SHSND Home > Educators > NHD in ND > Reservation Era > Reservations
National history day information
of events


sign up for e-newsletter
sign up for


go to media room / rss feeds
subscribe to
podcasts & videocasts

Finding Aid - Reservations


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.

10085 Orin G. Libby
In Folder 1 of Box 33 of the Orin G. Libby Collection, there is a narrative of Sully’s army arriving at Ft. Berthold.  It describes the trip there and then provides a description of the fort.  Libby also sketched how the fort was set up.  A publication contains information about the set up of the reservation boundaries at Fort Berthold in the folder too.  It reflects the aftermath of the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1851.

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.

10166 Gilbert Livingstone Wilson
Wilson spent time on the Fort Berthold Reservation studying the Hidatsa and Mandan tribes. These are copies of his original notebooks and reports on his study.

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.

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

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.


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. 


Other finding aids about the early reservation era in North Dakota:

612 East Boulevard Ave.
Bismarck, North Dakota 58505
Get Directions

State Museum and Store: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. M-F; Sat. & Sun. 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
We are closed New Year's Day, Easter, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day.
We will also be closed on Christmas Eve this year.
State Archives: 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. M-F, except state holidays; 2nd Sat. of each month, 10 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
State Historical Society offices: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. M-F, except state holidays.

Contact Us:
phone: 701.328.2666