Cline Library Image NAU.PH.2003.11.10.1.A9656 Cline Library Image NAU.PH. Cline Library Image NAU.PH.96.4.334.35 Cline Library Image NAU.PH. Protocols for Native American Archival Materials

The Protocols



Laws and Ethical Codes


Contact Information

First Archivist Circle

. . . it takes human connections to make positive changes happen.
Sven Haakanson, Jr. (Alutiiq-Sugpiaq)
Sherelyn Ogden. Caring for American Indian Objects: A Practical and Cultural Guide (Minnesota Historical Society Press, 2004): 15.

Native American communities are sovereign governments. This unique status and associated rights recognized by federal and state law impact the hundreds of organizations in the United States which hold archival collections documenting Native American lifeways.

In April 2006 a group of nineteen Native American and non-Native American archivists, librarians, museum curators, historians, and anthropologists gathered at Northern Arizona University Cline Library in Flagstaff, Arizona.   The participants included representatives from fifteen Native American, First Nation, and Aboriginal communities.    The group met to identify best professional practices for culturally responsive care and use of American Indian archival material held by non-tribal organizations. 

The draft Protocols under development and discussion build upon numerous professional ethical codes as well as international declarations recognizing Indigenous rights and the ground-breaking Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Protocols for Libraries, Archives, and Information Services.

The contributors encourage you to explore, comment upon, and adopt the best practices which can be accomplished by your institution or community. Intended to foster increased cooperation between tribal and non-tribal libraries and archives, the Protocols are presented as goals to which we all can aspire.

This project has received generous support from the American Library Association Office for Diversity, the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation, the National Library of Medicine, the Wenner-Gren Foundation, The Bay and Paul Foundations, the Northern Arizona University Institute for Native Americans, and Mary and P. David Seaman.