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Gale Primary Sources: Indigenous Peoples of North America, Part II, The Indian Rights Association, 1882‐1986

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Indigenous Peoples of North America is included in the Gale Primary Sources series and is in two parts. This database, The Indian Rights Association, 1882‐1986, is the second of the two. The Indian Rights Association (IRA) is the first organization to address American Indian rights and interests, and this collection includes its organizational records; incoming and outgoing correspondence; annual reports; draft legislation; photographs; administrative files; pamphlets, publications, and other print materials (including documents from the Council on Indian Affairs and other American Indian organizations); and manuscripts and research notes on Indian traditions, both social and cultural. Founded in 1882 by White philanthropists, the IRA's initial approach to American Indians was both assimilationist and paternalistic, leading it to advocate for the detribalization of America's Indigenous peoples, maintaining it would improve their social and economic status. Nevertheless, it was one of the first organizations to report on and expose the corruption of federal government officials tasked with working with and for American Indians. Eventually, the IRA would discard assimilationism and work with other, newer, occasionally Indian-run organizations such as the Association on American Indian Affairs, the Society of American Indians, and the National Indian Defense Association. The IRA sought to debunk misconceptions and half-truths about American Indians and their condition in the United States, which were too often the basis for policy and legislation related to Native Americans. It also sent association representatives to Indian reservations to make note of local conditions there, not only to evaluate the actions of the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) but also to provide background information for legislation related to Indigenous peoples.

This database's search functions often produce results relevant to the query submitted, and both its search and browse functions can be navigated with relative ease. This database can be subscribed to or purchased with an annual hosting fee. The purchase price, based on a variety of factors, can start as low as $2,796 for public libraries or $3,994 for academic libraries, with starting annual hosting fees of $22 and $32, respectively. Whether institutions find this pricing reasonable depends on their need for the materials covered by the Indigenous Peoples of North America collection. The licensing agreement for this database is too long and detailed but standard in its composition and therefore is of no concern.

Publication date: April 1, 2023

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