Research Guide for Native Community Members

Researching Native Land & Geography

The St. Peters River near its Confluence with the Mississippi (MNHS call number: AV1991.85.12)

The Minnesota Historical Society has many resources related to land records and geography. Some of these records include scrips, allotment records and maps.  Scrips are useful because they contain names, dates, and place of residence. There are also a variety of maps in MNHS collections. Some of these maps outline present and former boundaries of various Minnesota reservations. The maps in MNHS collections range from the middle of the 19th century to the present day. 

The Minnesota Historical Society collections also encompasses various legal claims. Some of these claims include tribal timber and land usage rights.  These may also be used in conjunction with maps and treaty materials. MNHS also has an extensive and large collection of archaeological materials from within Minnesota.

For specific information on land records, please see the Land Records at MNHS research guide.

Examples of materials relating to government & politics: 

Register of Red Lake and Pembina scrip entries, 1873-1906.  An abstract of land entries made with Red Lake and Pembina scrip. The authorization for this scrip is not specified on the abstract, but most likely pertains to cessions under treaties with the Red Lake and Pembina bands of Chippewa of 1863 and/or 1867. This collection forms part of the Crookston Land District Records. MNHS call number: Digital finding aid

Indian Claims Commission report and related materials, 1980-1982. Reports, exhibits, and other trial documents relating to a legal claim filed with the United States Indian Claims Commission by the Lower Sioux Indian Community (Minn.), concerning the 1851 Treaty of Mendota (Minn.). MNHS call number: Digital finding aid 

Lists of Lands Affected by White Earth Reservation Land Settlement Act of 1985, Department of the Interior, Bureau of Indian Affairs. Washington, D.C.: The Bureaus, 1986. MNHS call number: FOLIO E99 .C6 L68 1986

[Minneapolis-Saint Paul Metropolitan Area, Minnesota]. Pictorial Map by Paul Durand, in Dakota. MNHS call number: Map ; 6F G4144.T89E1 1981 .D87

Suggested keywords to search in our library and archives catalog and Collections Online database for additional materials related to Native land and geography:

  • Dawes Act
  • Treaties
  • Maps
  • Allotments

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