by Jan Zauha
Identity, community, information, knowledge‹all those attributes that represent our highest
expectations of Web technology can be found in the Native American Web presence. Although
high-speed network technology is scarce on reservations and in tribal colleges, there are
many Web resources available that promote, explore, and connect native issues. These sites come
from a variety of sources and speak to many different groups. They are definitely worth exploring.
Native cultural resources on the Web cover almost every topic. Native American arts, artists and
cultural events are promoted through Native America Online with links to artist profiles, galleries, powwows and other events. Medicinal plants and their
native uses can be searched in the Cornell/Agricultural Research Service database of Medicinal Plants of Native America
(MPNADB). The Native Languages Page lists resources for many peoples; some include online audio dictionaries or bibliographies of
printed resources. NativeWeb's
Literature database locates poetry and short stories from groups in the Americas and beyond.
For native education information, turn to the Index of Native American
Education Resources, part of a much larger index to native Web information, which is part of the even larger WWW Virtual
Library project. In the Education index, links to teacher resources include Turtle Tracks, a native newsletter for children, and Oyate, a native organization focused on accurate portrayal of
native peoples. You will also find links to specific higher education programs such as the Montana State University Native American Studies program whose
site highlights student clubs and services. Tribal college sites are also easily located through
this index. The colorful Little Big Horn College pages provide
Crow census information, relation tracing, a Crow placenames database, and much more. The American Indian Higher Education Consortium tracks important education
and funding news from its site.
Government Web sites for Native Americans provide important program and governance information.
Specific tribal pages such as the official site of the Blackfeet
Nation explain tribal government and list current council members, provide economic development
information, and retell the history of the nation. Notable Web sites from federal agencies include
the Bureau of Indian Affairs, tracing hot
issues and topics of interest like gaming compacts and statistics. The U.S. Department of Health
and Human Services provides administration for Native
Americans, promoting social and economic self-sufficiency. Code Talk is a federal interagency Web site that provides information for Native American
communities, including such issues as housing, health, children and the environment.
Web clearinghouses for native peoples information are numerous. NativeWeb has created a "cyber-place for Earth's indigenous peoples" covering all lands
and all topics. Aboriginal Connections is a directory
of native-focused subjects such as law, media and business. Native American Sites provides very
useful lists of native organizations, businesses, journals, and other Web resources.
For help locating more information, call or stop in at the Renne Library reference desk. If you
find Web sites that you think might be of interest to the MSU community, please send me an e-mail
message at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jan Zauha is a reference and information resource development librarian at the MSU Libraries.