Agencies of the Bureau of Indian Affairs
|American Indian Topics|
|Bureau of Indian Affairs|
In the United States, the office which created and maintained the largest amount of records of the American Indians was the field office of the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), known as the Office of Indian Affairs until 1947, called the agency. Agencies of the Bureau of Indian Affairs in the United States are administrative offices supervising the relationship between and among American Indians and others.
The term "Indian Agents" was discontinued in 1908. The term "Superintendent" came into use. The requirements for a Superintendent include: a broad knowledge of Bureau policies and objectives as well as extensive experience in the administrative field.
Usually an agency operated on a reservation and was responsible for only that reservation. Occasionally, an agency had responsibility for several groups of Native Americans.
Some field offices of the Bureau of Indian Affairs did not achieve the level of agency, but operated as a sub-agency, reporting to an agency, a school, or a superintendency of the BIA or sometimes as an independent office reporting to a superintendency or to the Commissioner's Office in Washington, DC.
For American Indian family history research most of the useful records were created by the BIA agencies. Some records may be available to tribal members through the tribal headquarters. They were (and are) the local office of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and were charged with maintaining records of the activities of those under their responsibility. Among these records are:
- Allotment records
- Annuity rolls
- Census records
- Health records
- School census and records
- Vital records
For a description of the various records, their content, and their availability, link to the pages for each type of record. Each individual agency also has a page describing its history and the location of their records. An alphabetical list of the agencies of the Bureau of Indian Affairs can be found below. They are also linked under the topic "American Indians" for each state. Pages for individual sub-agencies are listed alphabetically under the category of "American Indian Subagencies" and are linked under the topic of "American Indians" for each state where they existed.
Agencies and Subagencies
- United States Department of the Interior. Bureau of India Affairs August 1968 GPO 901.531
- American Indians: A Select Catalog of National Archives Microfilm Publications. Washington DC: National Archives Trust Fund Board, National Archives and Records Administration, 1998. Family History Library film 970.1 A3a
- Hill, Edward E. (comp.). Guide to Records in the National Archives of the United States Relating to American Indians. Washington DC: National Archives and Records Service, General Services Administration, 1981. Family History Library book 970.1 H551g; film 6125461
- Hill, Edward E. The Office of Indian Affairs, 1824-1880: Historical Sketches. New York, New York: Clearwater Publishing Company, Inc., 1974. Family history Library book 970.1 H551o
- Historical Sketches for Jurisdictional and Subject Headings Used for the Letters Received by the Office of Indian Affairs, 1824-1880. National Archives Microcopy T1105. Family History Library US/CAN Film 1695747
- Preliminary Inventory No. 163: Records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Washington DC: National Archives and Records Services.