Frequently Asked Questions
What is a treaty?
A treaty is an agreement between sovereign nations. See American Indian Treaties at the National Archives.
What treaties are included in this database?
You will find treaties and agreements between the United States and tribal nations from 1778-1886. This database is not necessarily comprehensive, rather it includes those published in the 1904 work “Indian Affairs: Laws and Treaties” (Volume II), compiled and edited by Charles J. Kappler.
What makes this database different from others?
There are many resources that include information about treaties in a variety of formats. For example, in 2020, the National Archives released hundreds of digitized treaties and made them available online through their catalog and via the Treaties Explorer database.
Oklahoma State University’s Tribal Treaties Database complements existing work undertaken by other academic, non-profit, and governmental agencies. Its underlying structure is created from the transcription of the treaties so that they can be easily searched. Additionally, we have added a newly created comprehensive index to supplement this work.
What is a Successor in Interest, and how did you determine them?
For this database, we have included Successor in Interest tribes. We have identified treaties applicable to current Federally Recognized Tribes through research and feedback. The following sources were consulted to determine Successor Tribes:
- Hodge, F. W. (Ed.). (1910). Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico. US Government Printing Office.
- Library of Congress Authorities (http://authorities.loc.gov)
- Malinowski, S., & Sheets, A. J. (Eds.). (1998). The Gale Encyclopedia of Native American Tribes (Vols. 1-4). Detroit, MI: Gale Research.
- Tiller, V. E. V., & Harris, L. (2015). Tiller's guide to Indian Country: Economic Profiles of American Indian Reservations. University of New Mexico Press.
- Tribal, governmental, scholarly websites and articles.
While every attempt has been made to provide accuracy, this list does not intend to represent definitive successors for any Indigenous nation. Rather, it should be used as a starting point for your research. Please reach out to local tribal offices for more information or contact us to report an addition or correction.
In the identifiers field, I notice RIT and NAI numbers. What do they represent?
RIT stands for Ratified Indian Treaty, while NAI represents National Archives Identifier. RIT numbers are created and assigned by the State Department, while NAI numbers are created by the National Archives.
I would like to learn more about tribal boundaries. Any suggestions?
Begin with the Library of Congress’ Indian Land Cessions in the United States, 1784-1894, the U. S. Forest Service’s Tribal Connections Viewer, the National Tribal Geographic Information Support Center, or the Native Land Digital map. Additionally, please contact local tribal offices.
I noticed an error. Who should I contact?
We welcome your feedback. Please contact us.