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Historically Marginalized Communities Resources in Special Collections and University Archives: Indigenous American

This guide includes information about which Special Collections and University Archives holdings contain materials about the history of historically marginalized communities.

Note: This page is still under development

Virginia Tech's College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences offers an undergraduate minor in American Indian Studies that "aims to educate students and the community on American Indian cultures and issues in a sensitive way..." (Quoted description from the American Indian Studies Minor site.)

American Indian, Indigenous, or Native?

This question is not easily answered and is well beyond the scope of this guide. It is, however, relevant to consider when approaching research on the topic of First Nations peoples. Michael Yellow Bird, citizen of the Sahnish (Arikara) and Hidatsa First Nations, published an article titled What We Want to be Called: Indigenous Peoples' Perspectives on Racial and Ethnic Identity Labels in the Spring 1999 issue of American Indian Quarterly. This article explores this question and provides context that may help you decide what term you want to use.

American Indians are not from a single monolithic culture and it is often preferable to identify them by their tribal affiliation rather than by a single uniform term. However, you will also find that information about American Indians will have the generic labels "American Indian", "Indigenous", and "Native" attached to them.

In this guide, I will default to the term "American Indian" because that is the terminology used at Virginia Tech for our academic programs relating to this population.

Suggested Books & Manuscripts in Special Collections and University Archives

Suggested Readings (Beyond Special Collections and University Archives)

Online Resources

Suggested Search Terms

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Anthony Wright de Hernandez
Community Collections Archivist
Special Collections and University Archives (0434)