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American Indian Studies: Starting Points

AIS guide including languages and statistics.

Style Guides

American Indian Studies has no standard citation style. Ask your instructor which to use; if you can choose, pick the one you know best.

Writing Tools

Many terms identify American Indians...

When searching for articles and books, use different combinations of these terms to find the most sources:

  • American Indian
  • Native American
  • Native People
  • Indians of North America (the official term used in CLICnet)
  • First Nations (term for the indigenous peoples of Canada)

For example, searching in Academic Search Premier, in the first box put the phrase:

"American Indian" or "Native American"

The quote marks hold the concept together (so you don't get Indian Americans instead), while using "or" will find any articles that mention "American Indian" or "Native American."

In the next boxes put your topic keywords: culture, identity, treaties, education, etc. Also consider adding locations of interest, such as Great Plains or Minnesota.

Variant Spellings
for Ojibwa

  • Ojibway
  • Ojibwe
  • Ojibwah
  • Chippewa
  • Chippeway
  • Chepeway
  • Anishinabe
  • ...and more.

Searching by tribe is also important, especially if your topic is tribe specific. As tribes often have variant spellings or use entirely different terms, account for this in your search:

  • Ojibwa or Chippewa or Anishinabe

Using an asterisk * will truncate, or stem, your keyword, including everything after it:

  • Ojibw* captures Ojibway, Ojibwe, and Ojibwah
  • Chippewa* captures Chippewa and Chippeway

Want more tips or need help? Ask a librarian!



The books below are useful for starting your research, whether getting topic ideas or finding general overviews.

Web Resources


Boyd Koehler

New American Indian Studies Titles



Created by Meg Holle, Fall 2009.

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