National Endowment for the Humanities Seminar
Alannah Orrison, PhD
Social and Behavioral Sciences
The following is an annotated list of internet resources for
Native America. I hope it will give a good introduction to the
wealth and diversity of resources available, and that it will be
especially helpful to instructors seeking assistance in bringing
Native America to the classroom.
In order to promote brevity and tractability, this list favors
(but is not strictly limited to) other lists. That is, rather than
list thousands of pages here, I list many sites that themselves
refer to -- or perhaps contain -- those pages. Of course, bias
always exists, and this page has its share of it, with personal
and perhaps little-known favorites listed among the oft-referenced
Because this page relies so heavily for its usefulness on links
to other sites, I ask visitors to
tell me of any
problems encountered in the links, such as changes in addresses,
pages that are not on the list but should be (especially new ones),
or pages that are no longer maintained. I will attempt to check
on the links myself, and keep them current, but the Web changes so
often that it is difficult to do so without assistance. Thank you!
Last revision: 12/97
Indexes and Mega-Sites
The Indian Health Service
maintains one of the most excellent and comprehensive pages of
Native American links, a page one might not expect to find in such
a site! In an organization ideal for repeat visitors, the new
pages are always listed on top. The list is well organized under
helpful categories, and the entire page is constructed in a way
that makes it easy to move around the list from place to place.
Less surprisingly, the site provides comprehensive information on
health care resources. The IHS, which is an
agency of the Department of Health and Human Services, states its
goal to be "to raise the health status of American Indians and
Alaska Natives to the highest possible level."
of Native American Resources on the Internet is a comprehensive
site of links to hundreds of other Native American sites. Because
of its excellent organization, which divides its referenced sites
into subject areas in an easy-to-read table form, it is an
excellent place to start Internet research on Native America, and
an indispensable "bookmark" for anyone interested in Native
version of the page is available.
Native American Indian Resources
is a gateway to over 300 pages written by the late Paula Geise.
This site has won multiple awards. If you have a slow connection,
be patient; the page may load slowly, but is worth it: dancing
people and changing moons decorate the main page, and all pages
are filled with great information. Links take you to etexts of
stories from various cultures. Other special features: games and
"edutainments" for children, book reviews, astronomy, school
pages, an index to web resources for
First Nations, and a post-Disney Pochahontas forum.
This site is also the home of an annotated list of official
home pages. A
to Paula Geise has been written by Karen Strom, webmistress of the
Index of Native American Resources on the Internet.
Native American Sites,
Lisa Mitten's award-winning site out of the University of
Pittsburgh, is an exceptionally comprehensive collection of
site addresses. One special feature of this site is its list of
home pages of individual nations; another is its list of native
businesses. Special attention is paid also to performers and
Native American music. The site is very easy to get around, as the
home page breaks down the sites into helpful categories. An
important consideration for web-surfers with slow connections:
Mitten's pages have some graphics to enhance the pages, but all
the pages are very fast-loading.
Native Net seeks
to use the web "as a means of constructing and strengthening
coalitions of people and organizations working for the benefit of
aboriginal people and to promote increased understanding between
Natives and non-Natives." Supported by the computer resources of
Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College in Minnesota, the site
itself attempts to foster worldwide collaboration toward its goals.
It maintains mailing lists, archives, and a list of Internet
references. Of special interest is its catalog of sites regarding
"struggles, disputes, protests and ongoing issues," which can be
reached on its
NativeWeb is one of the
most dynamic sites of any kind on the Web. NativeWeb's own info
page says it best: "Our purpose, as an internet community, is not
to 'preserve,' in museum fashion, some vestige of the past, but to
foster communication and community among people engaged in the
present and looking toward a sustainable future for those yet
unborn." The site is organized into a "Resource Center," a
"Community Center," and a list of ongoing projects that include a
Native American Calendar
Native American Newsletter.
Art and Film
Ableza, a Native American Arts
and Film Institute, runs an excellent website. It is presented in
frames, so your browser has to be up to that. It has interesting
but fast-loading graphics. Of special interest to educators is the
special section on Native American art in education, which
includes an insightful guideline page for faculty seeking to
pursue the goals of Voices and Dreams. The page, entitled
Do's and Don'ts for
Teachers: When Teaching About Native American Peoples . . . ,
is based on, but expands, Oyate Press' list. This site also
maintains a page of links to other sites of interest.
advises, "Stop learning about Native Americans and start learning
from them!" This site, which takes a while to load but is well
worth it, allows easy searches by title, author,
subject, or author's tribal affiliation. Alphabetical indexes make
it possible even to search for the author whose name you "almost"
know how to spell, or the title you "almost" remember. Author
biographies and work synopses are presented. Clicking on the
tribal affiliation of an author brings you to a page of other
works by authors from the same tribe. Publisher and price
information is available, and book orders can be done online, with
a portion of the profits going to support Native American cultural
and literary foundations. (Those who don't like online shopping can
e-mail for a free paper catalog.)
Storytellers and Native American Authors Online:
The sculpture "Turtle Storyteller" by Randy Chitto welcomes you to
this site, which provides links to biographies, photos, and/or
exerpts from the work of Native American authors such as Leslie
Marmon Silko, Carter Revard, Gerald Vizenor and many, many others.
(Some sites are "unofficial.") The site also links to book reviews
of the authors' work and a calendar of readings and appearances by
the authors. It also provides a link to "related sites" for further
exploration. This is one of the sites maintained by Karen Strom,
who also maintains the
Index of Native American Resources on the Internet.
I have listed the storyteller site separately from the others
because of its special focus and extent.
The Indian Health Service,
which is an agency of the Department of Health and Human Services,
states its goal to be "to raise the health status of American
Indians and Alaska Natives to the highest possible level." This
site provides a wealth of information on health data of, and
resources available to, Native Americans.
The Native American History
page of the
Mississippi State Historical Archive
is an invaluable online resource for history instructors. (The
Archive itself is a vast and extremely impressive collection of
resources for instructors of history in all areas.) The
Native American archive pages contain material written especially
for the Archive, links to original sources such as treaties, and
links to secondary source material as well. The page emphasizes
the U.S. but does cover the entire Western hemisphere. An
excellent resource here is a list featuring links to many online
texts on Native American history.
This Week in
American Indian History, created by Phil Konstantin, has been
rated one of the "Top 1000 World Sites" by WebSideStory, Inc.
Eight weeks are available at a time, with events listed on a
day-by-day basis. The site is wonderful for augmenting U.S. history
classes. By using your browser's "find" command, you can trace the
history of a particular group or issue over time. The site is
almost graphics-free so it loads quickly and would print easily,
but be aware it is copyrighted.
Law Library's page for Native American Law links to the texts
of many primary documents, such as constitutions and treaties, but
it also contains links to other legal organizations of interest
to Native American studies.
The Native American
Journalists Association has three goals: "to improve media
coverage of Native Americans," "to offer training and support to
Native Americans already in the field," and "to increase the
number of Native journalists." Its website connects to its
newsletter, its special projects, and a list of websites of
interest to journalists.
The Native Media
Resource Center provides links to Native American media
facilities and organizations. Special feature: the site provides a
map of -- and links to -- Native American private and public radio
American Repatriation Review Committee of the Smithsonian
Institution maintains an excellent site with both detailed
information about repatriation and moving photographs, such as
those of the ceremonial burial of the Cheyenne victims of the
Sand Creek Massacre. The site offers executive summaries of
repatriation reports, summaries of ethnographic objects in the
Museum of Natural History, and documentation from the Physical
Anthropology Laboratory established in 1991 to assist with the
This section does have a regional bias toward California
and Arizona. It also includes all the local museums that were of
assistance or contributed resources to the NEH seminar.
Museum of Western Heritage, of Los Angeles CA, focuses on the
history of the American West and not Native America per se. Its
site provides an overview of the educational, research and
exhibit facilities of the museum. One unique aspect of the museum
is its "Spirit of Imagination" gallery, which features exhibits
of how the West and its peoples have been viewed by media,
especially film media, of the 20th century. Of interest to
primary school instructors is the Children's Discovery Gallery.
The Bowers Museum of Cultural Art,
in Santa Ana CA, has as its mission "to build a bridge between the
increasingly diverse population of Orange County and the world."
Its collection features Native American, pre-Columbian, Asian,
African and Pacific Island cultures. Pages provide detail of
permanent, temporary and future exhibits, as well as an online
floor plan that can be invaluable to instructors planning field
trips. (Note for field trip planners: no "cafeteria" exists, but
the museum's Topaz Cafe is a restaurant of exceptional
quality -- not just for a "museum restaurant," but any
restaurant.) The Bowers also operates a "Kidseum" a block away
from the main site.
The Heard Museum, in Phoenix
AZ, seeks "to promote appreciation and respect for Native people
and their cultural heritage, with emphasis on the traditional
cultures of the Greater Southwest and on the evolving Native
American Fine Art Movement." The site provides resources for
instructors both in and away from the Phoenix area, gives
information on the Heard library and archives, and offers pages
for each of its continuing and special exhibitions.
The Southwest Museum,
in Los Angeles CA, has as its primary emphasis the native peoples
of the West from Alaska to Mesoamerica. Now in its 90th year, the
Southwest Museum supports research and educational programs with
its extensive collection, archives and library resources,
Research Library. The site covers exhibits, programs, and
facilities, offering detailed information and interesting
The National Museum of the
American Indian, of the Smithsonian Institution, maintains an
excellent site covering exhibits, film and video, publications and
recordings, educational resources, details about research using
its collections, a calendar of events and an archive of exhibits.
In addition, the site links to the museum's "Conexions" pilot
project, which seeks to use "Webcasts" to share the resources of
the museum over the Internet. (This site employs many
back-to-itself, very-temporary cookies, so if you have a cookie
interceptor on your browser you may get a lot of irritating
messages.) To reach the NMAI site without loading the
graphics-heavy but zero-information cover page, use the address
Magazines and Journals
In the interest of brevity, these selections tend either to have
extensive sites or be online journals. For lists of journals that
have only editorial and subscription information available, visit
the sites listed in
Indexes and Mega-Sites section above.
The American Indian Quarterly
is a peer-reviewed paper journal edited in the Department of
Anthropology at the University of Oklahoma and published by the
University of Nebraska Press. According to the journal's
it supports Native American studies done in a "Native context"
rather than an "academic, disciplinary context." Information
available from the site includes a history of the journal,
submission and peer review guidelines, and other editorial
information. The site also provides an annotated bibliography and
A Journal of Native Literatures is a new, peer-reviewed online
journal of American Indian and Alaskan Native literatures.
The information page states that "Goweli" (go-WHALE-lee) is a
Cherokee word meaning "writing," and that the name was chosen in
honor of Sequoyah. The journal includes fiction as well as
non-fiction. The first issue is scheduled for Fall 1997.
Indian Country Online
is the online version of Indian Country, the largest
American Indian newspaper. The site offers etexts of all the
headline stories of each week's edition. The main pages are easy
to read, but the etexts are purple on aqua; you may prefer to
print them out. Nevertheless, this is an excellent way to keep
current on major stories.
Akwe:kon's Journal of Indigenous Issues is available online
from Cornell University's American Indian Program for subscribers
with a user name and password. Non-subscribing browsers can still
check out a Table of Contents of current and recent issues, a
page of press releases on Native American issues, the
"Hemispheric Digest," and a letter from the editor, which
discusses some current articles. The journal focuses on issues of
concern to native peoples throughout the Western Hemisphere.
Red Ink is a Native
American student journal from the University of Arizona's American
Indian Studies Program. The site requires frames; first you reach
the main AISP site, then scroll down the icons at left to "Red
Ink Journal." Alternatively, skip the frames by going
the journal (but then you miss the rest of UA's program
information, which is excellent). The journal is not online,
but subscription information is available. Some links were
empty at my last visit. Some text of the pages is difficult
to read because of the vivid background. Bonus: you can order
Red Ink T-Shirts.
is "An Intertribal Online Journal." The site is very new, under
construction, and a little behind their stated deadlines, but the
organization that is visible has great promise. Submission
information is available on the site.
Hotevilla is a
very traditional Hopi village trying to maintain its culture and
privacy in the face of difficulties posed by interested and
curious, but sometimes disruptive, visitors. The site has
Visitors, Issues, Archives, Art, Opinions, and Letters pages.
Visiting this site gives a significant insight into the struggle
of these people to protect their privacy and the peace of their
(Blackfeet) is a songwriter and performer whose work includes --
but isn't limited to -- folk songs covering the history of the West
from a Native perspective. He maintains a heavy schedule of
appearances featuring his music in a multimedia format. Many of
these appearances have been at
His work, including his latest collection,
is available on CD and cassette. The graphics can be slow-loading;
this site's ranking as a "personal favorite" comes from the music,
not the pages themselves.
Indian Literature and Culture at Reed College in Summer 1997
must have been a phenomenal course. I hope the web site, at least,
stays up forever. Laura Arnold, who received her PhD in English
from UCLA, has constructed a highly informative set of websites
for the class, which used as its main texts Neidhart's Black
Elk Speaks, Silko's Ceremony, Erdrich's The Bingo
Palace, Sarris' Mabel McKay, Alexie's Reservation
Blues, Lesley's Winterkill, and finally Harper's
Anthology of Native American Poetry. Web pages are dedicated
to each of these works, their authors, and relevant issues. This
is an invaluable site for anyone considering teaching
Native American literature, and is a wonderful resource for
anyone interested in these works. One gripe: the page reverses
the usual web protocol in that visited links on this page are
blue, and unvisited ones purple, making you wonder for a
few seconds where you've really been.
Center's educational site about the battle of Little Big
Horn shows artistic representations of the battle from both
Native American and white perspectives. This site is one of the
Getty Center's many online offerings in their extensive attempt
to use internet technology to improve access to and appreciation
of art and culture.
Choctaw Nation Home Page has some little-known and fascinating
historical information. For example, it relates the story of the
recent "repayment" of debt from Ireland to the Choctaw Nation,
whose people donated money in 1847 -- just 16 years after
thousands of Choctaws died on the Trail of Tears -- toward relief
of the Irish famine. Also on the site is a history of the
almost completely unsung Choctaw "Code Talkers" of World War I.
(The USMC maintains a page dedicated to the better-known
Navajo Code Talkers.)
The Choctaw site also contains texts of four treaties (1786, 1805,
1830 and 1861) between the Choctaw Nation and the United States.