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History of Native Nations in the U.S. & Canada

Tips for searching ProQuest Congressional

A Few Tips for Searching ProQuest Congressional

>> These tips to do not cover everything that is in the two videos, but can help when searching for historical documents relating to Native American history.


  • You can search hearings for testimony by tribal members by going to the "Witness/Panelist" box, using the  "Witness Affiliation" search box, and typing the name of the tribe as a search term

You may need to enter alternate spellings for some tribal names, especially when searching early years, e.g.: yakima OR yakama

  • Limit by a range of years or by Congress to narrow results

When Searching House and Senate Documents:

Limit the date ranges

Useful search terms:

  • Indian treaties
  • report of commissioner of Indian affairs
  • Indian and a place name
  • Names of tribes (combine alternate names or spellings with OR)
  • Indian affairs
  • Avoid "Native American"; not used in primary historical sources

U.S. Federal Sources

Congressional Publications

More about Congressional Documents

Debate in the Annals of Congress (1789 to 1824), Register of Debates (1824-1837), Congressional Globe (1837-73), and the Congressional Record (1873-present.) The Congressional Record is included in ProQuest Congressional

Proceedings in the Journals of House and Senate. In print, or online at the Library of Congress American Memory project

Executive Documents

Presidential -- see the guide: Presidential Papers, Speeches, and Executive Orders

ProQuest Congressional includes reports from the Commissioner of Indian Affairs and the Secretary of War

  • Annual Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs - also available as separate volumes that can be checked out - Knight E93 .U71
    Library has 1852, 1857-1858, 1865-1891, 1895-1896, 1900, 1921-26, 1929-32, 1947
    • Some reports of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs contain a separate section of "[Presidential] Executive Orders Relating to Indian Reserves"