Skip to Main Content

Indigenous Studies

This guide aims to support interest on indigenous ways of knowing, with a focus on Pittsburgh

A Brief History

The land that is now Pennsylvania encompasses land that belonged to a variety of Indigenous communities. Pittsburgh shares more Indigenous history with Ohio than with much of Eastern Pennsylvania. The city of Pittsburgh "occupies the ancestral land of the Seneca, Adena culture, Hopewell culture, and Monongahela peoples, who were later joined by refugees of other tribes (including the Delaware, Shawnee, Mingo, and Haudenosaunee), who were all forced off their homelands and displaced by European colonists." (University of Pittsburgh Land Acknolwedgement

*Despite being denied land in Pennsylvania, Indigenous Peoples of these lands are present across the U.S. and maintain sovereign nation status:

Currently, the Council of the Three Rivers American Indian Center (COTRAIC) supports the Native American community in the Greater Pittsburgh area, as well as others with similar economic difficulties. COTRAIC was formed in the early 1970s order to preserve Native American culture and values, as well as supporting immediate needs of the Native community in Pittsburgh.

Indigenous Ways of Knowing

Indigenous Ways of Knowing are by no means new, but Indigenous scholars have been working consistently to have their voices heard in academia. This research guide is a jumping off point for understanding Indigenous scholarship, methodologies, data sovereignty, and archives.

Searching the CMU Library Catalog

Keywords & Subject Headings

Since most academic libraries use the Library of Congress Classification System and Subject Headings, much of the terminology needed to locate materials in academic libraries about Indigenous Peoples is outdated and inappropriate. While there are activists that have been working on changing this, a variety of keywords are needed to encompass the terminology.