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BUREAU OF CATHOLIC INDIAN MISSIONS RECORDS

BUREAU OF CATHOLIC INDIAN MISSIONS

HISTORICAL NOTE/ SCOPE AND CONTENT


 

Records of the three affiliated Catholic institutions of the Mission House or Black and Indian Mission Office -- the Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions, the Black and Indian Mission Collection (formally known as the Commission for the Catholic Missions among the Colored People and the Indians) and The Catholic Negro-American Mission Board (formerly The Catholic Board for Mission Work among the Colored People). The records of these organizations document Catholic evangelization in the United States and dependent territories.

Gift of the Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions, 1977-[ongoing]. Processed by Philip C. Bantin, 1977-1986, and Mark G. Thiel, CA (Certified Archivist), 1986-[ongoing]. Selected series microfilmed, 1980-[ongoing]. De Rancé, Incorporated (Milwaukee), provided generous support for the initial acquisition and processing of records, 1976-1980.

See e-Archives for select materials available online.

Restrictions: Restricted records are described below in the Scope and Content Notes. Access to these records requires permission in writing from the Black and Indian Mission Office, 2021 H Street NW, Washington, DC 20006-4207. Phone: (202) 331-8542. Newsletter: The Sentinel. Website: Black and Indian Mission Office. In addition, the researcher assumes full responsibility for conforming with the laws of libel, privacy, and copyright which may be involved in the use of these records. Consult an archivist for further information.


Historical Note

The Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions was created in 1874 as the Office of the Commissioner for Catholic Indian Missions to protect, promote, and administer the Native American mission interests of the Catholic Church in the United States. In so doing, it promoted fund raising and advocacy for Catholic Native American missions and also contributed to advocacy for Native American social and cultural issues in general.

Notable People: Officers and personnel of the Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions.

Notable Events: Notable events regarding the Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions and Catholic evangelization of Native Americans in the present-day United States.

Notable Missions and Parishes: Notable Native American Catholic missions and parishes in the present-day United States.

Pictorial History: "The Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions: 140 Years of Action", presented at the 75th annual Tekakwitha Conference in Fargo, North Dakota, July 24, 2014.


Scope and Content

While archives staff strives to properly identify, arrange, and copy documents as described below, researchers should know that, in at least a few instances, legibility and misinterpretation of handwriting has compromised the order and readability of documents. For example, in interpreting handwritten dates, what seemingly appears as the abbreviation "Jun" may prove to be the month "January" and not "June", and occasionally, marginally legible original documents may be unreadable in the microfilm version. Patrons coping with these issues are invited to ask the archivist.

Series: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17

Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions, Series 1-1, Correspondence, Charters, By Laws, and Minutes of Meetings -- Originals and Microfilm: The original documents to 1920 are in fragile physical condition. Therefore, researchers desiring to use this correspondence may be directed to the microfilm version.

Between 1977-1980 and in 1997, Marquette University microfilmed Series 1 through 1975 with the exception of scant amounts of oversight correspondence, 1892-1975. Some early ledger-book copies contain marginal legibility. The original record order has been maintained, which includes varying combinations of hierarchical, alphabetical, chronological, and numerical arrangement according to the changing needs of the directors and staff of the Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions. Most correspondents were Bureau personnel, ordinaries (bishops and archbishops who head dioceses and archdioceses), United States government officials, benefactors such Reverend Mother (Saint) M. Katharine Drexel, and representatives of national and international Catholic missionary organizations. Common topics include Catholic education and evangelization, Native American socio-economic issues, and related United States Government policies, legislation, and appointments. Substantial volumes per year occurred between 1915-1945. A number of non-English letters are also included, which reflects the mutual linguistic abilities of the first three directors of the Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions (Brouillet, Stephan, and Ketcham) and their correspondents as well as the publicity interests of the fourth director (Hughes). Where they exist, English summaries or full-text translations are available online with links in the appropriate folder titles of the inventories. Other series within the Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions Records and other Marquette University collections may contain related documentation.

Throughout their history, diocesan jurisdiction over a given parish, mission, or school may have changed one or more times. As this occurred, responsibilities regarding this institution would change dioceses (ordinaries) accordingly. A bishop's orrespondence to/from the Bureau may be filed among the correspondence of a specific institution, if it pertains to that one institution, or it may be filed under the general correspondence of a state, if it pertains to two or more institutions. Researchers unfamiliar with diocesan ecclesiastical history, and the names of past bishops and pastors, may wish to consult sources such as: the diocesan entries in Guides to Catholic-Related Records about Native Americans in the United States; Catholic-Hierarchy, The Official Catholic Directory, and Index to the Catholic Directories for the United States with Appended Countries, 1817, 1822, 1833-.

The names of Catholic institutions with their corresponding place names are used throughout the descriptive inventories according to the names current at that time. Be aware that a number of institution and place names changed over time and that more than one name may have been used simultaneously. For examples, St. John's Mission School on the Gila River Reservation in Arizona was known first as St. John's Mission, Komatke, Arizona and later as St. John's Mission, Laveen, Arizona and the Holy Rosary Mission School near Pine Ridge on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota is now known as Red Cloud Indian School.

Series 1 Index of Correspondence: Due to the complex arrangement schemes used through 1976, the descriptive inventory also includes an index through that year. It contains all correspondents with the Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions and the Commission for Catholic Missions among the Colored People and the Indians, except their directors while in office. The names are alphabetized by surnames, if known or forenames when surnames are not given, along with titles and initials designating religious order affiliations, e.g. example1, Sister Mary, O.S.F. Places of residence are also included, if known. Persons with name variations are cross-indexed. Native American ethnicity is included, if known. In some instances, native ethnicity was confirmed through cross-referencing with Series 2-1 Bureau School Records and other sources that confirmed affinities between specific surnames and ethnic groups. The index is especially useful for locating correspondence by frequent writers who corresponded from diverse locations, e.g. Katharine Drexel.

The Series 1 Index of Correspondence is not online and exists in card form only. However, index information on specific correspondents is available on request. In addition, The Official Catholic Directory and its predecessors are useful tools for determining the whereabouts of priests in for past years, which is key to predicting the location of their correspondence within the Bureau records.

Charters, By-Laws, Minutes, and Correspondence by Native Americans -- Facsimiles: Charters, by-laws, articles of incorporation, minutes of the Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions, and correspondence authored by Native Americans, which were copied and compiled from originals inter-filed throughout the correspondence. Notable correspondents include Black Elk (Oglala, 1863-1950), Reverend Phillip B. Gordon or Ti-bish-go-gi-jik (Ojibwa, 1885-1948), and Zitkala Sa or Gertrude S. Bonnin (Yankton). The Sacred Heart Province Franciscan Records, Series 1, includes additional letters by Father Gordon. Many of these Native-authored documents also appear in The Crossing of Two Roads: Being Catholic and Native in the United States.

Correspondence -- 1853-1884, n.d. (ca. 1872-1884) -- Before the Bureau to Reverend John B.A. Brouillet:

Before the Bureau (1853-1874): These records are arranged in a single 21-year increment. There under the arrangement is alphabetical throughout by U.S. states, territories, the District of Columbia, and Rocky Mountain Missions, i.e. Jesuit-administered missions in Idaho, Montana, and Washington, 1873-1884. Within each region, the arrangement continues alphabetically throughout with individual folders for missions or schools and general correspondence on two or more missions or schools in the region, e.g. Alaska, General Correspondence, placed at the end of that region. The localities include both individual places and institutions and widely dispersed or sparsely settled areas in clusters of places with a number of institutions not listed on the folder headings, e.g. Arizona Territory, Pima Agency, Papago Reservation; New Mexico Territory, Pueblo Agency. The District of Columbia heading includes correspondence with the United States federal government and others in Washington such as the United States War Department and the United States Department of the Interior; correspondence outside the United States; and correspondence pertaining to two or more Catholic missions and general concerns not pertaining to any specific mission. The local and general folders are further divided into chronologically arranged dated materials followed immediately by corresponding folders with undated and circa dated 1871-1874 materials.

Brouillet (1874-1884): Correspondence, charters, by laws, and minutes of meetings of the Bureau's first Executive Director, Father John the Baptist A. Brouillet plus that of General Charles Ewing and Captain John Mullan, the Bureau's commissioners. These records are arranged in a single 10-year increment. There under the arrangement is alphabetical throughout by U.S. states, territories, the District of Columbia, and Rocky Mountain Missions, i.e. Jesuit-administered missions in Idaho, Montana, and Washington, 1873 to 1884. Within each area, the arrangement continues alphabetically throughout with individual folders for missions or schools and/or localities and general correspondence on two or more missions or schools in the area, e.g. Alaska, General Correspondence, placed at the end of that region. The localities include both individual places and institutions and widely dispersed or sparsely settled areas in clusters of places with a number of institutions not listed on the folder headings, e.g. Arizona Territory, Pima Agency, Papago Reservation; New Mexico Territory, Pueblo Agency. The District of Columbia heading includes correspondence with the United States federal government and others in Washington such as the United States Department of the Interior; correspondence outside the United States such as the Association de la Sainte Enfance (Society of the Holy Childhood), Paris, France, the Leopoldine Stiftung (Leopoldine Society), Vienna, Austria, and the Society for the Propagation of the Faith, Lyon, France; and correspondence pertaining to two or more Catholic missions and general concerns not pertaining to any specific mission. The local and general folders are further divided into chronologically arranged dated materials followed immediately by corresponding folders with undated and circa dated materials between 1871-1884.

Father Brouillet (a French-Canadian American) corresponded in French with some missionaries in Alaska, California, Dakota Territory, and possibly other states, 1874-1882. Translated summaries are available on request.

During and prior to the Brouillet era, correspondents produced and retained copies of outgoing correspondence with letterpress books, many of which provided only marginally legible copies at best. In the microfilm, these copies represent an estimated 5% of the frames, and when archives staff produced the microfilm during the 1970s, they lacked digital tools to enhance legibility. While enhanced digital copies are now available, the enhancement of these letters does not guarantee legibility.

For additional documentation regarding General Charles Ewing, see the Charles Ewing Papers at Catholic University of America.

Correspondence -- 1885-1900, n.d. (ca. 1884-1900) -- Reverend Joseph A. Stephan: Correspondence, by laws, and minutes of meetings of the Bureau's second Executive Director, Father Joseph A. Stephan. These records are arranged in annual chronological increments. There under the arrangement is alphabetical by U.S. states, territories, the District of Columbia, and Rocky Mountain Missions, i.e. Jesuit-administered missions or schools in Idaho, Montana, and Washington, 1885-1900, with North Dakota and South Dakota listed as Dakota, North and  Dakota, South. Within these areas, the arrangement continues alphabetically throughout with individual folders for missions or schools and/or localities with Catholic-mission related activities. General correspondence on two or more missions or schools in the region, e.g. Alaska, General Correspondence, is placed at the end of the region except for North and South  Dakota, which have a combined two-state folder, Dakotas, General following Dakota, South. The localities include both individual places and institutions and widely  dispersed or sparsely settled areas in clusters of places with a number of institutions not listed on the folder headings, e.g. Arizona Territory, Pima Agency, Papago Reservation; New Mexico Territory, Pueblo Agency. The District of Columbia heading includes correspondence with the United States government agencies and others in Washington such as the United States Department of the Interior and the Treasurer of the Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions; correspondence outside the United States such as the Association de la Sainte Enfance (Society of the Holy Childhood), Paris, France, the Leopoldine Stiftung (Leopoldine Society), Vienna, Austria, and the Society for the Propagation of the Faith, Lyon, France; and correspondence pertaining to two or more Catholic missions and general concerns not pertaining to any specific mission. Within the folders all dated material is arranged chronologically followed immediately by corresponding folders with undated and circa dated 1884-1900 materials.

After 1887, the federal government would eventually allot most reservations. In many instances, with assistance from the Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions, Catholic missions and schools were able to secure allotments on the lands so used. If and when that occurred, the allotment descriptions are interfiled within the correspondence of the respective missions and schools by their date of issuance.

Father Stephan (a German-American) corresponded in German with some missionaries in North Dakota, South Dakota, and possibly other states, 1885-1901.

During the Stephan era, correspondents produced and retained copies of outgoing correspondence with letterpress books, many of which provided only marginally legible copies at best. In the microfilm, these copies represent an estimated 5% of the frames, and when archives staff produced the microfilm during the 1970s, they lacked digital tools to enhance legibility. While enhanced digital copies are now available, the enhancement of these letters does not guarantee legibility.

Correspondence -- 1901-1920, n.d. (ca. 1901-1920) -- Monsignor William H. Ketcham: Correspondence, by laws, and minutes of meetings of the Bureau's third Executive Director, Monsignor William H. Ketcham. The correspondence is divided into annual increments of chronologically arranged dated records followed by an increment of undated and circa dated 1901-1920 records. There under the arrangement is alphabetical by U.S. states, territories, and the District of Columbia with North Dakota and South Dakota listed under "D" as Dakota North and Dakota South. Within the regions, the arrangement continues alphabetically throughout with individual folders for missions or schools and/or localities. General correspondence on two or more missions or schools in the region, e.g. Alaska, General Correspondence, is placed at the end of the region except for North and South Dakota, which have a combined two-state folder, Dakotas, General following Dakota, South. The localities include both individual places and institutions and widely dispersed or sparsely settled areas in clusters of places with a number of institutions not listed on the folder headings, e.g. Arizona Territory, Pima Agency, Papago Reservation, some of which were unofficial names, e.g. New Mexico, Pueblo Reservation. The District of Columbia heading includes correspondence with the United States federal government and others in Washington such as the United States Department of the Interior and the Treasurer of the Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions; correspondence outside the United States such as the Association de la Sainte Enfance (Society of the Holy Childhood), Paris, France, the Leopoldine Stiftung (Leopoldine Society), Vienna, Austria, and the Society for the Propagation of the Faith, Lyon, France; and correspondence pertaining to two or more Catholic missions and general concerns not pertaining to any specific mission, such as Reverend Mother (saint) M. Katharine Drexel, the Catholic Church Extension Society, and the Commission for Catholic Missions Among the Colored People and the Indians.

In 1904, following a favorable ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court, federal regulations permitted certain Indian parents to pay their children's Catholic school tuition by using tribal trust funds. The parents and their children were required to be enrolled members of tribes that had a federally administered trust-fund account. The regulations required the parents to sign petitions to authorize the government to pay the tuition from the account and they required the schools to sign contracts with the government and to report the pupils' attendance. The Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions retained copies of the petitions signed annually by the pupils' parents and government contracts signed annually by school officials. Both sets of documents are interfiled among the correspondence between the schools and the Bureau whereas copies of the pupil attendance reports are interfiled among the Series 2-1, School Reports. Most trust-fund payments and the corresponding documentation ceased by or before the 1970s.

Monsignor Ketcham corresponded in Choctaw with some Choctaw Indians in Mississippi, 1917-1920. Translations are included in the Series 1-1 Facsimiles, which are described above.

Correspondence -- 1921-1934 -- Monsignor William M. Hughes (Parts 1-2): Correspondence, by laws, and minutes of meetings of the Bureau's fourth Executive Director, Monsignor William M. Hughes. The correspondence is arranged into annual increments divided into the five numerically-designated funding categories noted below. Within these categories, the arrangement is first alphabetical by state and there under by localities and missions or schools with general correspondence pertaining to two or more missions or schools following at the end The localities include both individual places and institutions and widely dispersed or sparsely settled areas in clusters of places with a number of institutions not listed on the folder headings, e.g. Arizona Territory, Pima Agency, Papago Reservation, some of which were unofficial names, e.g. New Mexico, Pueblo Reservation.

10-Government Schools: Correspondence with government Indian schools, which typically had associated Catholic religious education programs. The arrangement is alphabetical by U.S. states, territories, and the District of Columbia, and chronological there under.

20-Mission Schools: Correspondence with Catholic schools funded by private donations. The arrangement is alphabetical by U.S. states, territories, and the District of Columbia, and chronological there under.

30-Tribal Funds Schools: Correspondence with Catholic schools funded by tribal trust funds that were administered by the U.S. federal government. The arrangement is alphabetical by U.S. states, territories, and the District of Columbia, and chronological there under.

40-Missions: Correspondence with Catholic missions and parishes. The arrangement is alphabetical by U.S. states, territories, and the District of Columbia, and chronological there under.

50-General: General correspondence with Bureau personnel, religious institutes (communities or orders) or dioceses regarding two or more missions or schools, other Catholic agencies, U.S. government agencies, and the general public. Within folders marked A to Z, the arrangement is alphabetical by surname and chronological there under. In addition, the following special folders were interfiled alphabetically: "Assistant Director, BCIM, [plus name]," for the Director of the Bureau of the Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions; "Bequests;" "Commission for Catholic Missions Among the Colored People and the Indians;" "Director, BCIM, [plus name]," for the Director of the Bureau of the Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions; "Drexel, Katharine," for Saint or Reverend Mother Katharine Drexel, S.B.S.; "Editor, The Indian Sentinel, [plus name];" "Extension Society," for the Catholic Church Extension Society of the United States; "Holy Childhood Association," for the Association de la Sainte Enfance (Society of the Holy Childhood), Paris, France; "Interior Department," for the United States Department of the Interior; "Lecturer, BCIM, [plus name]," for lecturers employed by the Bureau of the Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions; "Marquette League," for the Marquette League for Catholic Indian Missions; "Propagation of the Faith Society" for the Society for the Propagation of the Faith, Paris, France; and "Treasurer, BCIM, [plus name]," for the Treasurer of the Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions. The special folders are arranged chronologically.

In 1931-1932, the Bureau collected translations of the Lord's Prayer, Hail Mary, and other Christian prayers in these12 languages: Assiniboine (Box 207, Folder 10/Reel 76, Frames 0350-0503), Cheyenne (Box 200, Folder 18/Reel 170, Frames 0398-0526), Chinook (Box 202, Folder 19/Reel 171, Frames 1201-1220), Crow (Box 207, Folder 8/Reel 169, Frames 0184-0265), Dakota [Lakota] (Box 202, Folder 12/ Reel 171, Frames 0954-0982), Eskimo [Inuit] (Box 201, Folders 11 and 15/Reel 171, Frames 0268-0323, Box 206, Folder 15/Reel 175, Frames 0064-0135), Menominee (Box 201, Folder 9/Reel 171, Frames 0147-0184), Navajo (Box 198, Folder 27/Reel 168, Frames 0630-0688 and Box 206 Folder 22/Reel 175, Frames 0584-0680), Nez Perce (Box 207 Folder 3/Reel 175, Frames 1064-1137), Ojibwa (Box 200 Folder 16/ Reel 170 Frames 0292-0347 and Box 202 Folder 9/Reel 171 Frames 0853-0858), Salish (Box 199, Folder 11/Reel 171, Frames 0767-0778 and Box 207, Folder 2/Reel 175, Frames 0986-1063), and Siksika [Blackfeet]/ Piegan (Box 199 Folder 9/ Reel 169 Frames 0079-0183). Many of these prayers were then published in The Indian Sentinel, Series 4-1. These and other prayers are also included in Series 8-1 and 8-2.

Correspondence -- 1935-1976 -- Reverend John B. Tennelly, S.S. Parts 1-4) and Oversight, [1876-1975]: Correspondence, by laws, and minutes of meetings of the Bureau's fifth Executive Director, Father John B. Tennelly, S.S. The Bureau correspondence is arranged according to the scheme established previously under Monsignor Hughes. The 1976 correspondence and the oversight correspondence, 1876 to 1975, n.d., has not been microfilmed.

Correspondence -- 1977-2007 -- Monsignor Paul A. Lenz: Correspondence, by laws, and minutes of meetings of the Bureau's sixth Executive Director, Monsignor Paul A. Lenz, and his Associate Director and Legislative Assistant, Reverend Theodore (Ted) F. Zuern, S.J. The bulk of the Bureau correspondence is arranged chronologically as general correspondence with undated notes and letters appearing at the end of each decade. Correspondence, applications, and reports pertaining to grant funding issued by the Bureau were separated and appear at the end of each year. Marquette University has not microfilmed any correspondence from the administration of Monsignor Lenz.

Restrictions: These records have not been processed for research and are restricted for 25 years after their date of creation. For more information, please consult with the archives staff.

Correspondence -- 2008-[ongoing] -- Reverend W. Carroll Paysse: Correspondence of the Bureau's seventh Executive Director, Father Wayne C. Paysse. The bulk of these records have not been received.

Restrictions: These records have not been processed for research and are restricted for 25 years after their date of creation. For more information, please consult with the archives staff.

Index to Bureau correspondence by Native authors: This index contains several hundred notable letters to the Bureau by Native American authors from throughout the United States. Among them were students, parents, tribal chiefs and presidents, priests, and catechists, writing from the 1870s to the 1970s.

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Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions, Series 2, Mission and School Reports: Reports collected by the Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions, including reports relating to the U.S. Government, i.e. Series 2-1 School Reports and Series 2-3 Government School Reports. Between 1977-1980, Marquette University microfilmed Series 2 in its entirety. Other series within the Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions Records and other Marquette University collections contain documentation relating to this series.

Series 2-1 School Reports: The school records are comprised of statistical summaries and pupil attendance records. The statistical summaries were submitted annually by all Catholic schools in the United States that served primarily Native American pupils (112 schools from 19 states) whereas the pupil attendance reports were submitted quarterly by only certain schools (101 schools from 15 states). The reports are arranged alphabetically by state, there under by locality and school, and chronologically within each folder with the annual reports inter-filed chronologically among the attendance reports. For most schools, the files are incomplete with at least a few reports missing of one type or the other; for some schools, the reporting gaps are substantial with many reports missing. For Holy Name Boarding School and Holy Name Day School in Assinins (Baraga), Michigan, large gaps in the records apparently result from the interchangeable use of the two names for essentially one student body. However the quarterly reports are arranged separately according to whichever school is named on that report with those for the Boarding School preceding those for the Day School.

The statistical summaries note whether the school was a boarding or day facility, the numbers of its lay and religious employees, the names of affiliated religious communities, the amounts and sources of financial support, the number of total pupils with breakdowns by sex and average attendance, the numbers by religious and ethnic affiliations, and the number of times various sacraments were administered.

Beginning in 1904, the U.S. Government allowed American Indian parents from tribes with treaty funds held in trust, to use them to pay tuition for their children to attend Catholic schools. To calculate the payments, it required the schools to submit quarterly attendance reports listing those pupils eligible for this tuition benefit. In 1908, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Quickbear v. Leupp that tribal treaty trust funds administered by the federal government were private, and not public, revenues, which validated the legality of the practice. See Series 16-3-1 for briefs pertaining to Quickbear v. Leupp at the various federal court levels, 1906-1908.

Government regulations required the parents and their children to be enrolled members of the tribe with the trust fund account. The regulations further required qualified parents to sign annual petitions to authorize the government to pay the tuition from that account; they required the Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions and the schools to sign contracts with the government; and they required the filing of quarterly reports documenting the attendance of the qualified students.

Not all Native American pupils qualified. But some schools listed all students, both qualified and non-qualified ones (e.g. non-enrolled Indians, non-Indians) and other schools listed only qualified pupils. Not all Catholic schools serving Native Americans had pupils who qualified, either because the pupils were not enrolled members of a tribe or because their native communities lacked a trust fund account held by the federal government. Consequently, some Catholic schools with native pupils never submitted these specialized attendance records.

Some schools that did submit pupil quarterly attendance records to the Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions did so as early as 1900. Other schools did not begin the practice until the fall of 1908 or later. Schools then continued to submit the reports for as long as the pupils' tribes had trust funds and/or the school continued to operate. Reporting by a few schools ceased in the 1910s-1950s with reporting by all remaining Catholic schools ceasing during the 1960s-1970s.

The content and completeness of the reports vary widely. Typically they include lists of pupils' dates of attendance, related comments, ethnicity, and degree of Indian blood. Many reports have arranged pupil’s names first by gender, ethnicity, and lodging status (i.e. boarders, orphans) and there under alphabetically by surname. Some reports include staff names and their occupations and statistical summaries.

Catholic schools created the reports in triplicate and retained one of the three copies. They then forwarded the second and third copies to the Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions, which retained the second copy, and forwarded the third to the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs. The copies retained by the Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions now comprise the bulk of the Series 2-1 School Reports in the Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions Records at Marquette University. The copies retained by two schools -- Holy Rosary Mission - Red Cloud Indian School and St. Francis Mission School in South Dakota -- are included in the Series 2-2 school attendance records in those collections). The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration holds the Bureau of Indian Affairs copies, which are inter-filed within the respective Indian Agency records at the corresponding branch repositories of the National Archives. For more information about the BIA copies at the National Archives, see Marquette’s Guides to Catholic-Related Records for the United States about Native Americans. These records are not at Marquette, but at the institutions described. Because many sets of these attendance records contain gaps, knowing the whereabouts of other copies may be crucial for some research projects.

The Series 1-1 General Correspondence includes related letters between the schools and the Bureau pertaining to annual government contracts, pupil enrollment (includes enrollment lists), and attendance. Also included are petitions signed annually by the pupils' parents authorizing the schools to enroll their children in Catholic schools.

Restrictions: The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974 is a law governing access to student-related educational records that is enforced by the Family Policy Compliance Office (FPCO) of the U.S. Department of Education. In 1993, since FERPA's statutory language did not expressly answer questions regarding the termination of a student's right to prohibit disclosure, FPCO concluded that this right was personal and lapsed upon death (Correspondence of Leroy Rooker, Director of FPCO, to Honorable John J. Duncan, Jr., March 3, 1993). In standard archival practice, restrictions on life-long records are lifted 70 years after their date of creation. However, also due to FERPA's statutory language, these restrictions do not apply to student records held by non-educational institutions such as the U.S. National Archives branch repositories, which also holds copies of these student attendance records inter-filed within the corresponding local Indian Agency records. It is possible that gaps among the copies in the Marquette Archives may not exist or exist elsewhere among the copies at the National Archives branch repositories.

Background information about these records is also summarized here. For more information about access to these records and other genealogical records at Marquette University, please submit an Application for Genealogical Query. For some schools, sanitized facsimiles (photocopies with obliterated confidential information) are available to on-site visitors as noted in the descriptive inventories.

For contact information about access to these records at a record center of the U.S. National Archives, see Marquette's Guides to Catholic-Related Records about Native Americans in the United States. These records are not at Marquette, but at the institutions described.

Index to Surnames in Series 2-1 School Attendance Records: Surname Index. This index remains incomplete. Nonetheless, it contains many, if not most, of the surnames found among students who attended U.S. Catholic schools for American Indians outside of Alaska. It provides surnames, ethnicity, two-letter postal abbreviations of the state where the school was located, and the number of the box that contained the record. A few non-Indians also attended these schools. If listed in the reports, they are also included and their ethnicity is noted accordingly.

Afraid of Bear to Zuni: Surnames in English of Native American Origin within the Marquette Collections: Lists names found primarily in the school reports.

Series 2-2 Indian Mission Reports: Statistical summaries prepared annually on Catholic activities among Native Americans at missions and parishes. The reports are arranged alphabetically by state, there under by locality and mission or parish, and chronologically within each folder. Reporting gaps exist for all missions.

While the forms were revised several times, most reports include the names of priests, missions, chapels, and stations without chapels; the numbers of religious brothers and sisters, scholastics, lay teachers, and catechists; the number of Catholic Indians and non-Indians attending missions and chapels, the number of Catholic Indian pupils attending mission and government schools, the number of Indian baptisms, and general observations on mission work, methods, and plans in relationship with the Indian communities. A few of the observations are extensive.

Series 2-3 Government School Reports: Statistical summaries prepared annually on Catholic activities among Native American pupils at U.S. Government Indian Schools. The reports are arranged alphabetically by state, hereunder by locality and school, and chronologically within each folder. Although most files are sparse, notable reports exist for the schools at Lawrence, Kansas, Newkirk, Oklahoma, Chemawa, Oregon, and Flandreau, South Dakota.

The content of reports vary widely. Nonetheless they typically include numbers of total students and Catholic pupils; numbers of pupils attending mass and catechism classes, number of catechism teachers, frequency of mass and catechism classes; numbers of baptisms, confessions, first communions, confirmations, sick calls, deaths, and burials; and remarks.

Series 2-4 Bureau Catechist Reports: Statistical summaries prepared quarterly on the activities of Catholic catechists who were Native Americans. The reports are arranged alphabetically by state, there under by locality and mission, and chronologically within folders. Most files are very incomplete and no reports exist for many missions. Typical reports include names of catechists and affiliated mission, number of meetings held for public prayers and religious instruction; average attendance at meetings; numbers of sick calls, baptisms and burials; and remarks.


Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions, Series 3, Financial Records: The Bureau Financial Records include day books, general journals, and balance sheets, which are arranged by type of record and there under chronologically. Between 1977-1980, Marquette University microfilmed Series 3 through 1943. Other series within the Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions Records contain documentation relating to this series.

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Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions, Series 4, Publications: Works published by the Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions including periodicals, 1902-[ongoing], annual reports, 1883-1899, 1903-1911, general publications, and lecture scripts and guides to glass lantern slides.

Marquette University microfilmed Series 4 through 1962 with the exception of the scripts, which have not been microfilmed. The microfilm version includes Report of the Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions and Report of the Director of  the Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions in both Sub-series 4-2 and 4-3.

Work in-progress: The Marquette University Libraries are developing bibliographic records for the publications in this collection. This includes all books, pamphlets, magazines, newsletters, prayer cards, published maps, published sound and video recordings, etc., and excludes clipping files and reprints of articles. As they are created, the bibliographic records will appear in Marqcat, the Marquette University online catalog. Furthermore, as an interim and supplemental search tool, most titles to publications in this and related collections appear in the Index to Publications in Native America Collections.

Series 4-1, Periodicals: The periodicals include The Indian Sentinel, 1902-1962, Die Indianer-Wache, 1903-1918, and the Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions Newsletter, 1977-[ongoing].

The Indian Sentinel: From 1902 to 1962 The Indian Sentinel featured articles about Native Americans across the United States and their evangelization by the Catholic Church. Most were first-hand accounts from lifelong missionaries in the field that were often illustrated with photographs they had taken. Their articles reported on current activities and events at their missions, schools, and local native communities and many articles also described the lives of notable Native Americans and other missionaries. Also included are articles, essays, and letters authored by Native Americans, many of whom were students in Catholic schools.

The Indian Sentinel was the official publication of the Society for the Preservation of the Faith among Indian Children, a subsidiary fundraising organization to the Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions that the Bureau had established in 1901. To accommodate European members, the Bureau also published Die Indianer-Wache, a German language edition, 1903-1918, with identical articles and illustrations.

Throughout its history, the magazine’s content remained consistent, its format changed slightly, and its frequency varied markedly.

  • 1902-1915
Annual Profiles of missions and mission schools, letters from missionaries in the field, obituaries of missionaries and converts, histories of missions, and current condition of various tribes. Few photos.
1916-1935 4/year Profiles of missions, mission schools, related activities, and notable Indian Catholics, letters from missionaries in the field, obituaries of missionaries and converts, histories of missions, current condition of various tribes, and hymns/ prayers in native languages. 24-48 pages/ issue with single columns of print and many photos.
1936-1956 10/year Same as above, except the page count reduced to 12-16 pages/ issue and the columns of print increased from one to two.
1957-1958 6/year Same as above.
1959 3/year Same as above.
1960 Annual Same as above.
1962 4/year Same as above.

In 1929 and 1930, 30 or more mission-specific special editions per issue were created, which used supplemental overlays comprised of articles highlighting those missions. Within these years, the special editions are arranged alphabetically immediately following the general edition. No issues were published in 1961 and publication ceased at the end of 1962.

Initially, most illustrations were line drawings by professional artists or photographs by professional photographers. But soon, missionaries with consumer-grade cameras armed produced the bulk of the photography, which accompanied the articles they contributed. By the 1920s, a number of illustrations featured subjects attired in native dress, either in their homes or at Indian-theme pageants and celebrations, which gained in popularity as rural tourism developed in the Midwest and West.

Be aware that the proper names (and spelling) found in the articles are historical names that may vary markedly from contemporary names and Library of Congress subject headings. This includes the names of Catholic missions and schools, religious institutes (orders, etc.), native ethnic groups (American Indian tribes, Eskimo communities, and other related groups), and reservations and localities. Several names have changed or varied more than once as well as similar or identical names may represent more than one group or place. To clarify identities, we advise researchers to consult the Help Pages for Native America Digital Collections, which includes Master Lists of Authors of The Indian Sentinel, Master Lists of Catholic and Native Groups, and a link to the Master Index to the Marquette Native Catholic Guides, which provides comparisons between contemporary and historic names of related Catholic institutions.

Most manuscripts, photographic prints, drawings, and other artwork submitted for publication in The Indian Sentinel and Die Indianer-Wache are interfiled in other Bureau series as follows: manuscripts -- Series 1-1, photographic prints -- Series 9-1 and Series 9-3, drawings and other artwork -- Series 12. See the respective notes above and below for more information.

Unbound loose originals of The Indian Sentinel are available for all years except 1904-1905, 1906, 1911, 1912, and 1913.

The Indian Sentinel Digital Publication Collection: The online version in English only, 1902-1962; Die Indianer-Wache is not included.

Searching tips: Related images and texts may exist in more than one collection at Marquette University, either online or off-line. To identify all online documentation pertinent to your research, use the Advanced Search function, which provides simultaneous searching across more than one digital collection, e.g. Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions Digital Images (also includes images from the Walter Bernard Hunt Collection and the Sacred Heart Province Franciscan Records), The Indian Sentinel Digital Publication, Holy Rosary Mission/Red Cloud Indian School Images, St. Francis Mission Digital Images. To insure that pertinent online documents are not overlooked, conduct multiple advanced searches using diverse but related key words such as names of objects, persons, places, organizations, and ethnic groups.

Die Indianer-Wache: is the German language edition of The Indian Sentinel, 1903-1918, which is available as microfilm or bound originals. Unbound loose originals also exist for 1903-1904, 1907-1912, 1914-1918.

Index to Illustrations in The Indian Sentinel: An in-house card index to illustrations alphabetized by state and there under by community (boxes 1-13) with advertisements alphabetized at the end (box 13).

Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions Newsletter: The Newsletter, 1977-2009, featured short news articles and photographs on current events of general interest to Native American Catholics and others involved in ministry to them. It included a column by the Executive Director -- Monsignor Paul A. Lenz, 1977-2007, and Father Wayne C. Paysse, 2007-2009; essays on social justice issues by Reverend Ted Zeurn, S.J., 1979-2006; and a column by Monsignor Paul A. Lenz, as vice postulator of the canonization cause of Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha, 2007-2009. Its frequency varied from seven to 10/year and occasional inserts announced forthcoming events, such as the Tekakwitha Conference, or conveyed greetings for forthcoming holy seasons, such as Christmas. The Index to Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions Newsletteris available online through 1991. The photographs published in the newsletter have been transferred to Marquette University.

The Sentinel: The Sentinel, 2009-ongoing, features short news articles and photographs on current events of general interest to Native American Catholics and others involved in ministry to them. It included a column by the Executive Director Father Wayne C. Paysse, 2009-ongoing, and a column by Monsignor Paul A. Lenz, as vice postulator of the canonization cause of Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha, 2009-ongoing. Its frequency is 6/year.

Series 4-2: Published Reports: The annual reports reviewed notable mission-related issues and congressional actions and included recommendations and proposals, statistics on missions and schools, financial statements, and copies of notable letters to and from the Bureau. The reports were prepared by the director for the incorporators of the Bureau (the Archbishops of Baltimore, New York, and Philadelphia). The arrangement is chronological.

Series 4-3: General Publications: These publications by the Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions include the Annals of the Catholic Indian Missions of America and several published letters and reports pertaining to church-state relationships with respect to Indian Affairs. Included are the reports authored by Monsignor William H. Ketcham as a member of the U.S. Board of Indian Commissioners, 1912-1921, other miscellaneous reports, petitions, circulars, appeals, speeches, and the BCIM by-laws all arranged chronologically followed by undated items. Notable issues include appointment of a national Catholic Commissioner for Indian missions, establishment of the Bureau, reactions to President Grant's Peace Policy, organization of financial support for missions, contract schools, religious garb, rations, and tribal funds. This published correspondence is not included in the Series 1-1 Correspondence Index.

St. Kateri Tekakwitha Canonization Pilgrimage: In 2012, the Bureau, in collaboration with the Tekakwitha Conference, sponsored the Official St. Kateri Tekakwitha Pilgrimage to Rome. In so doing, it promoted a St. Kateri Tekakwitha commemorative medal (series 10) and provided tote bags (series 10) to participants with these contents: an inscribed pencil (series 10), three 1-sheet flyers (series 4-3), issues of Magnificat, 14:8 (Oct. 2012) (separated) and The Sentinel, 3:1 (Summer 2012) (series 4-3), a laminated picture prayer card with relic - Prayer to St. Kateri Tekakwitha (series 4-3), a brochure - St. Kateri Tekakwitha, Mohawk, Mystic and Model for the New Evangelization (series 4-3), a pamphlet - The Rosary, A Prayer for All Native Peoples, Rich May, 2009 (series 4-3), and a rosary with plastic beads and crucifix (series 10). The retained items are located within the series indicated whereas the separated item was not added to the collection.

Series 4-4, Lectures, Homilies, and Addresses: This series comprises lectures, homilies, and addresses, and includes texts that were read to accompany the showing of lantern slides and silent motion pictures. One such silent motion picture, The Life of Christ, was shown outdoors in 1924 at the Catholic Sioux Congress, held at St. Francis Mission, Rosebud Reservation, South Dakota. This movie comprised four reels of color film shown in conjunction with a text read in English and its translation into Dakota. See Rev. John S. Woods, "27th Annual Sioux Congress", The Indian Sentinel, 4(1924):4:149.

The lecture scripts and guides to glass lantern slides were developed for public presentations and include numerous anecdotes and incidents from missionaries. Also included is the drama, Coaina, which was performed in several mission schools, and a comprehensive file of U.S. treaty stipulations on Indian education. The Lecture A and B guides refer to images made from photographs in Series 9-1. The Historical Note above contains a list of known lecturers for the Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions.

Other Government-related records about Native Americans are included in Series 2-1 (Indian student attendance records from Catholic schools that received tuition reimbursement from tribal trust funds), Series 2-3 (reports by Catholic chaplains at government Indian schools), Series 16-1 (U.S. Interior Department Documents), Series 16-2 (U.S. Congressional Documents), and Series 16-3 (U.S. and State Court Documents and U.S. documents by other federal departments and agencies). Series 16-2-2 and 16-2-3 contains U.S. Senate and House testimony by Bureau personnel.

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Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions, Series 8, Native American Language and Pictorial Records/Recordings: The records include language-based and pictorial catechisms, Christian prayer books, hymnals, and choir recordings, Bibles, the Lord's Prayer, health care writings, and bilingual dictionaries and language learning aids collected by the Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions with additions by Marquette University. Most are rare books and recordings and a few are unpublished manuscripts that represent over 30 native languages. Marquette University has not microfilmed these series.

Series 8-1: Print Publications: This series includes print publications for Native American languages and mnemonic symbols and pictures.

Series 8-2: Various Formats: This series comprises sound, video, and electronic recordings in various formats, some of which also include texts and digital images of mnemonic and pictorial publications.

Native Languages/ Ethnic Groups Represented

Both sub-series are arranged alphabetically by language and there under by title. Items using more than one language are arranged according to the first language used and undated items appear at the end of that language. In Sub-Series 8-1, materials added after 1985 appear at the end of the series according to the established pattern. Cross-referencing notes are included to facilitate navigation among all languages represented within the two sub-series. An asterisk (*) below indicate some items pertaining to that ethnic group but without use of their corresponding native language. Rather, English or instrumental music is employed.

Algonquin: 8-1 Kootenai: 8-1
Arapaho: 8-1 Maricopa: 8-2*
Atsina (Gros Ventre): 8-1 Mohawk: 8-1, 8-2; see also Iroquoian
California tribes: 8-1, 8-2; see also Cupeño Navajo (Diné): 8-1, 8-2
Cherokee: 8-2* Nez Perce (Numipu): 8-1
Cheyenne: 8-1 Ojibwa (Chippewa, Ojibwe): 8-1, 8-2
Chinook: 8-1 Oneida: 8-2; see also Iroquoian
Choctaw: 8-1 Onondaga: 8-1; see also Iroquoian
Coeur d'Alene (Skitswish): 8-1 Osage: 8-1
Comanche: 8-2 Ottawa: 8-1
Creek (Muskogee): 8-1 Pima (Akimel O'odham): 8-1
Crow (Absaroki): 8-1 Salish (Flathead): 8-1, 8-2
Cupeño: 8-1, 8-2*; see also California Siksika (Blackfeet, Blackfoot): 8-1
Dakota (Sioux, Lakota, Assiniboine): 8-1, 8-2 Snohomish (Tulalip): 8-1
Delaware: 8-1 Spokane (Flathead): 8-1, 8-2; see also Kalispel
Eskimo (Inuit, Yupik): 8-1 Tewa: 8-2
Hopi: 8-1 Winnebago (Ho-Chunk): 8-1
Iroquoian (Cayuga, Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Seneca): 8-1; see also Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga Yakama: 8-1
Kalispel (Flathead): 8-1 Unidentified: 8-1
Kiowa: 8-2 Catholic Ladders (Mnemonic, pictorial): 8-1, 8-2

 

Native Language Texts: Additional writings are also included in Series 1-1 (Monsignor William Ketcham correspondence in Choctaw, 1901-1920, and Christian prayers in various languages, 1931-1932), 14-1 (newspapers in Dakota and Ojibwa), and 16-1-4 (readers for Indian children in Dakota and Navajo). This series has not been microfilmed.

Catholic "Ladder" Pictorial Catechisms: See the online presentation, "Catholic Ladder Pictorial Catechisms, January, 2009, within In the Spotlight and various items and related photography in the records of Holy Rosary Mission-Red Cloud Indian School and St. Francis Mission.

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Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions, Series 9, Photography: Black & white and color photography about Native Americans and/or Catholic evangelization of Native Americans, primarily in the United States, that were created by and collected by the Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions. The images include both Catholic-specific and general Native American events. A few items were added by Marquette University, such as black & white prints by W. Ben Hunt (Wisconsin, General).

For each folder, the dates noted are limited to the first and last known years when images were created with intervening years, if any, not included. These are followed by “n.d.” for “no dates” to indicate undated images. In addition, staff may determine and note approximate dates in parentheses as follows:

·"n.d. (Received Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions)” = No creation years known; the years given identify when the Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions received the images, which typically was less than five years after they were taken.

·"n.d. (Used The Indian Sentinel)” or “n.d. (Used Other Title)” = No creation years known; the years given identify when The Indian Sentinel or Other Title first published the images, which typically was less than 10 years after they were taken.

·"n.d." (ca. year-year) = No creation years known; the years given identify the approximate years derived from clues within the images and related text.

The institutions listed are mostly local churches and schools and were the sources of the photography. Most photographs within these folders document local events of the institutions and nearby communities. However, many nearby communities also have separate institutions and corresponding folders as do those distant places that have been identified. Events located far from the institutions that sent the photographs, including those taken out-of-state and outside of the United States, are arranged by the place where the photographs were taken rather than by the institution that provided the prints.

Occasionally, correspondence pertaining to the provenance of photographs is included in the Series 1-1 General Correspondence.

The images are divided first by format into sub-series for black & white and color prints and negatives. Throughout the prints are arranged by their origins or relationships, e.g. specific Catholic Church institution, whereas the negatives are arranged numerically.

A list of photographers is will be available soon.

Series 9-1, Black & White Prints: Between ca. 1910 to ca. 1970, missionaries with consumer-grade cameras documented community life and Catholic evangelization in the Native American communities where they were involved, and they submitted many of their images as potential illustrations for articles in The Indian Sentinel. Before then, most photographs, and a few to ca. 1930, were created by professional photographers and submitted as lobbying aids in Congress to secure funding for Catholic mission schools. After 1920, a number of prints pertain to Indian involvement in western movies, rodeos, and Indian-theme pageants and celebrations, and a few still frames from silent motion pictures are also included, such as the clip, "Sioux Catechist Teaching Indian Children to Make the Sign of the Cross" in Rev. John S. Woods, "27th Annual Catholic Sioux Congress", The Indian Sentinel, 4(1924):4:148. During this decade, the quality, quantity, and diversity of the images expands in response to improvements in photographic technology but it declined markedly after 1960, when the Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions ceased to solicit photographs from missionaries in the field.

The original prints are arranged into four consecutive sequences:

  1. Boxes 1-58A: A double alphabetical sequence of U.S. states, Alaska to Wyoming with the District of Columbia, followed there under by communities and their respective Catholic institution (s) of origin. At the ends of most states and the District of Columbia, the headings include one or more folders noted as "General," i.e. relating to more than one Catholic institution or no Catholic institution, "Unidentified," i.e. relating to Catholic institutions that are not unidentified, and "Unknown," i.e. relating to Catholic institution of unknown origins.

  2. Box 59: The “United States,” for images lacking relationships with a specific state and Catholic institution. The entire sequence is comprised of folders noted as "General," i.e. relating to more than one Catholic institution or no Catholic institution, "Unidentified," i.e. relating to Catholic institutions that are not unidentified, and "Unknown," i.e. relating to Catholic institutions of unknown origins.

  3. Box 60: An alphabetical sequence of other countries, Canada to Sweden, followed there under by communities and their respective Catholic institution of origin for images from outside the United States. At the ends, some headings include one or more folders noted as "General," i.e. relating to more than one Catholic institution or no Catholic institution, "Unidentified," i.e. relating to Catholic institution that are not unidentified, and "Unknown," i.e. relating to Catholic institutions of unknown origins.

  4. Oversize Boxes 1-2: An alphabetical sequence of oversize U.S. prints by states, the District of Columbia, and the United States. At the end or throughout, some headings includes one or more folders noted as "General," i.e. relating to more than one Catholic institution or no Catholic institution, "Unidentified," i.e. relating to Catholic institutions that are not unidentified, and "Unknown," i.e. relating to Catholic institutions of unknown origins.

Portraits of personnel who served the Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions are filed under "District of Columbia, Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions" and those of Saint Katharine Drexel are filed under " Pennsylvania, Bensalem, Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament".

Digital scans of images in the Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions Digital Image Collection are listed at the end of this series after oversize prints.

Series 9-3, Color Prints: The color prints are arranged similar to the scheme used in Series 9-1 and includes prints submitted after 1960 and a few early colorized photographs, ca. 1900s. Portraits of personnel who served the Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions are filed under "District of Columbia, Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions" and those of Saint Katharine Drexel are filed under " Pennsylvania, Bensalem, Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament".

A few color images were scanned and appear in the Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions Digital Image Collection. Discs containing those scans are included at the end of Series 9-1.

Series 9-5, Film Slides: The online Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions Digital Image Collection contains selected images from this sub-series, most notably from Alaska. For more information about this digital collection, see above, Series 9-1 Black & White Prints.

Also contains two reformatted lantern to 35 mm. slide show lectures by Rev. John J. Wynne, S.J., of the Shrine of the North American Martyrs, Auriesville, New York, 1920s. For corresponding lecture scripts, see series, series 14-1.

Series 9-7, Glass-plate Negatives and Glass Sides: The 29 glass-plate negatives pertain to Alaska, California, Maine, and unidentified states and the 21 glass slides with wooden frames feature Biblical themes and Catholic historic themes.

Series 9-8, Film Negatives: Nitrate and safety film negatives, most of which are believed to be copy negatives of the prints in Series 9-1.

Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions Digital Image Collection: This online collection features representative graphic images (less than 5%) selected from series 9-1 and 9-2 and elsewhere within the Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions Records. A few images from the Walter Bernard Hunt Collection and the Sacred Heart Province Franciscan Records are also included. Patrons may order copies of these images online or by asking an archivist.

The materials in this collection may reveal attitudes about Native Americans considered inappropriate today. In digitizing images, Marquette University is not endorsing any viewpoints; it is simply providing access to a representation of the historical record. To protect personal privacy, archivists have not digitized images of children or celebrations of Catholic sacraments dated after 1935. In addition, archivists have omitted images of indigenous religious ceremonies and related objects deemed inappropriate for public viewing.

Archivists have attempted to include all relevant locations and native ethnic affiliations (American Indian tribes, Eskimo communities, and other related groups) in cases where the boundaries of a reservation span more than one state, or is the homeland to more than one ethnic group. Also, archivists have consulted The Official Catholic Directory and other reference sources to identify related Catholic religious institutes (orders, etc.). If it is necessary to clarify identities, we advise researchers to consult the Help Pages for Native America Digital Collections. They include Master Lists of Authors of The Indian Sentinel, Master Lists of Catholic and Native Groups, and a link to the Master Index to the Marquette Native Catholic Guides, which provides comparisons between contemporary and historic names of related Catholic institutions. We would appreciate receiving information from visitors who are knowledgeable about any of these images.

Searching tips: Related images (and articles with related information) may exist in more than one collection at Marquette University, either online or off-line. To identify all online images pertinent to your research, use the Advanced Search function, which provides for simultaneous searching across more than one digital collection, e.g. Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions Digital Image Collection (also includes images from the Walter Bernard Hunt Collection and the Sacred Heart Province Franciscan Records), The Indian Sentinel Digital Publication [magazine], Holy Rosary Mission/Red Cloud Indian School Image Collection, St. Francis Mission Digital Image Collection. To insure that pertinent online images are not overlooked, conduct multiple advanced searches using diverse but related key words such as names of objects, persons, places, organizations, and ethnic groups. Many images not in the Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions Digital Image Collection appear as illustrations in The Indian Sentinel and are off-line within the Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions Series 9-1 Black & White Prints.

With specific parameters, archives staff will provide copies of images not online.

Other collections: Several Marquette collections contain images pertaining to the Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions, e.g. Walter Bernard Hunt Collection, Sacred Heart Province Franciscan Records, Tekakwitha Conference Records, Anne M. Scheurman Collection, Herman D. Ray Collection.

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Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions, Series 10, Objects: The objects are arranged first by native ethnic group and there under by place. Descriptions for each follow, which include name, format, provenance, and date. All items were acquired by Marquette either from the Bureau or related donors.

St. Kateri Tekakwitha Canonization Pilgrimage: In 2012, the Bureau, in collaboration with the Tekakwitha Conference, sponsored the Official St. Kateri Tekakwitha Pilgrimage to Rome. In so doing, it promoted a St. Kateri Tekakwitha commemorative medal (series 10) and provided tote bags (series 10) to participants with these contents: an inscribed pencil (series 10), three 1-sheet flyers (series 4-3), issues of Magnificat, 14:8 (Oct. 2012) (separated) and The Sentinel, 3:1 (Summer 2012) (series 4-3), a laminated picture prayer card with relic - Prayer to St. Kateri Tekakwitha (series 4-3), a brochure - St. Kateri Tekakwitha, Mohawk, Mystic and Model for the New Evangelization (series 4-3), a pamphlet - The Rosary, A Prayer for All Native Peoples, Rich May, 2009 (series 4-3), and a rosary with plastic beads and crucifix (series 10). The retained items are located within the series indicated whereas the separated item was not added to the collection.


Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions, Series 11, Architectural Drawings: Architectural drawings for Catholic churches and schools in the United States collected by the Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions. Several are manuscript drawings, which include the architect's name, if known. The arrangement is first alphabetical by state or territory of the intended site of the proposed building, followed by general and unidentified items. There under folder-level descriptions are provided with title, author, if given, number of drawings, dimensions, and date. This series has not been microfilmed.


Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions, Series 12, Art Work: this series contains The Indian Sentinel covers and general art, such as drawings, prints, and posters. The covers are preliminary renderings created prior to publication of The Indian Sentinel. Some of the drawings and prints, such as those by James Edward Kelly, were used to illustrate that publication. The posters pertain to Native American evangelization and most were collected by Marquette University. Both the covers and general art are arranged chronologically with the general art first divided by format. This series has not been microfilmed.


Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions, Series 13, Maps: Manuscript and published maps pertaining to native peoples in the United States that were collected by the Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions. A few are specific to Catholic evangelization among Native Americans, either manuscript maps or published maps with handwritten notations. Most maps are United States government maps that pertain to Native Americans, some of which originally had been appended to published government documents and were removed for preservation. The series is divided by size into two oversize categories: Ledger-size and smaller items measuring 15 x 19 inches or less; and larger than ledger size for items measuring greater than 15 x 19 inches. Each category then is arranged alphabetically by state or territory, followed by United States national and regional items. There under item-level descriptions are provided with title, dimensions, and date of publication.


Work in-progress: The Marquette University Libraries are developing bibliographic records for the publications in this collection. This includes all books, pamphlets, magazines, newsletters, prayer cards, published maps, published sound and video recordings, etc., and excludes clipping files and reprints of articles. As they are created, the bibliographic records will appear in Marqcat, the Marquette University online catalog. Furthermore, as an interim and supplemental search tool, most titles to publications in this and related collections appear in the Index to Publications in Native America Collections.

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Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions, Series 14, General Publications: Monograph and serial publications on Catholic evangelization and/or native peoples of the Americas (Series 14-1), which were collected by but not published by the Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions. The series includes mnemonic and pictorial ladder catechisms, titles by persons associated with the BCIM and research conducted with BCIM documentation. In parts one and two, the arrangement is alphabetical by title or author key word and in part three, the arrangement is alphabetical by title. Where feasible, folder headings include titles, authors, places, dates, and/or Library of Congress call numbers.

Work in-progress: The Marquette University Libraries are developing bibliographic records for the publications in this collection. This includes all books, pamphlets, magazines, newsletters, prayer cards, published maps, published sound and video recordings, etc., and excludes clipping files and reprints of articles. As they are created, the bibliographic records will appear in Marqcat, the Marquette University online catalog. Furthermore, as an interim and supplemental search tool, most titles to publications in this and related collections appear in the Index to Publications in Native America Collections.

Black Elk wrote 16 letters in Dakota [Lakota], which were published in Šinasapa Wocekine Taeyanpaha, St. Michael's Mission, Fort Totten, Fort Totten Reservation, North Dakota, 1907-1916. Transcripts of selected letters by Black Elk have been digitized and are available on request.


Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions, Series 15, Newspaper Clippings: Clippings compiled by the Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions with additions by Marquette University since 1976. The arrangement is chronological with two oversized boxes added at the end. This series has not been microfilmed.

It contains Native American-related articles within two broad categories -- those pertaining to Catholic evangelization in the United States and those pertaining to socio-cultural and political concerns in the U.S. and elsewhere in America. The articles pertaining to evangelization relate specifically to organizations and groups and their notable individuals and leaders such as the Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions, the Tekakwitha Conference, local Catholic dioceses, parishes, schools, and religious communities, and Native American communities. Local events range from special achievements to special events, such as Papal visits. The articles pertaining to socio-cultural and political concerns (e.g. government acknowledgement, sovereignty, treaty rights, welfare) detail involvement by church, state, native leaders, and native communities. Clippings regarding the legacy of Katherine Drexel are also included in this series.

Clippings regarding the Commission for Catholic Missions among the Colored People and the Indians are interfiled in Series 1-2 General Correspondence and clippings regarding the Commission's funding to specific dioceses are interfiled in Series 5-5.

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Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions, Series 16, Government Documents and Publications: The United States Congress and Department of the Interior generated the bulk of these documents, which the Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions collected while monitoring, supporting, or opposing federal and state government actions regarding Native American rights and justice in the United States. In so doing, the government documents reflect and note the actions and activities of the Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions and other Catholic organizations in their involvement with the U.S. Government. While these documents are also held by the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration, most BCIM copies are arranged within various parts of one series whereas the NARA copies are dispersed among several record groups. NARA records that pertain to Native Americans and the Catholic Church are further described in the Guides to Catholic-Related Records about Native Americans in the United States.

Sub-series 16-1, United States Department of the Interior: This sub-series is further divided into four three sub-sub-series:

Sub-sub-series 16-1-1, Annual Report of the U.S. Commissioner of Indian Affairs: The reports are arranged chronologically with appended maps transferred to series 13.

Sub-sub-series 16-1-2, Annual Report of the U.S. Board of Indian Commissioners: The reports are arranged chronologically.

Sub-sub-series 16-1-3, Annual Report of the U.S. Secretary of the Interior: The reports are arranged chronologically.

Sub-sub-series 16-1-4, United States Department of the Interior: This sub-series contains various Indian-related publications of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, U.S. Board of Indian Commissioners, and other Interior Department agencies, all of which are arranged alphabetically.

Sub-series 16-2, United States Congress: This sub-series is further divided into three three sub-sub-series -- Congressional Acts and Office of Technology Assessment Documents, U.S. House Documents, and U.S. Senate Documents pertaining to Native Americans, at least in part.

The Bills and Resolutions Home Page: U.S. Congressional Documents provides an explanation of the Congressional legislative process and the journals of Congress, 1789-1875, and Thomas: Home provides legislative information from the Library of Congress.

Sub-sub-series 16-2-1, Congressional Acts and Office of Technology Assessment Documents: These documents about Native Americans are divided into three parts -- 1. Printed Copy (Final Version), 2. Record Copy (Draft Version), and 3. Office of Technology Assessment -- and arranged numerically by Congress and/or chronologically there under.

Sub-sub-series 16-2-2, U.S. House Documents: The documents are divided by type and arranged numerically by document number and/or chronologically there under. The document types include:

  Bills and amendments of the House.
  Hearings of various House committees, which include statements and testimony by directors and of the Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions and other Catholic Church officials.
  Letters and memoranda.
  Reports and surveys of various House committees.
  Resolutions of the House.
  Speeches and remarks at the hearings of various House committees.
  Statements and Testimony at the hearings of various House committees, which include statements and testimony by directors and of the Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions and other Catholic Church officials.

Sub-sub-series 16-2-3, U.S. Senate Documents: These documents about Native Americans are divided by type and arranged numerically document number and/or chronologically there under. The document types include:

 
  • Bills and amendments of the Senate.
  Hearings of various Senate committees. Included are statements and testimony by directors and of the Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions and other Catholic Church officials.
  Letters and memoranda.
  Reports and surveys of various Senate committees. Survey of Conditions of the Indians in the United States, is a 42-part document of testimony on American Indian living conditions held by the Public Lands and Surveys Subcommittee of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs. The hearings began in 1928 and were published, 1929-1941. Note that the parts here are arranged chronologically by hearing dates, which differ from their publication dates and numerical assignments. To illustrate, the hearings for parts 5, 7, 9, 10, 12, and 23 were held during 1929 and published in 1930. Several hearings were not held in Washington and are so-noted.
  Resolutions of the Senate.
  Speeches and remarks at the hearings of various Senate committees.
  Statements and testimony at the hearings of various Senate committees, which include statements and testimony by directors and of the Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions and other Catholic Church officials.
  Treaties.

Sub-series 16-3, United States Federal and State Court Documents and Documents of Other Federal and State Agencies. These documents about Native Americans are further divided into three sub-sub-series.

Sub-sub-series 16-3-1, U.S. Federal and State Courts -- Briefs and Cases: Included are cases of interest to the Catholic Church, e.g. Quickbear v. Leupp at the various federal court levels, 1906-1908, which affected the use of tribal treaty trust funds to pay tuition for Indian students at Catholic schools.

Sub-sub-series 16-3-2, U.S. Documents by other Federal Departments and Agencies: Most notable is the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare.

Sub-sub-series 16-3-2, Miscellaneous Documents by and about the States.

Work in-progress: The Marquette University Libraries are developing bibliographic records for the publications in this collection. This includes all books, pamphlets, magazines, newsletters, prayer cards, published maps, published sound and video recordings, etc., and excludes clipping files and reprints of articles. As they are created, the bibliographic records will appear in Marqcat, the Marquette University online catalog. Furthermore, as an interim and supplemental search tool, most titles to publications in this and related collections appear in the Index to Publications in Native America Collections.

Other government-related documents pertaining to Native Americans and the United States federal and state governments are also found in:

  • Series 1-1, General Correspondence (correspondence between the Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions and church and government officials regarding Indian children in Catholic schools).

  • Series 2-1, School Reports: Copies of Indian student attendance records from Catholic schools that received tuition reimbursement from tribal trust funds. These records were created in triplicate by the schools and transferred to the government via the Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions, which retained a copy.

  • Series 2-3, Government School Reports: Includes reports by Catholic chaplains at government Indian schools.

  • Series 4-3, General Publications by the Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions: Includes some government-related publications authored by directors of the Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions.

  • Series 13, Maps: Includes government maps, many of which were separated from the Annual Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs and other government documents.

  • Series 14-1, General Publications: Includes some government-related periodicals.


Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions, Series 17, General Audio and Video Recordings plus Transcripts: Audio and video recordings plus transcripts pertaining to the Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions, Native American Catholics, and Native Americans in general. The recordings use DVD, Hi8, VHS, and UCA formats plus texts for some items. Marquette University acquired these recordings from the Catholic Bureau and directly from other sources. This series includes interview recordings of Bureau Director Monsignor Paul A. Lenz, Assistant Director Reverend Ted Zuern, S.J., and Sister Consuelo Fissler, O.P., a retired teacher who had taught at St. Mary's School, Colville Reservation, Omak, Washington. Other series within the Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions Records and other Marquette University collections contain documentation relating to this series.

Work in-progress: The Marquette University Libraries are developing bibliographic records for the publications in this collection. This includes all books, pamphlets, magazines, newsletters, prayer cards, published maps, published sound and video recordings, etc., and excludes clipping files and reprints of articles. As they are created, the bibliographic records will appear in Marqcat, the Marquette University online catalog. Furthermore, as an interim and supplemental search tool, most titles to publications in this and related collections appear in the Index to Publications in Native America Collections.

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More Related Resources

  • Christianity and Native America: Checklist to all Marquette Native Catholic special collections plus access to detailed information about them including genealogical records; access to digital image collections and The Indian Sentinel historic magazine online; information for educators about Saint Kateri Tekakwitha and her Native Catholic followers.

  • Guides to Catholic-Related Records about Native Americans in the United States: Over 1,000 repository entries in PDF format to help genealogists and historical researchers find the records they need on American Indians and Alaskan Natives. The entries provide contact information on the repositories, brief descriptions about the records, the Native groups served, and the associated Catholic organizations. Many of the entries include institutional chronologies to explain the history of the records.

Black and Indian Mission Office > Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions

Tekakwitha Conference National Center

U.S. Catholic Conference of Catholic Bishops > Cultural Diversity in the Church

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