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Finding Aid - Assimilation on the Reservations


10006 Clement A. Lounsberry
This collection contains information about Indian boarding schools in the state.  Items like head counts and other basic counts of the school are included.  This collection also has information about the annuities given to the Lakota in the late Nineteenth Century.  The Lounsberry collection contains early newspaper clippings and stories about events like the Battle of Whitestone Hill.  

10014 United States Office of Indian Affairs – Standing Rock Agency
In this box, there are census and ration reports from the Standing Rock Indian Reservation.  The census show names, relatives and ages.  The ration book show who came for the rations and how many rations they received depending on the size and ages of their family.

10093 Fort Stevenson Indian School
These records contain the Fort Stevenson Indian School records.  The information in the book contains the students’ English names, their Indian name, behavior, academic ability, and school activities.   If the student behaved badly, the records document the punishment they received.

10105 Frank Bennett Fiske
In the Frank Bennett Fiske Collection, there are letters to James McLaughlin, Fiske's sister, who was a teacher, and others who lived on the Standing Rock Reservation. There is also research on various tribes and reservations throughout the northern Midwest. Fiske was a photographer.

10162 Frank Zahn
In this box, there is information about the early reservation period on the Standing Rock Reservation.  Frank Zahn was an interpreter for the agency.  The box contains letters to and from James McLaughlin, records of annuities, and records of the ponies taken away from the Indians.

10924 Northern Plains Conference of the United Church of Christ
Two important missionaries, Charles L. Hall and Harold Case, worked on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation with the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara people. Boxes 5 and 6 of this collection contain histories of the missions, schools, and the reservation.

11108 Mark Harvey Fort Buford Research Files
During the times of the military forts in Dakota Territory, the forts struggled with hostile Native Americans.  In this folder, there are copies of microfilm from the National Archives.  The copies contain letters dealing with the hostile Sioux and the friendly Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara.  Letters track the number of annuities distributed to the Native Americans along with the population of each tribe.

11113 Lydia Frerking Schneider - Bismarck Indian School
This collection consists of photographs and yearbooks from the Bismarck Indian School.  The yearbooks are from the 1930s.  During this time, the school only educated girls.  The yearbooks contain history of the school, information about what the normal school day was like, and other activities the girls did during the school year.

SHSND 1952-0372

20072 Fort Berthold Indian Agency
In this folder, there is a registry book from 1874 for the Fort Berthold Reservation.  The registry book contains all who entered and left the reservation.  There is also a letter from the superintendent concerning the abundance of dancing happening on the reservation.  The letter contains the rules for dancing on the reservation.

20268 C.H. Foster
C.H. Foster traveled to Fort Totten.  While he was staying there he was able to experience life on the reservation.  He witnessed a weekly distribution of rations.

20485 Northwest Indian Commission
The Fort Laramie Treaty set up the boundaries of the Indian reservations.  In this folder, there are negotiations between several tribes and the United States government about a new treaty or revising the old treaties.  The proceedings provide insight to the way the reservations ran during the early reservation period.  Themes in the discussion between the groups include reimbursement for loss of lands and the cost of annuities.

20621 Turtle Mountian Indian Reservation
Even after the reservation boundaries were set, land conflict still occurred.  In 1882, the United States government set up the Turtle Mountain Indian Reservation.  Then, in 1884, President Arthur made their land base even smaller.  This folder contains the letter from President Arthur stating what would be reservation land.  There is also letters about surveys of the land

20708 C.H. Kermott
Many Indian boarding schools were mismanaged.  C.H. Kermott was a physician at Fort Totten.  He heard of mismanagement happening at the school and then sent letters to people to inform them of the mismanagement.  The folder also contains translation of common Indian words.

80020 One Feather Ration Card
On the reservations, each family received rations weekly from the Bureau of Indian Affairs.  Rations usually included food, blankets, and clothing.  This collection contains One Feather’s ration card.  He kept his ration card attached to his moccasin.

80065 Standing Rock Indian Reservation
During the early reservation period, assimilation was the main goal.  One way the government believed they would achieve assimilation faster was with the use of land allotments.  In this collection, there are several land patents to allotments of Native Americans and wedding certificates.


Barrett, Carole, and Marcia Wolter Britton. ""You Didn't Dare Try to Be Indian": Oral Histories of Former Indian Boarding School Students." North Dakota History, Spring 1997: 4-25.
This entry contains the transcript of an oral history project based on Indian boarding schools in North Dakota.  The Native Americans surveyed spoke about topics like discipline, health, a normal school day routine and other various topics.

Gipp, David M. "Education for the First Americans: A Personal Perspective." North Dakota History, Spring 1997: 2-3.
This article is a recollection from David Gipp who attended Indian boarding school and now is the president of a tribally operated college.  He gives his views on what was wrong and right with Indian boarding schools.

Camp, Gregory S. "The Dispossessed: The Ojibwa and Metis of Northwest North Dakota." North Dakota History, Spring, Summer, and Fall 2002: 62-79.
This article by Gregory S. Camp tells the story of the Turtle Mountain Ojibwa and their fight for their land in Northern North Dakota.  This article shows how the loss of land affected the people of the tribe.  Camp also describes the Ten Cent Treaty and the Dawes Allotment Act along with the major players in conflicts. 


Finding Aids on Early Reservation Era in North Dakota:

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