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National Congress of American Indians records

Creator:
National Congress of American Indians  Search this
Names:
Arrow, Inc.  Search this
National Tribal Chairmen's Association  Search this
Native American Rights Fund  Search this
United Effort Trust  Search this
United States. American Indian Policy Review Commission  Search this
United States. Bureau of Indian Affairs  Search this
United States. Indian Claims Commission  Search this
Bronson, Ruth Muskrat  Search this
Curry, James E., 1907-1972  Search this
Deloria, Vine  Search this
Harjo, Suzan Shown  Search this
McNickle, D'Arcy, 1904-1977  Search this
Peterson, Helen L.  Search this
Snake, Reuben, 1937-1993  Search this
Tonasket, Mel  Search this
Trimble, Charles E.  Search this
Extent:
251 Linear feet (597 archival boxes)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Photographs
Videotapes
Correspondence
Administrative records
Financial records
Audiotapes
Clippings
Date:
1933-1990
bulk 1944-1989
Summary:
The National Congress of American Indian (NCAI), founded in 1944, is the oldest nation-wide American Indian advocacy organization in the United States. The NCAI records document the organization's work, particularly that of its office in Washington, DC, and the wide variety of issues faced by American Indians in the twentieth century. The collection is located in the Cultural Resource Center of the National Museum of the American Indian.
Scope and Contents:
The records of the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) reflect the operations of its Washington, DC, headquarters and, in particular, the activities and responsibilities of its executive director. The papers primarily cover the period 1943 to 1990, although some documents pre-dating NCAI are present. The bulk of the material relates to legislation, lobbying, and NCAI's interactions with various governmental bodies. A large segment also concerns the annual conventions and executive council and executive committee meetings. Finally, the records also document the operations of the NCAI, including personnel, financial, and fundraising material. Materials found throughout the collection include letters, memoranda, handwritten notes, speeches, press releases, newspaper clippings, publications, minutes of meetings, transcripts, reports, agenda, programs, financial records, legislative materials, photographs, and sound recordings.
Arrangement:
The National Congress of American Indians records are arranged in 21 series:

Series 1 -- : NCAI Conventions and Mid-Year Conferences

Series 2 -- : Executive Council and Executive Committee Files

Subseries 2.1: Executive Council

Subseries 2.2: Executive Committee

Subseries 2.3: Executive Committee: Benefit Awards

Series 3 -- : Correspondence Files

Subseries 3.1: Name Files

Subseries 3.2: Chronological Files

Subseries 3.3: Miscellaneous Files

Series 4 -- : Tribal Files

Subseries 4.1: Individual Tribes, Bands and Reservations

Subseries 4.2: Intertribal Organizations

Subseries 4.3: Special Issues

Subseries 4.4: Miscellaneous Tribal Files

Series 5 -- : Records of Indian Interest Organizations

Subseries 5.1: Other Indian Organizations

Subseries 5.2: Non-Indian Support Groups

Subseries 5.3: General Indian Interest Groups

Series 6 -- : NCAI Committees and Special Issue Files

Subseries 6.1: Alaskan Natives

Subseries 6.2: Policy Conference

Subseries 6.3: Religious Freedom and Related Cultural Concerns

Subseries 6.4: Hunting and Fishing Rights

Subseries 6.5: Natural Resources and Indian Water Rights

Subseries 6.6: Nuclear Waste

Subseries 6.7: Solar Bank

Subseries 6.8: AIMS [American Indian Media Surveillance] Committee

Subseries 6.9: HCR 108 and Federal Termination Policies

Subseries 6.10: Emergency Conference of 1954

Subseries 6.11: Jurisdiction --NCAI Commission and Federal Legislation

Subseries 6.12: Law Enforcement

Subseries 6.13: Litigation Committee

Subseries 6.14: Annual Litigation Conference

Subseries 6.15: Trail of Broken Treaties Impact Survey Team

Subseries 6.16: Block Grants

Subseries 6.17: Health and Welfare

Subseries 6.18: Self-Determination and Education

Subseries 6.19: National Conference on Federal Recognition

Subseries 6.20: Economic and Reservation Development

Series -- 7: United Effort Trust (UET)

Subseries 7.1: NCAI and NTCA Joint Committee

Subseries 7.2: Issues

Subseries 7.3: Legislation

Subseries 7.4: News Releases

Subseries 7.5: Indian Organizations

Subseries 7.6: Inter-Tribal Organizations

Subseries 7.7: Non-Indian Organizations

Subseries 7.8: Tribes

Series 8 -- : Attorneys and Legal Interest Groups

Subseries 8.1: Attorneys

Subseries 8.2: Legal Interest Groups

Subseries 8.3: Legal Services

Series 9 -- : Federal Indian Policy and Legislation Files

Subseries 9.1: American Indian Policy Review Task Force

Series 10 -- : Bureau of Indian Affairs

Series 11 -- : State and Local Government Organizations

Series 12 -- : Census

Series 13 -- : General Alpha-Subject Files

Series 14 -- : Records of Charles E. "Chuck" Trimble

Series 15 -- : Records of Suzan S. Harjo

Subseries 15.1: Indian Claims: Eastern Land Claims

Subseries 15.2: Indian Claims: Statute of Limitations

Subseries 15.3: Conference on -- The Indian Reorganization Act - An Assessment and Prospectus Fifty Years Later

Subseries 15.4: Inter-American Indian Institute (IAII)

Subseries 15.5: Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA)

Subseries 15.6: Institute of the American West (IAW)

Subseries 15.7: Common Cause

Subseries 15.8: Office Files

Series 16 -- : Fund Raising

Subseries 16.1: Gifts, Bequests, and Contributions

Subseries 16.2: Foundations

Subseries 16.3: General --Arrow and NCAI Fund

Series 17 -- : Business and Financial Records Files

Subseries 17.1: Personnel

Series 18 -- : "Give-Away" Files

Series 19 -- : Publications

Subseries 19.1: -- News/Sentinels -- and -- Sentinel Bulletin

Subseries 19.2: Other Publications

Series 20 -- : Photographs

Series 21 -- : Audio and Film Recordings
Biographical / Historical:
The National Congress of America Indians, which describes itself as the oldest and largest American Indian and Alaskan Native organization in the United States, was founded on November 16, 1944, in Denver, CO. NCAI was intended to serve as a link between individual tribal councils and the United States government, by defining and helping to crystallize Indian thought on the administration of Indian affairs. The Congress also aimed to educate the general public about Indians, preserve Indian cultural values, protect treaty rights with the United States, and promote Indian welfare.

At the first convention, delegates representing fifty tribes ratified the constitution and by-laws, drafted resolutions determining the direction of NCAI policy, and elected the organizations' first officers, with Oklahoma Supreme Court Justice Napoleon B. Johnson (Cherokee) as president. The officers, as well as eight elected council members, formed the Executive Council. The Council chose the Executive Director; Ruth Muskrat Bronson (Cherokee) was the organization's first director, from 1944-1948. "Persons of Indian blood" could join the organization either as individuals or as groups. In 1955, however, the constitution was revised to restrict group membership to recognized tribes, committees, or bands, and to make the Executive Council chosen by tribal representatives. These changes gave control of the organization to governing bodies of organized tribes, rather than individuals. A further amendment that year created a five-member Executive Committee, headed by the president, which had all the powers of the Executive Council between council meetings.

Conventions have been held annually in the fall since the formation of the NCAI in 1944. Since 1977, mid-year conferences have been held in May or June of each year, to allow more frequent and thorough discussion of issues. The resolutions passed at these conventions are the basis for all policy of the Executive Committee and Executive Director between meetings. The conventions are also used for informational sessions and meetings of standing and special committees of NCAI. One or two-day workshops may also be held on special topics or Congressional issues of particular concern.

NCAI created a tax-exempt arm in 1949 to accept charitable contributions and apply for grants, the NCAI Fund, which soon changed its name to ARROW, Inc. By 1957, however, ARROW had split off to become an independent organization, and NCAI started a new arm, again called the NCAI Fund. In the coming decades, the NCAI Fund would obtain grants from sources including the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Department of Veteran Affairs, Indian Health Service, Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Ford Foundation, humanities councils and others, which they used for conferences, workshops, publications, and other projects.

In its early years, NCAI fought for the recognition of land claims of Alaska natives, the enfranchisement of Arizona and New Mexico Indians, the equitable settlement of tribal land claims, and the right of Indians to select their own attorneys. The NCAI lobbied vigorously for an Indian Claims Commission Bill, which became law in August 1946. NCAI's lobbying efforts on behalf of this act set the pattern for the organization's future role in legislative matters: keeping member tribes abreast of proposed legislation and ascertaining their views, and maintaining a presence in Congress through lobbying and testimony.

Beginning in 1954, the threat of termination pushed NCAI into a period of increased activity. Although some tribes were ready to terminate their relationship with the federal government, much of Indian Country felt threatened by the government's new stated policy. NCAI therefore organized an Emergency Conference of American Indians for February 1954 to protest this new termination policy. An agreement was forged at the conference between the NCAI and the Bureau of Indian Affairs to work together toward slowly liquidating the BIA. The termination period of the 1950s and 1960s, while challenging, saw NCAI increase in confidence and political acumen.

During the 1960s, a number of other activist Indian groups sprang up and began to dilute the singular influence which NCAI had commanded. Newer, more militant groups often considered themselves at odds with NCAI, which was increasingly perceived as conservative. As the number of Indian advocacy groups grew in the 1960s and 1970s, however, NCAI actively partnered with other organizations, particularly the National Tribal Chairmen's Association (NTCA) and Native American Rights Fund (NARF), on a variety of projects.

Charles E. "Chuck" Trimble (Oglala Dakota) served as Executive Director of NCAI in 1972 until 1977, when he resigned to lead the United Effort Trust, a project designed to fight white backlash to Indian rights. NCAI spent most of the next two years trying to find another permanent director. In 1979, Ronald P. Andrade (Luiseno-Diegueno) joined NCAI and unfortunately found a group that was demoralized and underfunded. He was able to return the organization to good health but left in 1982. Si Whitman (Nez Perce), his successor, remained at NCAI for less than a year.

Suzan Shown Harjo (Cheyenne-Creek) became director of NCAI on May 1, 1984. Prior to taking this postions, she had served as Congressional Liaison for Indian Affairs at the Department of the Interior during the Carter administration and as legislative liaison for the Native American Rights Fund, as well as working for NCAI during the mid-1970s. Harjo was also an active and published poet, as well as a frequent speaker at events around the country. The National Congress of American Indians was particularly active on Capitol Hill while Harjo was director, advocating for government-to-government status, the Tribal Government Tax Status Act of 1983, repatriation legislation, and economic development programs, among other issues. Harjo was herself very involved in the establishment of the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, DC.

The NCAI Fund was very successful in receiving grants during this period, although they were chronically short of operating funds. Some of their most active projects during this period were the Indian and Native Veterans Outreach Program (INVOP), Inter-generational Health Promotion and Education Program (IHPEP), Environmental Handbook and related educational seminars, Solar Bank, nuclear waste disposal and transportation information sessions, and voter registration.

For years, NCAI's operating expenses had been funded by the Ford Foundation and the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA). In 1985, the director of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, opposing the use of Federal monies to support outside organizations, began to block the payment for services due to the NCAI. This created a financial crisis from which the NCAI did not recover during Harjo's tenure, and it became the major issue for which she was not rehired in October 1989.

Following the 1989 Annual Convention, Wayne Ducheneaux (Cheyenne River Sioux) became President of NCAI and A. Gay Kingman (Cheyenne River Sioux) was appointed Executive Director. Their first efforts were focused on recovering the financial well-being of the organization, which meant that less attention was devoted to issues in Congress. One of the successful projects NCAI pursued during the next two years was organization and presentation of the Indian pre-conference of the White House Conference on Library and Information Science, which was held in early 1991.

The National Congress of American Indians is still active today, continuing its work of lobbying, support for tribal governments, and advocacy for American Indian issues.
Related Materials:
Other collections at the NMAI Archives Center that include information on the National Congress of American Indians include:

Arrow, Inc., and the American Indian Tribal Court Judges records, 1949-1999 (NMAI.MS.013) James E. Curry papers, 1935-1955 (NMAI.MS.015) National Tribal Chairmen's Association records, 1971-1978 (NMAI.MS.014) Helen L. Peterson papers, 1944-1992 (NMAI.MS.016) Reuben Snake papers, 1971-1996 (NMAI.MS.012)
Provenance:
The National Congress of American Indians designated the National Anthropological Archives (NAA) as its official repository in 1976. This collection was received by NAA in four accessions between 1976 and 1991. It was transferred from NAA to the National Museum of the American Indian Archive Center in 2006.
Restrictions:
Access to NMAI Archive Center collections is by appointment only, Monday - Friday, 9:30 am - 4:30 pm. Please contact the archives to make an appointment (phone: 301-238-1400, email: nmaiarchives@si.edu).
Rights:
Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. Permission to publish or broadbast materials from the collection must be requested from National Museum of the American Indian Archive Center. Please submit a written request to nmaiarchives@si.edu.
Topic:
Indians of North America -- Government relations -- 1934-  Search this
Indians of North America -- Politics and government  Search this
Indians of North America -- Social conditions -- 20th century  Search this
Indians of North America -- Legal status, laws, etc.  Search this
Indian termination policy  Search this
Alaska Natives -- Land tenure  Search this
Indians of North America -- Civil rights  Search this
Indians of North America -- Economic conditions -- 20th century  Search this
Radioactive wastes -- United States -- Management  Search this
Trail of Broken Treaties, 1972  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs
Videotapes
Correspondence
Administrative records
Financial records
Audiotapes
Clippings
Citation:
Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Collection Title, Box and Folder Number; National Museum of the American Indian Archive Center, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NMAI.AC.010
See more items in:
National Congress of American Indians records
Archival Repository:
National Museum of the American Indian
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmai-ac-010
Online Media:

Peratrovich family papers

Creator:
Peratrovich, Roy, Sr., 1908-1989  Search this
Peratrovich, Elizabeth, 1911-1958  Search this
Names:
Alaska Native Brotherhood  Search this
Alaska Native Sisterhood  Search this
Peratrovich, Elizabeth, 1911-1958  Search this
Peratrovich, Roy, Sr., 1908-1989  Search this
Extent:
0.42 Linear feet
Container:
Box 1
Culture:
Tlingit  Search this
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Place:
Alaska
Date:
1929-2001
bulk 1939-2001
Summary:
The Peratrovich family papers include correspondence, personal papers, and newsclippings related to civil rights work done by Elizabeth and Roy Peratrovich in Alaska in the mid-twentieth century.
Scope and Contents:
The Peratrovich family papers include correspondence, personal papers, and newsclippings related to civil rights work done by Elizabeth and Roy Peratrovich, Sr. in Alaska circa 1940-1960. Particular materials include draft legislation related to the 1945 Alaska anti-discrimination law providing for equal accommodation privileges to all citizens, the 1988 establishment of Elizabeth Wanamaker Peratrovich Day (February 16) in Alaska, and activities by Elizabeth and Roy on behalf of the Alaska Native Sisterhood and Alaska Native Brotherhood organizations. In addition to manuscript materials, two CDs of audio recordings include radio interviews about the life and work of Elizabeth. Most of the photographic materials in this collection are photocopies made by Roy Peratrovich, Sr.
Arrangement:
The materials in this collection were removed from three-ring binders and placed in 7 folders. Original order was maintained.
Biographical / Historical:
Elizabeth Wanamaker Peratrovich (1911-1958) and her husband Roy Peratrovich, Sr. (1908-1989), both members of the Tlingit Nation, were prominent civil rights activists in Alaska. They worked on behalf of Alaska Natives, advocating for equality of all citizens, regardless of race. Both were influential in this work, with Elizabeth being credited with the passage of the 1945 Anti-Discrimination Act, and later honored posthumously by the Alaska Legislature when February 16 was established as Elizabeth Peratrovich Day. Both Elizabeth and Roy additionally served as leaders of the Alaska Native Sisterhood and Alaska Native Brotherhood, promoting Native rights and culture. After Elizabeth's death in 1958, Roy continued his and his wife's advocacy for Alaska Natives, as he worked with the Bureau of Indian Affairs for 38 years, eventually becoming superintendent of the BIA office in Anchorage.
Related Materials:
A similar manuscript holding, absent the two CDs of audio recordings, is held at the Alaska State Library Historical Collections in Juneau, Alaska, as MS 129: Peratrovich Family Papers.
Separated Materials:
A bust of Elizabeth Peratrovich, made of cast bronze on a walnut wood base, sculpted by her son Roy Peratrovich, Jr., was gifted to the NMAI along with the Peratrovich family papers. The bust of Elizabeth Peratrovich was assigned object number 25/5195, and is housed with the NMAI Object Collections.

A bust of Roy Peratrovich, made of cast bronze on a walnut wood base with plaque reading "Roy Peratrovich ANB Grand President Emeritus," sculpted by his son Roy Peratrovich, Jr., was gifted to the NMAI in 2003. The bust of Roy Peratrovich was assigned object number 26/1569, and is housed next to the bust of his wife in the NMAI Object Collections.
Provenance:
This collection was donated by Roy Peratrovich, Jr., in 2001.
Restrictions:
Access to NMAI Archives Center collections is by appointment only, Monday - Friday, 9:30 am - 4:30 pm. Please contact the archives to make an appointment (phone: 301-238-1400, email: nmaiarchives@si.edu).
Rights:
Permission to publish or broadcast materials from the collection must be requested from National Museum of the American Indian Archives Center. Please submit a written request to nmaiarchives@si.edu.
Topic:
Race discrimination -- Law and legislation  Search this
Alaska Natives -- Civil rights -- History -- 20th century  Search this
Indians of North America -- Civil rights  Search this
Citation:
Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Peratrovich family papers, Box and Folder Number; National Museum of the American Indian Archives Center, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NMAI.AC.078
See more items in:
Peratrovich family papers
Archival Repository:
National Museum of the American Indian
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmai-ac-078
Online Media:

Teriananda papers

Author:
Teriananda, 1947-  Search this
Names:
Peltier, Leonard  Search this
Extent:
0.83 Linear feet (2 archival boxes )
Culture:
Indians of North America  Search this
Diné (Navajo)  Search this
Hopi Pueblo  Search this
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Articles
Writings
Letters
Clippings
Reports
Date:
1972 - 1999
Summary:
The Teriananda Papers, located in the Cultural Resource Center of the National Museum of the American Indian, contain writings authored by Teriananda, as well as various position papers, news articles, flyers, correspondence, and group newsletters that represent the political activities she participated in on behalf of Native American and other indigenous peoples.
Scope and Contents:
This collection, from the 1970s to the 1990s, is comprised of published and unpublished writings by Teriananda, as well as letters, reports, newspaper and magazine articles, group newsletters, flyers and announcements of political events, and news releases. The issues represented here, including support work for "The Longest Walk," the campaign for justice for Leonard Peltier, and the Big Mountain relocation are indicative of the concerns in parts of Indian country in the United States and elsewhere during these decades.
Arrangement:
The Teriananda papers are arranged into two series:

Series I: Writings (1978-1991)

Series II: Political Activities (undated; 1972-1996)
Biographical / Historical:
Teriananda was born in Manhattan in 1947, where she grew up and has continued to live throughout her adult life. Teriananda's father, born in Brooklyn, became a financial officer and independent scholar, her mother, born in British Guiana (now Guyana), was a classical pianist who immigrated to the United States and later became an editorial assistant, working part-time during Teriananda's childhood. Her parents instilled in Teriananda a belief that she was "a citizen of the world." She studied ballet as a youngster, and, as a teenager, immersed herself in the artistic and intellectual milieu of the Lower East Side and Greenwich Village. An improperly diagnosed back injury while she was a senior in high school resulted in severe back problems in the 1970s that have persisted throughout her life.

Teriananda became interested in indigenous struggles in the 1970s following a "back crisis" that almost took her life yet proved to be psychically transformative. In seeking to know who she was, she realized she needed to know where she was, and this led her to ask who the original inhabitants of the continent were. She soon became involved in activist struggles for indigenous rights, and worked with a number of Native American groups during the 1970s and 1980s, including, among other things, the International Treaty Council's attempts to found the U.N.'s permanent Working Group on Indigenous People, support for Yvonne Wanrow and Leonard Peltier, the issue of uranium contamination from mining on Native American land, and the problem of the Joint Land Use Area near Big Mountain on the Hopi and Navajo reservations.

Teriananda also worked on issues surrounding the AIDS crisis after the death of several friends from this disease. She had become familiar with the possibilities of natural medicines, partly through contact with traditional Native teachers, and she became active promoting the benefits of nutritional, herbal and other natural therapies to sufferers of AIDS. As Teriananda's own health issues persisted and worsened, she turned to Tibetan Buddhism, and has devoted herself to artistic pursuits influenced by this spiritual path, although she has worked artistically since the early 1970s, when she stopped dancing. Although she has cut back on her activism, due to health problems and family demands, Teriananda remains a committed political activist who stays informed of current issues and is determined to pass on the heritage of struggles for peace and justice to the next generation.
Provenance:
Donated to the National Museum of the American Indian Archives by Teriananda in March 2003
Restrictions:
Access to NMAI Archive Center collections is by appointment only, Monday - Friday, 9:30 am - 4:30 pm. Please contact the archives to make an appointment (phone: 301-238-1400, email: nmaiarchives@si.edu).
Rights:
Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. Permission to publish materials from the collection must be requested from the NMAI Archivist. The Archives has no information on the status of literary rights for the work of others found in these papers; researchers are responsible for determining any question of copyright.
Topic:
Indians of North America -- Civil rights  Search this
Indians of North America -- Relocation  Search this
Indians of Mexico  Search this
Traditional medicine  Search this
AIDS (Disease)  Search this
Indians of North America -- Land tenure  Search this
Indians of South America  Search this
Indians of Central America  Search this
Genre/Form:
Articles
Writings
Letters
Clippings
Reports
Citation:
Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Teriananda papers, Box and Folder Number; National Museum of the American Indian Archives, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NMAI.AC.009
See more items in:
Teriananda papers
Archival Repository:
National Museum of the American Indian
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmai-ac-009

National Congress of American Indians Audio and Film Recordings

Creator:
National Congress of American Indians  Search this
Names:
Delacruz, Joseph B.  Search this
Deloria, Vine  Search this
Harjo, Suzan Shown  Search this
Tonasket, Mel  Search this
Trimble, Charles E.  Search this
Extent:
24 Videoreels (1/2 inch)
1 Videocassettes (Hi8)
3 Sound cartridges
1 Sound recording (dictaphone belt)
10 Videocassettes (VHS)
442 Sound tape reels (1/4" open reel)
30 Videocassettes (U-matic)
713 Sound cassettes
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Videocassettes (hi8)
Sound cartridges
Sound recordings
Videocassettes (vhs)
Sound tape reels
Videocassettes (u-matic)
Sound cassettes
Audiotapes
Audiovisual materials
Audiocassettes
Date:
1952-1997
Summary:
The National Congress of America Indians (NCAI), which describes itself as the oldest and largest American Indian and Alaskan Native organization in the United States, was founded on November 16, 1944, in Denver, CO and is still active today. NCAI was founded to serve as a link between individual tribal councils and the United States government but also aimed to educate the general public about Indians, preserve Indian cultural values, protect treaty rights with the United States, and promote Indian welfare. This collection of National Congress of America Indians Audio and Film Recordings contains materials created by and for NCAI to maintain a record of organizational proceedings and events between 1952 and 1997. Recorded in various formats, the bulk of this collection is on 1/4" open reel to reel tapes and sound cassettes. The events represented in this collection include annual and mid-year conventions, executive council meetings, congressional hearings, intertribal institutes and a variety of workshops and meetings regarding economic, civil and educational issues facing indian country.
Scope and Contents:
This collection of National Congress of America Indians Audio and Film Recordings contains materials created by and for NCAI to maintain a record of organizational proceedings and events between 1952 and 1997. Recorded in various formats, the bulk of this collection is on 1/4" open reel to reel tapes and sound cassettes. The collection also contains smaller numbers of EIAJ open reel videotapes, U-Matic, VHS and Hi-8 videocassettes and well as dictaphone belts and audio cartridges. The first series in this collection contains audio recordings from NCAI annual and mid-year convetions held in different locations all over the United States. The second series includes events hosted by NCAI or attended by NCAI representatives. These include executive council meetings, congressional hearings, intertribal institutes and a variety of workshops and meetings regarding economic, civil and educational issues facing indian country. Several larger events include the Arizona Intertribal Institute (1955), The National Indian Policy Conference (1974), LEAA Conference (1978), Environmental Protection Hearings and Seminars (1988) and the Senate Indian Affairs Special Investigations Subcommittee meetings (1989). A conference held in 1993 also documents the early history of NCAI with speakers such as Helen Peterson, John Rainer and Erma Hicks Walz.
Arrangement:
This collection is arranged into three series and chronologically within each series. Series 1: Annual and Mid-Year Conventions, 1953-1989, Series 2: Chronological Events, 1952-1997, and Series 3: Commercial Audio/Video, 1972-1989.
Biographical / Historical:
The National Congress of America Indians, which describes itself as the oldest and largest American Indian and Alaskan Native organization in the United States, was founded on November 16, 1944, in Denver, CO. NCAI was intended to serve as a link between individual tribal councils and the United States government, by defining and helping to crystallize Indian thought on the administration of Indian affairs. The Congress also aimed to educate the general public about Indians, preserve Indian cultural values, protect treaty rights with the United States, and promote Indian welfare.

At the first convention, delegates representing fifty tribes ratified the constitution and by-laws, drafted resolutions determining the direction of NCAI policy, and elected the organizations' first officers, with Oklahoma Supreme Court Justice Napoleon B. Johnson (Cherokee) as president. The officers, as well as eight elected council members, formed the Executive Council. The Council chose the Executive Director; Ruth Muskrat Bronson (Cherokee) was the organization's first director, from 1944-1948. "Persons of Indian blood" could join the organization either as individuals or as groups. In 1955, however, the constitution was revised to restrict group membership to recognized tribes, committees, or bands, and to make the Executive Council chosen by tribal representatives. These changes gave control of the organization to governing bodies of organized tribes, rather than individuals. A further amendment that year created a five-member Executive Committee, headed by the president, which had all the powers of the Executive Council between council meetings.

Conventions have been held annually in the fall since the formation of the NCAI in 1944. Since 1977, mid-year conferences have been held in May or June of each year, to allow more frequent and thorough discussion of issues. The resolutions passed at these conventions are the basis for all policy of the Executive Committee and Executive Director between meetings. The conventions are also used for informational sessions and meetings of standing and special committees of NCAI. One or two-day workshops may also be held on special topics or Congressional issues of particular concern.

NCAI created a tax-exempt arm in 1949 to accept charitable contributions and apply for grants, the NCAI Fund, which soon changed its name to ARROW, Inc. By 1957, however, ARROW had split off to become an independent organization, and NCAI started a new arm, again called the NCAI Fund. In the coming decades, the NCAI Fund would obtain grants from sources including the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Department of Veteran Affairs, Indian Health Service, Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Ford Foundation, humanities councils and others, which they used for conferences, workshops, publications, and other projects.

In its early years, NCAI fought for the recognition of land claims of Alaska natives, the enfranchisement of Arizona and New Mexico Indians, the equitable settlement of tribal land claims, and the right of Indians to select their own attorneys. The NCAI lobbied vigorously for an Indian Claims Commission Bill, which became law in August 1946. NCAI's lobbying efforts on behalf of this act set the pattern for the organization's future role in legislative matters: keeping member tribes abreast of proposed legislation and ascertaining their views, and maintaining a presence in Congress through lobbying and testimony.

Beginning in 1954, the threat of termination pushed NCAI into a period of increased activity. Although some tribes were ready to terminate their relationship with the federal government, much of Indian Country felt threatened by the government's new stated policy. NCAI therefore organized an Emergency Conference of American Indians for February 1954 to protest this new termination policy. An agreement was forged at the conference between the NCAI and the Bureau of Indian Affairs to work together toward slowly liquidating the BIA. The termination period of the 1950s and 1960s, while challenging, saw NCAI increase in confidence and political acumen.

During the 1960s, a number of other activist Indian groups sprang up and began to dilute the singular influence which NCAI had commanded. Newer, more militant groups often considered themselves at odds with NCAI, which was increasingly perceived as conservative. As the number of Indian advocacy groups grew in the 1960s and 1970s, however, NCAI actively partnered with other organizations, particularly the National Tribal Chairmen's Association (NTCA) and Native American Rights Fund (NARF), on a variety of projects.

Charles E. "Chuck" Trimble (Oglala Dakota) served as Executive Director of NCAI in 1972 until 1977, when he resigned to lead the United Effort Trust, a project designed to fight white backlash to Indian rights. NCAI spent most of the next two years trying to find another permanent director. In 1979, Ronald P. Andrade (Luiseno-Diegueno) joined NCAI and unfortunately found a group that was demoralized and underfunded. He was able to return the organization to good health but left in 1982. Si Whitman (Nez Perce), his successor, remained at NCAI for less than a year.

Suzan Shown Harjo (Cheyenne-Creek) became director of NCAI on May 1, 1984. Prior to taking this postions, she had served as Congressional Liaison for Indian Affairs at the Department of the Interior during the Carter administration and as legislative liaison for the Native American Rights Fund, as well as working for NCAI during the mid-1970s. Harjo was also an active and published poet, as well as a frequent speaker at events around the country. The National Congress of American Indians was particularly active on Capitol Hill while Harjo was director, advocating for government-to-government status, the Tribal Government Tax Status Act of 1983, repatriation legislation, and economic development programs, among other issues. Harjo was herself very involved in the establishment of the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, DC.

The NCAI Fund was very successful in receiving grants during this period, although they were chronically short of operating funds. Some of their most active projects during this period were the Indian and Native Veterans Outreach Program (INVOP), Inter-generational Health Promotion and Education Program (IHPEP), Environmental Handbook and related educational seminars, Solar Bank, nuclear waste disposal and transportation information sessions, and voter registration.

For years, NCAI's operating expenses had been funded by the Ford Foundation and the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA). In 1985, the director of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, opposing the use of Federal monies to support outside organizations, began to block the payment for services due to the NCAI. This created a financial crisis from which the NCAI did not recover during Harjo's tenure, and it became the major issue for which she was not rehired in October 1989.

Following the 1989 Annual Convention, Wayne Ducheneaux (Cheyenne River Sioux) became President of NCAI and A. Gay Kingman (Cheyenne River Sioux) was appointed Executive Director. Their first efforts were focused on recovering the financial well-being of the organization, which meant that less attention was devoted to issues in Congress. One of the successful projects NCAI pursued during the next two years was organization and presentation of the Indian pre-conference of the White House Conference on Library and Information Science, which was held in early 1991.

The National Congress of American Indians is still active today, continuing its work of lobbying, support for tribal governments, and advocacy for American Indian issues.
Related Materials:
Other collections at the NMAI Archives Center that include information on the National Congress of American Indians include:

National Congress of American Indians records,1933-1990 (NMAI.AC.010)

Arrow, Inc., and the American Indian Tribal Court Judges records, 1949-1999 (NMAI.AC.013) James E. Curry papers, 1935-1955 (NMAI.AC.015) National Tribal Chairmen's Association records, 1971-1978 (NMAI.AC.014) Helen L. Peterson papers, 1944-1992 (NMAI.AC.016) Reuben Snake papers, 1971-1996 (NMAI.AC.012)
Provenance:
The National Congress of American Indians designated the National Anthropological Archives (NAA) as its official repository in 1976. It was transferred from NAA to the National Museum of the American Indian Archive Center in 2006.
Restrictions:
Access to NMAI Archive Center collections is by appointment only, Monday - Friday, 9:30 am - 4:30 pm. Please contact the archives to make an appointment (phone: 301-238-1400, email: nmaiarchives@si.edu).
Rights:
Permission to publish or broadbast materials from the collection must be requested from National Museum of the American Indian Archive Center. Please submit a written request to nmaiarchives@si.edu.
Topic:
Indians of North America -- Civil rights  Search this
Indians of North America -- Economic conditions -- 20th century  Search this
Indians of North America -- Government relations  Search this
Indians of North America -- Social conditions -- 20th century  Search this
Congresses and conventions  Search this
Legislative hearings  Search this
Genre/Form:
Audiotapes -- Open reel
Audiovisual materials
Audiocassettes
Citation:
Identification of specific item; Date (if known); National Congress of American Indians Audio and Film Recordings, Box Number; National Museum of the American Indian Archive Center, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NMAI.AC.010.001
See more items in:
National Congress of American Indians Audio and Film Recordings
Archival Repository:
National Museum of the American Indian
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmai-ac-010-001

Encyclopedia of the American Indian Movement / Bruce E. Johansen

Author:
Johansen, Bruce E (Bruce Elliott) 1950--  Search this
Author:
ProQuest (Firm)  Search this
Subject:
American Indian Movement History  Search this
Physical description:
1 online resource (386 pages) : illustrations
Type:
Encyclopedias
Place:
United States
Date:
2013
Topic:
Politics and government  Search this
Indian activists  Search this
Indians of North America--Civil rights  Search this
Indians of North America--Government relations  Search this
Call number:
E98.T77 J63 2013 (Internet)
Restrictions & Rights:
1-user.
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_1097855

Museums and social activism : engaged protest / Kylie Message

Author:
Message, Kylie  Search this
Subject:
National Museum of American History (U.S.) Division of Political History History  Search this
Physical description:
xv, 287 p. : ill
Type:
Electronic resources
Electronic books
Place:
United States
Date:
2014
20th century
Topic:
Museums--Social aspects--History  Search this
Exhibitions--Social aspects--History  Search this
Civil rights movements--History  Search this
African Americans--Civil rights--History  Search this
Indians of North America--Civil rights--History  Search this
Call number:
AM7 .M466 2014 (Internet)
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_1068369

From Wounded Knee to Checkpoint Charlie : the alliance for sovereignty between American Indians and Central Europeans in the late Cold War / György Ferenc Tóth

Author:
Tóth, György Ferenc 1976-  Search this
Physical description:
xii, 313 pages ; 24 cm
Type:
Books
History
Place:
United States
Europe, Central
Date:
2016
20th century
1945-1989
Topic:
Indians of North America--Politics and government  Search this
Indians of North America--Government relations--History  Search this
Indians of North America--Civil rights--History  Search this
Sovereignty--History  Search this
Anti-imperialist movements--History  Search this
Relations  Search this
Politics and government  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_1083352

Symposium on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples of the Americas, July 10-11, 2004, Fresno, California = Simposio de los Derechos de los Pueblos Indigenas, 10-11 de julio de 2004, Fresno, California

Title:
Simposio de los Derechos de los Pueblos Indigenas, 10-11 de julio de 2004, Fresno, California
Author:
Symposium on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples of the Americas (2004 : Fresno, Calif.)  Search this
Physical description:
78, 78 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Type:
Congresses
Place:
United States
Date:
2005
©2005
Topic:
Indians of North America--Civil rights  Search this
Indians of Mexico--Civil rights  Search this
Ethnic identity  Search this
Indians of Mexico--Ethnic identity  Search this
Indians of Mexico--Migrations  Search this
Mexicans  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_1085041

Museums and social activism : engaged protest / Kylie Message

Author:
Message, Kylie  Search this
Subject:
National Museum of American History (U.S.) Division of Political History History  Search this
Physical description:
xiv, 287 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Type:
Books
Place:
United States
Date:
2014
20th century
Topic:
Museums--Social aspects--History  Search this
Exhibitions--Social aspects--History  Search this
Civil rights movements--History  Search this
African Americans--Civil rights--History  Search this
Indians of North America--Civil rights--History  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_1028115

Clyde Warrior : tradition, community, and Red Power / by Paul R. McKenzie-Jones

Author:
McKenzie-Jones, Paul R. 1970-  Search this
Subject:
Warrior, Clyde 1939-1968  Search this
National Indian Youth Council History  Search this
Physical description:
xxii, 234 pages : illustrations, maps ; 24 cm
Type:
Biography
Place:
United States
Ponca Tribe of Indians of Oklahoma
Oklahoma
Date:
2015
20th century
Topic:
Ponca Indians  Search this
Indian activists  Search this
Indian youth--Political activity--History  Search this
Indians of North America--Politics and government  Search this
Indians of North America--Civil rights--History  Search this
Indians of North America--Government relations x History  Search this
Social life and customs  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_1049392

Thunder in the mountains : Chief Joseph, Oliver Otis Howard, and the Nez Perce War / Daniel J. Sharfstein

Author:
Sharfstein, Daniel J.  Search this
Subject:
Howard, O. O (Oliver Otis) 1830-1909  Search this
Joseph Nez Percé Chief,) 1840-1904  Search this
Physical description:
xvii, 613 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations, maps, portraits ; 25 cm
Type:
Books
History
Place:
United States
Date:
2017
19th century
Topic:
Wars, 1877  Search this
Indians of North America--Civil rights--History  Search this
Political culture--History  Search this
Race relations  Search this
Political aspects  Search this
History  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_1078319

Cowboys and Indians : the shooting of J.J. Harper / Gordon Sinclair, Jr

Author:
Sinclair, Gordon 1948-  Search this
Subject:
Harper, John Joseph 1951-1988  Search this
Physical description:
404 p., [16] p. of plates : ill., maps ; 24 cm
Type:
Books
Place:
Manitoba
Winnipeg
Winnipeg (Man.)
Date:
1999
C1999
Topic:
Homicide investigation  Search this
Trials (Murder)  Search this
Indians of North America--Civil rights  Search this
Discrimination in criminal justice administration  Search this
Governmental investigations  Search this
Police shootings  Search this
Police corruption  Search this
Race relations  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_915306

Native American rights / Uma Kukathas, book editor

Author:
Kukathas, Uma  Search this
Physical description:
199 p. ; 24 cm
Type:
Cases
Date:
2008
Topic:
Legal status, laws, etc  Search this
Civil rights  Search this
Indians of North America--Civil rights  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_924308

"I do not apologize for the length of this letter" : the Mari Sandoz letters on Native American rights, 1940-1965 / introduced and edited by Kimberli A. Lee ; foreword by John R. Wunder

Author:
Sandoz, Mari 1896-1966  Search this
Lee, Kimberli A. 1959-  Search this
Subject:
Sandoz, Mari 1896-1966  Search this
Sandoz, Mari 1896-1966 Political and social views  Search this
Physical description:
xviii, 197 p. : ill ; 24 cm
Type:
Sources
Correspondence
Place:
Great Plains
United States
Date:
2009
C2009
20th century
Topic:
Indians of North America--History  Search this
Indians of North America--Civil rights--History  Search this
Social justice--History  Search this
Women political activists  Search this
Political activists  Search this
Authors, American  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_946784

Red power rising : the National Indian Youth Council and the origins of Native activism / Bradley G. Shreve ; foreword by Shirley Hill Witt

Author:
Shreve, Bradley Glenn 1970-  Search this
Subject:
National Indian Youth Council History  Search this
Physical description:
xviii, 275 p. : ill. ; 24 cm
Type:
Books
Place:
United States
Southwest, New
Date:
2011
C2011
20th century
Topic:
Indians of North America--Politics and government  Search this
Power (Social sciences)--History  Search this
Indians of North America--Civil rights--History  Search this
Civil rights movements--History  Search this
Indian activists--History  Search this
Indian youth--Political activity--History  Search this
Indian students--Political activity--History  Search this
Student movements--History  Search this
Decolonization--History  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_963019

The other movement : Indian rights and civil rights in the deep South / Denise E. Bates

Author:
Bates, Denise E  Search this
Physical description:
xxii, 256 p. : ill. ; 24 cm
Type:
Books
Place:
Southern States
Date:
2012
C2012
Topic:
Indians of North America--Civil rights  Search this
Government relations  Search this
Indian activists--History  Search this
Civil rights movements--History  Search this
Race relations  Search this
Politics and government  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_970490

Indian life and Canadian law : a report on the Ontario north

Author:
Canadian Civil Liberties Education Trust  Search this
Physical description:
43 p. : ill. ; 18 cm
Type:
Books
Place:
Ontario
Date:
1974
Topic:
Indians of North America--Civil rights  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_975552

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