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American Indian Education Knowledgbase

This KnowledgeBase archive includes content and external links that were accurate and relevant as of September 30, 2019.

The American Indian Education KnowledgeBase is an online resource to aid education professionals in their efforts to improve the education of American Indian students and close the achievement gap American Indian students have faced in public, Bureau of Indian Education, and other schools.

Task 1: Understand Federal and State Tribal Recognition

Guideline: Many Americans are seeking to connect with an American Indian tribal heritage or background to participate in tribal programs and/or benefits of an enrolled tribal nation citizen. It is important for school districts seeking federal funding based on American Indian student enrollment to be aware of the formal process for becoming a citizen of a tribal nation.


Frequently Asked Questions About American Indians (2001)

The Bureau of Indian Affairs offers a series of frequently asked questions on how United States federal law addresses Indian tribal status, tribal membership, reservations, and other issues impacting Indians. This question and answer format can be a good orientation tool for teachers. 



America's Great Indian Nations - Full Documentary

This 2013 Questar documentary profiles six of the major Native American tribes that were defeated and subdued as part of the settling of the United States. With reenactments, clarifying maps, artwork, and landscape scenery, this program features the Iroquois, a confederacy comprised of several Indian tribes: the Seminoles in Florida, who welcomed escaped slaves and fought three major wars with the United States before meeting their ultimate defeat; the Shawnee, fierce Ohio Algonquians who allied with the French against the British; the Navajo, a farming people who today are the largest remaining Native American tribe; the Cheyenne, a nomadic Plains Indian tribe that depended on the American bison for sustenance; and the Lakota Sioux, the dominant Sioux tribe comprised of the bands called Oglala, Brule, Hunkpapa, and Minneconjou.

Federal Recognition for Tribes

This 2013 video explores the process of becoming a Federally recognized tribe.

Federally Recognized American Indian Tribes - BIA

This link is to a listing of 583 federally recognized Indian tribes, and 92 agencies from the U.S. Department of the Interior's, Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA).

Guide to Tracing Your American Indian Ancestry

This link is to a U.S. Department of the Interior guide addressing the purpose of tribal enrollment, membership requirements, how to apply, and how to locate an ancestral tribe.

Indian Pride 104: Tribal Relations & the United States

This video, published in 2011, features an Indian Pride that showcases the unique lifestyles of North America’s 560 Indian Nations. Each episode of Indian Pride includes a mini-documentary, an in-studio discussion, and performances of historical and original presentations. In this episode: "Indian Treaties—Is the Grass Still Greener?", and 'A Lesson Learned From the Sun and Wind', performed by the Arizona Maricopa Dancers.

State Recognized American Indian Tribal Entities

This link to the National Conference of State Legislatures website provides a list of state recognized tribes.

Tribal Nations: The Story of Federal Indian Law (2006 Documentary)

This 2006 documentary video, narrated by Jimmy Fall, tells the story of Federal Indian Law, and was also the Winner of a 2006 Telly Award!


Federal Recognition - The Second Great Mystery

This 2011 video features the Federal recognition process for American Indian tribes takes many years and much money. It is necessary for a tribe to have federal recognition to receive some benefits reserved for Indians by the government. It is a degrading, humiliating experience that frequently breaks tribes apart and causes them to fight among themselves or with other tribes. American Indians are the only people in the world who have to prove who they are in order to be recognized.

Federal Recognition Erases Tribes

This 2013 video, created by UMW students, was made to attract awareness to the problems of Native Americans face in the obtainment of Federal recognition by the United States government. 

Nation to Nation: Treaties Between the United States and American Indian Nations

In this 2014 video, Kevin Gover, Director of the National Museum of the American Indian, and Suzan Shown Harjo, guest curator of the “Nation to Nation” exhibit, explore the promises, diplomacy, and betrayals involved in treaties and treaty making between the United States government and Native Nations. Her book reveals how the ideas of honor, fair dealings, good faith, rule of law, and peaceful relations between nations have been tested and challenged in historical and modern times. 

The Indian Removal Act of 1830 Explained in 5 Minute Video

This 2014 video features an introductory lecture to the basics of President Andrew Jackson's Indian Removal Act of 1830.

Who Gets To Be An Indian ?

In this November 2015 challenging video, Dr. Richie Meyers, an Oglala Sioux tribal citizen, explores who gets to be an Indian and what that says about our community. Identity is ever-changing. Those who choose who is included and excluded tells as much about a society as the identities themselves. Dr. Meyers is a professionally trained cultural anthropologist with an emphasis in sociology-linguistics and cognitive functions of the mind. 

Why the Sioux Are Refusing $1.3 Billion

This 2011 PBS News Hour video claims how members of the Great Sioux Nation could pocket a large sum set aside by the government for taking the resource-rich Black Hills away from the tribes in 1877. But Tribal Leaders say the sacred land was never, and still isn't, for sale.


Original Tribal Land Map

This 2014 National Public Radio (NPR) resource features a map of the Original Indian Tribal Lands, (designed by Aaron Carapella, a self-taught mapmaker in Warner, Oklahoma with NPR article that shows Native American tribes' locations before first contact with Europeans), written in Indian Nation locations and names superimposed over of the map of the United States of America.  This map shows where Indian Tribal lands of the Seminole, Choctaw, Cherokee, Shawnee, Blackfoot, Crow, Cheyenne, Sioux, Pawnee, Ute, Navajo, Apache, and Paiute were originally located before Europeans "discovered" America.

Pine Ridge Reservation Video Part II: From Broken Treaties to Future Sustainability

In this 2014 video, Abby Martin breaks the bet on Black Hills History, America's Broken Treaties, and the Legacy of Red Cloud.

The Native American and Federal Tribal Recognition Policy (Video)

This 2011 video features interviews about the Native American and Federal Tribal Recognition Policy.

Tribes Looking for Federal Recognition; More Land in Connecticut

This April 2014 local news story reflects on the controversy over federally recognized tribes, and whether or not they will be granted more land in Connecticut.

The contents of this website were developed under a grant from the U.S. Department of Education and are intended for general reference purposes only. However, those contents do not necessarily represent the policy of the U.S. Department of Education or the Center, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government. Some resources on this site require Adobe Acrobat Reader. This website archive includes content and external links that were accurate and relevant as of September 30, 2019.