior in 1849.
Indigenous Digital Archive (IDA) Digital Treaties Explorer
The US National Archives holds 374 treaties enacted between Indigenous peoples and the United States, where they are known as the Ratified Indian Treaties. They can now be viewed online for the first time, along with key historic works that provide context to the agreements made and the histories of our shared lands.
Supplement to Kappler's Indian affairs, laws and treaties: compiled federal regulations relating to Indians. U.S. Dept of Interior, 1975. Available online.
American State Papers, Class II. Indian affairs. 2 volumes. 1st Cong.-19th Cong., May 25, 1789-Mar. 1, 1827.
Provides access to a vast collection of legal research materials including the "American Indian Law Collection / Indigenous Peoples of the Americas: History, Culture & Law," an archive of treaties, federal statutes and regulations, federal case law, tribal codes, constitutions, and jurisprudence. It also features rare compilations edited by Felix S. Cohen that have never before been accessible online.
NU Libraries has been a depository for publications of the US government since 1876 and have historic publications from some agencies, particularly their annual reports.
U.S. Commisssioner on Indian Affairs. Annual Reports, 1824-1968. 18 reels of microfilm
GOV I 20.1: year (GOV microfiche cabinets)
U.S. Commissioner on Indian Affairs. Annual Report.
GOV I 20.1: year (print copies 1855-1879)
Board of Indian Commissioners. Annual Report.
GOV I 20.5:year (print copies 1890-1932)
Report of the Superintendent of Indian Schools.
GOV I 20.7: year (print copies 1887-1906)
Contributions to North American Ethnology. U.S. Geographical and Geological Survey of the Rocky Mountain Region, J.W. Powell in charge. 1877-1893. Print volumes available at GOV I 17.5:
Electronic edition available via HathiTrust for all volumes.
There are 574 Federally recognized Native American tribes in the United States, all with their own unique governments and laws.