How to Find Treaties

Read about treaty research in Basic Indian Law Research Tips -- Part 1: Federal Indian Law.

Indian Treaties: a Bibliography - A bibliography describing sources for research into treaties between the U.S. government and Indian tribes, focusing on primary sources.

To find out if an American Indian treaty has been abrogated or other status, see Nancy Carol Carter's article in "American Indian Law: Research and Sources," 4 Legal Reference Services Quarterly 5 (Winter, 1984/85). Carter is Professor of Law and Director of the Pardee Legal Research Center, University of San Diego School of Law

Online tools:

Ratified Indian Treaties, 1722–1869 (National Archives. American Indian Treaties: Catalog Links) - Digitized treaties can be explored by date or by tribe.

IDA Treaties Explorer - This collection featuring 374 ratified Indian treaties from the U.S. National Archives' holdings is available through The Indigenous Digital Archive.

Tribal Treaties Database - Provides an easy-to-use portal to access treaties, agreements, and other historical documents that have shaped relationships between tribal nations and the United States. Created by Oklahoma State University Libraries with their partners, USDA, Department of the Interior and Department of Defense Legacy Program.

Indian Affairs: Laws and Treaties. - Compiled and Edited by Charles J. Kappler - ( available online from Oklahoma State University) - The complete 7-volume set. Includes treaties and federal laws passed relating to Native Americans through January 13, 1971. Volume II is the treaties and executive orders volume. PDF copies of Vols. 1-7 are available through GovInfo.

Early Recognized Treaties With American Indian Nations - (University of Nebraska, Lincoln) - Presents nine treaties that are not digitized as part of Charles J. Kappler's Indian Affairs: Laws and Treaties.

Jay Treaty of 1794 and Associated Documents - (Yale University). Treaty between Canada and the U.S. dealing with American Indians residing in both Canada and U.S.

Westlaw, a fee-based service, offers a "Federal Native American Law – Executive Documents" database, with treaties from 1787 to 1883, among other resources. The database identifier is FNAM-EXEC.

Print sources:

Documents of American Indian Diplomacy: Treaties, Agreements, and Conventions, 1775-1979 by Vine Deloria, Jr. and Raymond J. DeMallie,1999. It has not been digitized, but contains additional treaties, not found in Kappler's (see above), such as (1) unratified treaties, (2) treaties between tribes and the Republic of Texas, (3) treaties between tribes and confederate states and (4) treaties between Indian nations. NILL Catalog record.

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