Research Guide for Native Community Members

Researching Native Culture & Society

Arlo Haase and Amos Owen at Pow Wow [i.e. Powwow] in Shakopee. MNHS call number: Collection I.69.406The robust collections of MNHS contain resources relating to many aspects of many cultures and societies and this is no different for Indigenous nations. Materials you may find could be related to language, clothing, lifeways and more. Many of these cultural practices are documented in various ways and by various people.

Examples of materials relating to culture & society:

Honoring the Maple Sugar. Filmed at a school on the Fond du Lac Reservation, this video shows the traditional process of making maple sugar. MNHS call number: Videotape 797

Iapi Oaye/Word Carrier NewspaperIapi Oaye, a Dakota-language missionary newspaper, was published monthly, first in Greenwood, Dakota Territory and later in Santee, Nebraska, between May 1871 and March 1939, when it ceased publication. To learn more about digitized newspapers visit the Minnesota Digital Newspaper Hub.

Oral History interview with Batiste Sam. Oral history interview with Mille Lacs elder, Batiste Sam. Subjects discussed include beadwork patterns, tanning and leathers, as well as fabric samples. Video includes shots of items and rooms at the Mille Lacs Indian Museum and Trading Post. MNHS call number: OH 168. Access to digital audio interviews and transcripts are available in Collections Online.

Tepees in the Pines: An Intimate Story of the Minnesota Chippewas, 1938 by Dorothy Munnell. The narrative is an informal history of the Ojibwe ("Chippewa" used in text), but includes many detailed descriptions of daily life and customs. Munnell was the wife of Jacob J. Munnell, agent at the Leech Lake Indian Reservation. MNHS call number: Manuscripts P1695

Suggested keywords to search in our library and archives catalog and Collections Online database for additional materials related to Native culture and society

  • Ojibwe Indian(s)
  • Ojibwe Beadwork
  • Beaded
  • Beaded Moccasins
  • Dakota Beaded, Ojibwe Beaded
  • Quillwork
  • Ojibwe Culture
  • Dakota Culture
  • Parfleche, Dakota feathers
  • Ojibwe feathers
  • Beaded bag, etc.

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