DigiTreaties is an excellent new resource, but can be difficult to use (there are still some bugs to work out). Use the tips on this page to navigate this database, and ask a librarian if you need help.
Click "See Places" to get to the map interface. Search by place to find cession boundaries. Uncheck the "States" box in the upper right corner to click on each cession for more information.
Note: some cessions are not accessible on the map because they are "under" other cession boundary shapes. If you run into this problem, use the "How to find a treaty for a particular location" instructions below.
To find all the treaties associated with a particular tribe, you will need to figure out what name the database uses and search in the "See Treaties" section. DigiTreaties uses historical names, which are the names on the original treaties, and modern names, which are names of federally recognized nations. Use historical terms in the "Title" field and modern names in the "Tribe" field.
This is not always straightforward, so you might have to do some research or try a few different name options in the "See Tribes" search interface to find what is used in DigiTreaties. Therefore, I recommend starting with the steps below: "How to find a treaty for a particular location."
For example, the Ojibwe or Anishinaabe in Minnesota are historically referred to and federally recognized as Chippewa. However, you will need to know the particular band you are interested in to utilize this information on DigiTreaties because "Chippewa" refers to all Anishinaabe people in federal documents, which encompasses the entire great lakes area. In another Minnesota example, you may know that the Wahpekute band of Dakota will be referred to as Wahpekute Sioux in historical documents and decide to search for "Wahpekute" because you know there are many bands of Sioux across the western US. But you might not know that on the treaties, "Wahpekute" was sometimes transcribed as "Wahpacoota," and that many relevant cessions don't appear under either term because the treaties were with other bands.
On the page for your cession, you will see a list of dates (ex: Oct. 21, 1837), and probably some links that say something like: "Royce’s Schedule of Indian Land Cessions" or "Treaty entry in ___." These link to ebooks of cession lists where you can read a record of the treaty terms or land transfer information.
You will likely only need to read a specific paragraph on the linked page. Look for your cession number, the tribe name, or the state in question to be sure you are reading the right passage.
Remember that this treaty information was written and recorded by the US government. You will need to look elsewhere to find another side of the story.
For this class, scroll down and open the "Primary Documents in American History" box to find documents like the Homestead Act, the Indian Removal Act, and more. Try searching for the name of a treaty.