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Indigenous Research & Knowledges in North America: Archival Resources

This guide is a starting point for exploring resources related to indigenous knowledges, centering the viewpoints of, and scholarship by, native peoples in North America.

A Note About Archival Resources and Indigenous Knowledge

Archival collections are unique, often rare and one-of-a-kind, primary sources that document people, places, organizations, and events in history.  Examples of archival materials include letters, diaries, photographs, moving image films, sound recordings, or organizational papers.  Collections of these materials are usually held in public (and private) museums, libraries, and archives, such as the University of Colorado Boulder Libraries' Archives.

In this section, we have selected archival collections from the CU Boulder Libraries' Archives that contain materials created by or significantly documenting Indigenous scholars, students, and tribal members.  We have also listed other online, digital collections of archival resources documenting Indigenous knowledge, as well as Indigenous culture and history, that are created and/or maintained by Indigenous people.

Archives have traditionally been places of power and privilege, where the stories and histories of Indigenous people were excluded from the historical record or recorded through the white man's gaze.  It is therefore important to note that many of these materials are created by Non-Indigenous people and organizations and reflect complex and unique relationships between Indigenous and Non-Indigenous peoples.  Many of these records reflect the harm and trauma of colonization, including the oppression, dispossession, assimilation, murder, and knowledge appropriation of Indigenous peoples. Other records demonstrate powerful cross-cultural relationships between workers, scholars, and others in various fields and industries as individuals and organizations collaborated to achieve shared goals.  

Archival Collections Documenting Indigenous Knowledge at the CU Boulder Libraries' Archives


The titles below link to "finding aids," or guides to archival collections, that are available online at ArchivesSpace at CU Boulder, a catalog of over 1,600 collections available for research at the CU Boulder Libraries' Archives.

Please note that the Special Collections & Archives Reading Room in Norlin Library is currently closed until further notice, due to the impacts of COVID-19.  For information about how to conduct remote research in these collections, please contact us at



Brent Michael Davids scores, circa 1985-2000.  2 linear feet (1 box).  Musical scores written by American composer Brent Michael Davids (b. 1959), a member of the Stockbridge Munsee Community,

Charles Cambridge papers, circa 1970-1980.  (COU:292)  60 linear feet (53 boxes).  This collection contains the papers of Charles Cambridge (born 1946), an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation, archaeologist, anthropologist, and former faculty member at the University of Colorado Boulder, whose research focused on traditional architectural designs, as well as AIDS and its effects on American Indian populations.

Oyate Indian Club records, 1973-1992.  (COU:3226) 1 linear foot (1 box).  This collection contains materials documenting the Oyate Indian Club's activities on the University of Colorado Boulder campus from 1973-1992.  Includes issues of several Native American newspapers, pamphlets for Indigenous art shows, newsletters from across the country targeted to Native American audiences, a club questionnaire, magazines, schedules, fliers for Oyate-sponsored events on campus, and newspaper clippings, including some related to the American Indian Movement (AIM).

Other Digital Archival Collections Documenting Indigenous Knowledge in North America

Alaska Native Language Archive.  Online database of documentation of the various Native languages of Alaska.

California Language Archive.  Online catalog of indigenous language materials in archives at the University of California, Berkeley.

Carlisle Indian School Digital Resource Center.  Site of memory and research for the history of this Indian boarding school, its complex legacy, and the stories of the thousands of students who were sent there.

Ella Deloria Archives.  Searchable database of documents pertaining to the Dakota Indians. This Archive was created by the American Indian Studies Research Institute (AISRI) for the Dakota Indian Foundation.

The Indigenous Digital Archive.  An online archive of primary-source materials documenting the history of U.S. boarding schools in  the 19th and 20th centuries, presented by the Museum of Indian Arts & Culture, New Mexico.


Intertribal News newspaper, 1987-2012.  Digitized copies of the Intertribal News Indian Student Newsletter, published at Fort Lewis  College in Durango, CO and made available online through the Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection.

   Passamaquoddy People's Knowledge Portal.  Database of wax cylinder and phonograph recordings documenting the stories and         voices of the Passamaquoddy people.

Plateau Peoples' Web Portal.  A collaboratively curated and reciprocally managed online archive of Plateau cultural material.


Tribesourcing Southwest Film.  This project tribesources films from the American Indian Film Gallery about Native peoples of the U.S. Southwest by recording Native narrations and contextual information for film content from the Native communities they represent.

Voices of Amisckwaciy.  A digital collective of stories from Indigenous Edmonton in Alberta, Canada.