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Decolonizing Education: Native Americans

This guide was originally created for the use of instructors and students in the reACT Decolonizing Education Experiential Learning Program funded by the 2022-2023 TLTC Curriculum Grants. Specifically: ARCH460; ARCH478; ARCH601; ARCH678; CHBE473; ENCH648



American Indian Higher Education Consortium -- a 501(c)(3) organization governed by a board of directors composed of the presidents of accredited United States-based Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs), is the collective spirit and unifying voice of our nation’s 38 TCUs.

American Indian Library Association (AILA) -- An affiliate of the American Library Association (ALA), the American Indian Library Association is a membership action group that addresses the library-related needs of American Indians and Alaska Natives. Members are individuals and institutions interested in the development of programs to improve Indian library, cultural, and informational services in school, public, and research libraries on reservations. AILA is also committed to disseminating information about Indian cultures, languages, values, and information needs to the library community. AILA cosponsors an annual conference and holds a yearly business meeting in conjunction with the American Library Association annual meeting. It publishes the American Indian Libraries Newsletter twice a year.

American Library Association Office for Diversity, featuring information on ALA’s Spectrum Initiative, offering library school scholarships for Native and other underrepresented graduate students seeking the MLS degree.

ATALM (Association of Tribal Archives, Libraries and Museums) – “a non-profit organization that supports the growing field of indigenous cultural institutions.”

National American Indian Education Association– resources for educators, students, and advocates to learn about effective strategies, innovative programming, and professional learning opportunities aligned with creating a safe, successful, and supportive learning environment.

National Congress of American Indians–  The National Congress of American Indians, founded in 1944, is the oldest, largest, and most representative American Indian and Alaska Native organization serving the broad interests of tribal governments and communities.

Te Rōpū Whakahau – “an organization which unites Maori librarians and information specialists in Aotearoa New Zealand.”

Tribal College Librarians Institute (TCLI)– TCLI is designed to provide continuing education, professional development and networking opportunities for tribal college librarians and librarians who have mandates to serve tribal college students.


AIATSIS – Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies is a world-renowned research, collections and publishing organization. (from Australia).

American Indians in Children’s Literature Blog by AILA member Debbie Reese. “Established in 2006, American Indians in Children’s Literature (AICL) provides critical perspectives and analysis of indigenous peoples in children’s and young adult books, the school curriculum, popular culture, and society.”

American Native Press Archives – “… collecting and archiving the products of the Native press and materials related to Native press history, collecting and documenting the works of Native writers, and constructing bibliographic guides to Native writing and publishing.”

Bibliographies of Northern and Central California Indians – Bibliography project from University of California, Berkeley, discontinued in 1995.

Children’s & YA Books by Native Authors & Illustrators and Children’s and YA Books With Contemporary Native Themes – from Muskogee Creek children’s author Cynthia L. Smith.

Examining Multicultural Picture Books for the Early Childhood Classroom: Possibilities and Pitfalls” – a 2001 article from the journal ECRP – Early Childhood Research & Practice.

Oyate – “…a native organization working to see that our lives and histories are portrayed honestly, and so that all people will know our stories belong to us.” And an EXCELLENT source to order kids’ books.


A Community Guide to Protecting Indigenous Knowledge (pdf), by Simon Brascoupe and Howard Mann, for Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, 2001,

From Oral Tradition to Digital Collectives: Information Access and Technology in Contemporary Native American Culture” – an article by Kari R. Smith of Columbia University, that appeared in the December 15, 2002 (vol. 6, no. 6) of the RLG DigiNews.

Guiding Principles for IFLA’s position concerning international treaties relating to Traditional Cultural Expressions (2012), from The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA).

Librarianship and Traditional Cultural Expressions: Nurturing Understanding and Respect – This 2010 statement (Version 7.0) endorsed by AILA.

Maori Subject List – originally compiled by Robert Sullivan, and now part of the Te Puna Web Directoryf rom the National Library of New Zealand.

Pathways to Excellence: A Report on Improving Library and Information Services for Native American Peoples (1992). The U.S. National Commission on Libraries and Information Science initiative to study library and information services for Native American peoples. This 1992 report is the culmination of the evaluation, which included site visits and field hearings.

Protocols for Native American Archival Materials – “These Protocols describe, from a Native American perspective, best practices for the culturally responsive care of American Indian archival collections held in non-tribal repositories.” From the First Archivists Circle.

Library Services to Indigenous Populations: Viewpoints and Resources– AILA member and outgoing president (2004-2005) Kelly Webster has edited a volume of essays by other AILA members.


D’Arcy McNickle Center for American Indian and Indigenous Studies, featuring the Edward E. Ayer Collection for American Indian History at the Newberry Library in Chicago.

First Nations Collection at the Southern Oregon University Library Digital Archives.

Huntington Free Library Native American Collection, acquired by Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, in June 2004, along with the former library of the Heye Museum of the American Indian.

Labriola National American Indian Data Center – a special collection at Arizona State University.

Mashantucket Pequot Research Library and Tribal Archives – see their e-book and blog.

National Indian Law Library – “a public law library devoted to federal Indian and tribal law.”

Native American Studies Collection at UC Berkeley’s Ethnic Studies Library.


Real Life Indian  This project encapsulates the fears, issues, aspirations, emotions and dreams of what it means to be a human being but in particular a “Real Life”………Indian…

FCC Tribal Initiatives – “A resource for tribal governments, organizations and consumers in expanding telecommunications services in Indian Country.”

Native Knowledge 360 Native Knowledge 360° (NK360°) provides educators and students with new perspectives on Native American history and cultures. Created by Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian.

Project 562  Project 562 develops a body of imagery and cultural representations of Native Peoples to counteract the relentlessly insipid, one-dimensional stereotypes circulating in mainstream media, historical textbooks and the culture industry.

Native American Heritage Month– The Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution, and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum join in paying tribute to the rich ancestry and traditions of Native Americans.

TLAM Project – Tribal Libraries, Archives, and Museums Project at UW-Madison SLIS, “an experimental project to bring indigenous information topics to LIS education through service-learning, networking, and resource sharing with Wisconsin’s tribal cultural institutions.”

“I” is For Inclusion: The Portrayal of Native Americans in Books for Young People (pdf file) Program of the ALA/OLOS Subcommittee for Library Services to American Indian People. American Indian Library Association. Washington, D.C., June 23, 2007. Compiled by Naomi Caldwell, Gabriella Kaye, Lisa A. Mitten. Updated October 2007.

Generation Indigenous– launched by President Obama on December 3rd, 2014. Gen I is a Native youth initiative focused on removing the barriers that stand between Native youth and their opportunity to succeed.


Native Voices: Native Peoples concepts of health and illness online exhibit from the National Library of Medicine that explores diverse Native Peoples’ concepts of health and illness, past and present. Lesson Plans for K-12 and Primary sources.

Native Health Database – “Contains bibliographic information and abstracts of health-related articles, reports, surveys, and other resource documents pertaining to the health and health care of American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Canadian First Nations” from the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Library and Informatics Center.

American Indian and Alaska Native Health is a central source for information about the health and well-being of Native Americans and Alaska Natives from the National Institutes of Health and National Library of Medicine.

Native American Health from MedlinePlus– Information for individuals, healthcare professionals, and educators.

American Indian/Alaska Native Profiles Provides statistics on various diseases and IHS contact information

Library Services to Indigenous Populations: Viewpoints and Resources– AILA member and outgoing president (2004-2005) Kelly Webster has edited a volume of essays by other AILA members.

The National Indian Child Welfare Association (NICWA) is dedicated to the well-being of American Indian and Alaska Native children and families.

The National Indian Health Board (NIHB) represents Tribal governments—both those that operate their own health care delivery systems through contracting and compacting, and those receiving health care directly from the Indian Health Service (IHS).