Natives of Montana Archival Project

The Natives of Montana Archival Project (NOMAP) provides online access to primary source documents related to tribes in the state of Montana. Over the course of four summers (2009-2012), students from the Native American Studies Department at the University of Montana photographed a total of 65,714 pages from 126 boxes of Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) records (Record Group 75) held at the National Archives in Washington, D.C.

The NOMAP project focused on a subset of the BIA records known as the Central Classified Files dating from 1907 to 1939, and on records produced by or about Indian Agencies located in Montana. This subset includes letters received, copies of letters sent, reports, memoranda, minutes, petitions, leases, contracts, affidavits, applications, certificates, licenses, permits, bonds, wills, other legal documents, tables, circulars, accounting records, clippings, photographs, diagrams, and blueprints. As the BIA's Central Classified Files from 1907-1939 contain over two million pieces of paper relating to Montana, the NOMAP project focused specifically on that portion of the records which are organized according to individual field units or jurisdictions, such as the Blackfeet Agency, and primarily on documents which had not been previously microfilmed. Documents from the following jurisdictions are available in this collection: Blackfeet Agency, Crow Agency, Flathead Agency, Fort Belknap Agency, Fort Shaw Agency, Rocky Boy Agency and Tongue River Agency.

Within each jurisdiction, files are arranged according to a decimal-subject classification system. As an example, Decimal Classification 054 is assigned to the Acts of Tribal Councils. Within each decimal-subject classification there are individual dossiers or files of records relating to a specific subject. These files are arranged chronologically and thereunder by file number of the first or "base" letter filed therein. The individual documents within a file are generally arranged in chronological order.

All of these images are available via the Montana History Portal. Following is a breakdown of the number of images (digitized pages) in the NOMAP collection by agency:

Following is a breakdown of the number of images (digitized pages) in the NOMAP collection by agency:
Types of images included in collection; refer to table for additional details.

Agency Number of Images
Blackfeet 39887
Crow 7485
Flathead 6674
Fort Peck 4876
Fort Belknap 4478
Fort Shaw 882
Rocky Boy 881
Tongue River 374
Special Cases 177

Funding for this project was provided by the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library, the Native American Studies Department, and the Smithsonian Institution.