Help with your research
On this page you will find tips and suggestions for accessing resources within our Tribal, Indigenous, and Native Peoples collection. Scroll down the page for information tailored specifically to researching these broad topics. In the Example searches box you will also find a list of searches that have already been performed, giving you access to scholarly search results on a variety of topics.
You can use the skills and tips presented here to access our tribal, indigenous, and native peoples collections.
Need a refresher on how to search within a database?
Suggested subject terms
A subject term is a standardized word or phrase that describes a main idea in the article.
When an article is added to a database, the database will assign subject terms to it from the database's list of subjects. Most articles will have from 3 to 12 subject terms.
Each database has its own list of subject terms. They often use technical jargon and odd punctuation, so you won't be able to come up with the subject terms on your own. You will have to identify the subject terms in the database, and then use them in a search.
If you want to see all the subject terms used in a particular database, you can search the Subject Index.
Here are some suggested subject terms for searching within our Tribal, Indigenous, and Native Peoples collections:
- American Indians
- First Peoples (Canadian, the Americas)
- First Nations (Canadian)
- Native Americans
- Registered Indian (Canadian)
- Status Indian (Canadian)
Some of the following terms might also prove helpful when conducting research on tribal, indigenous, or native peoples culture or issues.
- Bureau of Indian Affairs (United States)
- Boarding schools
- Blood quantum
- Critical Indigenous Theory
- Ethnic cleansing
- Ethnic Studies
- Herbal medicine
- Indian Child Welfare Act (United States)
- Indian Health Service (United States)
- Indian policy
- Indigenous methodologies
- Indigenous status
- Indigenous Wholistic Theory
- Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (United States)
- Native American Higher Education Initiative (United States)
- National Museum of the American Indian Act (United States)
- Tribal colleges and universities
- Tribal sovereignty
Video: Subject Terms Search
(1 min 37 sec) Recorded Feb 2016
The following searches were conducted in Thoreau, our multi-database search tool. All results use subject terms when appropriate, are peer-reviewed, and available in full text in the Walden Library. Click any of the links below to view the search results.
- Indigenous OR Tribal OR Native Americans OR American Indians
- (Indigenous OR Tribal OR First Nations OR First Peoples OR Aboriginal OR Registered Indian OR Status Indian) AND (Canada OR Australia OR New Zealand)
- (Indigenous OR Tribal) AND “Central America”
- (Indigenous OR Tribal) AND (Ecuador OR Bolivia OR Andes)
- (Indigenous OR Tribal) AND (“Southern Africa” OR Angola OR Botswana OR Lesotho OR Malawi OR Mozambique OR Namibia OR “South Africa” OR Swaziland OR Zambia OR Zimbabwe)
- (Native Americans OR American Indians OR United States) AND Indian Policy
- (Indigenous OR Tribal) AND (Acculturation OR Assimilation)
- (Indigenous OR Tribal) AND (Migration OR Resettlement OR Diaspora) AND Identity
- (Bureau of Indian Affairs OR BIA) AND (Tribal Sovereignty OR Self-determination)
- Critical Indigenous Theory OR Indigenous Wholistic Theory
Check out the Use example searches box for information on how to modify these example searches to meet your specific criteria.
Using example searches
You can adapt any of these pre-set searches by adding your own search terms.
If you wished to focus on a health condition in a particular population, you would add your term for the health condition to a separate search box, while leaving the example population search terms in place. This is an example search for a preset population and diabetes:
- Click on a preset example search from the list.
- On the results page, locate the search boxes at the top of the page. Leave the example search terms in place in the first search box, in this case the population terms Indigenous OR Tribal OR Native Americans OR American Indians
- Enter your search term(s) in an empty search box. In this case, enter diabetes in the second search box.
- Once you've added your search term(s), click the Search button and review the new results.
You can continue to add other search terms, apply limiters, and shape the search as often as needed to obtain new results.