Skip to Main Content

Native American Studies

This guide provides a variety of helpful resources for conducting research in Native American Studies.

Get Research Help

You can get help for research in several ways.

Contact the Sociology Librarian, Margaret Puentes: or (714) 532-7717

Face-to-face during Reference Desk hours

Reference Desk at (714) 532-7714

Chat with us at LibChat

Best Bets

Welcome to the Native American Studies research guide. Here you will find information about finding databases, books and reference materials, and course guides related to the study of Native American history and culture. You may also want to reference the Sociology research guide for additional information.

Commonly used resources:

Other important resources:

Use Discover! to search across multiple databases with a single search.

Suggested Books in Native American Studies

The First Americans

A history of the first Americans depicts their everyday life, food, shelter, culture, pottery, crafts, and clothing. From Time-Life Books, this volume contains full-color photos and essays throughout.

Contents: Trailblazers in a New World-People of the Desert-The Mound Builders-The Whale Hunters



In the Hands of the Great Spirit

Covering no less than 20,000 years, In the hands of the Great Spirit will forever change how we think about the oldest and earliest Americans. Page explores every controversy, from the question of cannibalism among tribes, to the various theories of when and how humans first arrived on the continent, to what life was actually like for Indians before the Europeans came. 

Native America: A History

Native America: A History, Second Edition offers a thoroughly revised and updated narrative history of American Indian peoples in what became the United States. The new edition includes expanded coverage of the period since the Second World War, including an updated discussion of the Red Power Movement, the legal status of native nations in the United States, and important developments that have transformed Indian Country over the past 75 years.  Also new to this edition are sections focusing on the Pacific Northwest.   Placing the experiences of native communities at the heart of the text, historian Michael Leroy Oberg focuses on twelve native communities whose histories encapsulate the principal themes and developments in Native American history and follows them from earliest times to the present.

The Telling of the World: Native American Stories and Art

The anthology contains legends and stories from many Native American tribes and nations - Mohawk, Sioux, Cree, Nez Perce, Yakima, Cherokee, Zuni, to name but a few - collected from both traditional and contemporary sources. These stories are richly illustrated with art - paintings, sculpture, drawings - created by modern Native American artists, and historically significant artifacts. Their work showcases the enduring spirit of Native American peoples who have found ways to survive and to continue telling their stories, revealing who they are for future generations.

Heartbeat, Warble, and the Electric Powwow: American Indian Music

Despite centuries of suppression and oppression, American Indian music survives today as a profound cultural force. Heartbeat, Warble, and the Electric Powwow celebrates in depth the vibrant soundscape of Native North America, from the “heartbeat” of intertribal drums and “warble” of Native flutes to contemporary rock, hip-hop, and electronic music. Drawing on more than one hundred interviews with musicians, producers, ethnographers, and record-label owners, author and musician Craig Harris conjures an aural tapestry in which powwow drums and end-blown woodwinds resound alongside operatic and symphonic strains, jazz and reggae, country music, and blues.

Native American Religions: An Introduction

This introductory text provides a survey of Native American religions in the early Americas. 

Contents: Traditions of the Eastern Woodlands-Traditions of the Far North-Traditions of the Plains-Traditions of the Southwest-Traditions of the Far West-Traditions of Mesoamerica-Traditions of South America

"Retained by The People": A History of American Indians and the Bill of Rights

This vivid chronicle is the first in-depth, comprehensive history of the relationship between American Indians and the Bill of Rights, tracing developments and issues from 1491 to the present. After providing a thorough examination of rights and legal status as perceived by Native Americans, addressing such topics as conduct and collective rights, "Retained by The People" recounts the various brutal forms of colonialism forced upon indigenous nations by European and American settlers through the beginning of 1900, then gives a balanced and detailed analysis of twentieth-century events that have shaped Native American rights under the United States constitution.