Resource List about First Nations

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This list was created by the Wisconsin Library Association (WLA) Conference Committee with the help of the UW-Madison iSchool’s Tribal Libraries and Museums Group. Please use it to inform yourself, help with collection development decisions, and make connections with the tribes in your region.

Wisconsin Tribes

Wisconsin has 11 federally recognized tribes, and the Brothertown Indian Nation, which is not currently a federal or state recognized American Indian nation.

Tribal Websites

Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin 
Forest County Potawatomi
Ho-Chunk Nation
Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa
Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Superior Chippewa
Mole Lake Band of Lake Superior Chippewa (Sokaogon Community) 
Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa 
St. Croix Chippewa Indians of Wisconsin 
Mohican Nation Stockbridge-Munsee Band 
Oneida Nation 
Brothertown Indian Nation

Other Wisconsin-Specific Resources

Department of Public Instruction Tribal Nations of Wisconsin: includes map, website links, and general information about each tribe. 

The Ways: Well-produced and accessible 3-6 minute videos about culture and language from Native communities around the central Great Lakes. 

Wisconsin First Nations: American Indian Studies in Wisconsin: Information and resources to help teachers and librarians access and teach about the nations in Wisconsin. 

American Indian Studies in Wisconsin (Act 31) Resource Manual: created by Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwa College Community Library with help from a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. 

Our Shared Future is a collaborative project with the Ho-Chunk Nation and UW-Madison. 

Ho-Chunk Language Division is working to preserve the Ho-Chunk language.

Tribal Colleges in Wisconsin

College of Menominee Nation 
Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwa Community College

Collection Development Tools

Tiered Purchasing Plan for Supporting Act 31 in Your Classroom or Library: A Google Document, regularly updated, with suggestions for high-quality, accurate materials about Wisconsin First Nations to purchase for libraries and classrooms—listed in priority order. 

American Indians in Children’s Literature is a blog by Dr. Debbie Reese, a scholar and advocate for high quality and authentic literature by and about the 500+ federally recognized Native Nations in the United States. This blog includes book critiques and recommendations from a Native perspective.

Recommended General Information


Dunbar-Ortiz, Roxanne. An Indigenous People’s History of the United States. Beacon Press, 2014.
A history of the United States told from the perspective of indigenous people, this book challenges the founding myth of the United States and shows how policy against the Indigenous peoples was designed to seize the territories of the original inhabitants, displacing or eliminating them. (from publisher)

Dunbar-Ortiz, Roxanne. Adapted by Jean Mendoza and Debbie Reese. An Indigenous People’s History of the United States for Young People. Beacon Press, 2019.
An adaptation of the above text, now including discussion topics, archival images, original maps, recommendations for further reading, and materials to encourage readers to think critically about their own place in history. (from publisher)

Loew, Patty. Indian Nations of Wisconsin: Histories of Endurance and Renewal. Wisconsin Historical Society Press, 2013.
Includes compact tribal histories of the Ojibwe, Potawatomi, Oneida, Menomonie, Mohican, Ho-Chunk, and Brothertown Indians. Focuses on oral tradition, interviews, tribal newspapers. Lavishly illustrated with maps and photographs. (from publisher)

Treuer, Anton. Everything You Wanted to Know About Indians but Were Afraid to Ask. Minnesota Historical Society Press, 2012.
More than 100 stereotype-bunking questions—thoughtful, awkward, and searching—answered with solid information, humor, and compassion. (Publisher’s website)

Blogs and other web resources

Project 562: a multi-year photography project dedicated to photographing over 562 federally recognized tribes in the United States in an effort to create an unprecedented repository of imagery and oral histories that accurately portrays contemporary Native Americans. Project led by Makita Wilbur, from the Swinomish and Tuliap Tribes of Washington

Dr. Debbie Reese’s 2019 May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture recording (starts at about 12:50 minutes in)


Why Treaties Matter:  a 5-minute video by National Public Radio, featuring the voices of American Indians from various tribes.

               Additional resources about Why Treaties Matter 

Conversations with Native Americans on Race: a 6-minute video by the New York Times, featuring the voices of several Amerian Indians from several tribes.

Podcasts with special attention to the importance of language

All My Relations – Exploring what it means to be a native person in 2019. Hosts Matika Wilbur (Tulalip and Swinomish) and Adrienne Keene (Cherokee Nation) delve into a different topic facing Native peoples today, bringing in guests from all over Indian Country to offer perspectives and stories. 

This Land – An 8-episode series that examines the background and potential consequences of an upcoming 2019 Supreme Court decision that will determine the fate of five tribes and nearly half the land in Oklahoma. 

Code Switch: This episode of the National Public Radio podcast discusses the revival of the Hawaiian language, and how a radio show helped to spark it.

Information about Land Acknowledgement

Honor Native Land: A Guide and Call to Acknowledgement from U.S. Department of Arts and Culture. 

Dr. Debbie Reese on Land Acknowledgement 

Territory Acknowledgement from Native Land Digital, a Canadian organization.

Information for Librarians and Museums - a Deeper Dive 


Basso, K. H. Wisdom Sits in Places: Landscape and Language among the Western Apache. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1996. 

Justice, Daniel Heath. Why Indigenous Literatures Matter. Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2108. 

Lonetree, Amy. Decolonizing Museums. University of North Carolina Press, 2012. 

Smith, Linda Tuhiwai. Decolonizing Methodologies: Research and Indigenous Peoples. Zed Books, 2012. 

Tribal Libraries, Archives and Museums: Preserving our language, memory and lifeways. Edited by Loriene Roy, Anjali Bhasin, and Sarah K. Arriaga. Scarecrow, 2011.


Biggs, B. (2000). “Bright child of Oklahoma: Lotsee Patterson and the development of America's tribal libraries.” American Indian Culture and Research Journal. 24 (4), 55-67. 

Christen, K. (January 01, 2011). “Opening Archives: Respectful Repatriation.” American Archivist, 74, 1, 185-210. 

Duarte, Marisa Elena and Belarde-Lewis, Miranda. 2015. "Imagining: Creating Spaces for Indigenous Ontologies.” Cataloging & Classification Quarterly. 53 (5-6): 677-702. 

First Archivists Circle. (2006). Protocols for Native American archival materials. Salamanca, N.Y.: First Archivists Circle. 

Kajner, T., Fletcher, F., and Makokis, P. (August 01, 2012). “Balancing Head and Heart: The Importance of Relational Accountability in Community-University Partnerships.” Innovative Higher Education, 37, 4, 257-270. 

Littletree, Sandra and Metoyer, Cheryl A. 2015. "Knowledge Organization from an Indigenous Perspective: The Mashantucket Pequot Thesaurus of American Indian Terminology Project". Cataloging & Classification Quarterly. 53 (5-6): 640-657. 

Roy, L. (2011). “Weaving Partnerships with the American Indian peoples in your community to develop cultural programming.” In Roy, L., Bhasin, A., & Arriaga, S. K. (Eds.), Tribal libraries, archives, and museums: Preserving our language, memory, and lifeways. (pp. 141-156). Lanham: Scarecrow Press. (This is one chapter in a book listed above) 

Tuck, Eve and Yang, K. Wayne. (2012) “Decolonization Is Not a Metaphor. “ Decolonization: Indigeneity, Education & Society, 1, 1, 1-40.


Meyers, Manulani. "Hawaiian Epistemology."


Mukurtu Content Management System -- this is one of the major projects being done at the Ho-Chunk Language Division, but Mukurtu has hubs throughout the country and began as a project at Washington State University. It's essentially a free, open source, easy-to-use online "place" to store community knowledge and artifacts (or detailed pictures and metadata thereof) to share cultural heritage at any access level programmed by the community.  These are intended for and used by tribal communities mostly, though the technology is available and applies to any community.