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United States. Bureau of Indian Affairs

 Organization

Dates

  • Existence: 1824-

Administrative History

The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), established in 1824, facilitates relationships between the United States and federally-recognized tribes.

It is the oldest agency of the United States Department of the Interior with roots that reach back to the Continental Congress. After its creation, the BIA assisted in negotiating treaty agreements between the United States and various tribes in the late 18th and 19th centuries. The BIA also assists in the implementation of Federal laws. The BIA provides services directly or through contracts, grants, or compacts to American Indians and Alaska Natives. The BIA also manages the care and administration of millions of acres of land held in trust by the United States for American Indians, Indian tribes, and Alaska Natives. The Bureau of Indian Affairs mission is to: "enhance the quality of life, to promote economic opportunity, and to carry out the responsibility to protect and improve the trust assets of American Indians, Indian tribes, and Alaska Natives."

Citation

bia.gov, via WWW, Feb. 4, 2019 (est. 1824; facilitates relationships between U.S. and federally-recognized tribes; oldest agency of the U.S. Department of the Interior; roots reach back to Continental Congress; assisted in negotiating treaty agreements between the U.S. and various tribes in the late 18th and 19th centuries; assists in implementation of federal laws; provides services directly, through contracts, grants, or compacts to American Indians and Alaska Natives; manages care and administration of millions of acres of land held in trust by U.S. for American Indians, Indian tribes, Alaska Natives; BIA mission is to: "enhance the quality of life, to promote economic opportunity, and to carry out the responsibility to protect and improve the trust assets of American Indians, Indian tribes, and Alaska Natives.")

Found in 7 Collections and/or Records:

Bureau of Indian Affairs correspondence

 File — Folder: 1
Identifier: MSS SC 785
Scope and Contents Photocopies of original letters with accompanying typescripts. Covers the nomination of Mormon Church leader Jacob Hamblin as a federal Indian agent for southern Utah, northern Arizona, and southeast Nevada.Also includes exchanges between W. F. M. Arny, the federal agent for the Navajo tribes; Jacob Hamblin and other Mormon settlers in Arizona; and Col. L. Edwin Dudley, regional Superintendent of Indian Affairs in Santa Fe, NM. These letters attempt to arrange a peaceful settlement...
Dates: 1871-1874

Kit Carson papers

 Collection — Box: 1
Identifier: Vault MSS 513
Scope and Contents Correspondence, military dispatches, a deed, a Taos County Resolution, and two payment vouchers. Nine of these items are personal in nature and are addressed to Carson from friends and family members. The remaining thirty-five letters are concerned with and document Indian affairs. They include instructions from superiors, official correspondence regarding military actions during the American Civil War in the West. They document aspects of the Jicarilla War of 1854-55, the Mescalero...
Dates: 1854-1867

National Council of American Indians records

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS 1704
Scope and Contents Contains correspondence, personal history, and business papers of both Zitkala-S̈a and her husband, Raymond Bonnin, with the bulk focusing on Gertrude's activities. Zitkala-S̈a was a central figure in early twentieth century Indian reform, and this collection reflects her intensive involvement. She was instrumental in legislation favorable to Indians and spent a great deal of her time among the Native Americans in an attempt to educate and organize them for greater strength through unity....
Dates: 1926-1938

Native American Educational Outreach Programs negatives, approximately 1954-1990

 Sub-Series — Multiple Containers
Identifier: UA 1011 Series 5 Sub-Series 1
Scope and Contents Contains negatives of photographs of Native Americans from various reservations participating in both traditional and modern cultures. Also includes negatives of photographs that capture programs and conferences with Native Americans. Materials dated approximately 1954-1990.
Dates: approximately 1954-1990

Native American Educational Outreach Programs photographs, approximately 1954-1990

 Series — Multiple Containers
Identifier: UA 1011 Series 5
Scope and Contents Contains thousands of photographs of Native Americans from various reservations participating in both traditional and modern cultural events. Includes individual and group portraits as well as candid shots. Also includes photographs that capture programs and conferences with Native Americans. Some materials are reprints of photonegatives, reproduced in 2019. Materials dated approximately 1954 to 1990.
Dates: approximately 1954-1990

George D. Sherman letters

 File — Box: 1
Identifier: MSS 1938
Scope and Contents Letter press copies of handwritten and signed letters. The materials are addressed to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs in Washington, DC. Sherman writes about the condition of Ute Indians on the reservation, the nature of the supplies for them, and the functions of the Indian agency.
Dates: 1880-1881

Wilkinson, Cragun & Barker records on government finances, approximately 1929-1970

 Series — Carton: 250
Identifier: MSS 2291 Series 34
Scope and Contents Contains financial records on the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the United States Treasury. Dated approximately 1920 to 1970.
Dates: approximately 1929-1970