Tribal Newsletters and Periodicals in New England

One project I’d like to pursue someday soon is a full database of regional indigenous periodicals. There are loads of them, and they include fantastic writing by tribal members that you just don’t find anywhere else: poetry, recipes, cartoons, historic research and political manifestos.

These newsletters, magazines and newspapers date back at least as far as the 1930s, when The Narragansett Dawn was published in Rhode Island.  Some, like the ND, are preserved in archives or library universities; but many are held in small tribal offices or even personal collections.  They are often inaccessible to researchers and, in some cases, not easily accessible by tribal members. Just putting together a comprehensive list of these publications is a challenge.

Here is a spreadsheet of about 40 New England-based tribal periodicals that a former graduate student, James Finley, helped me compile a couple of years ago. I am most eager to get further input from tribal members who know about other publications, or who can correct the information I’ve got here. Excepting those publications that should remain private or viewable to tribal members only, I am starting to think about how we could create a digital collection of these newsletters.  I could find grant money to pay tribal members (including tribal youth) to scan some of these publications and/or enlist college students to help with that work.  We could also make these publications open for community comment.  How exciting it would be, to have tribal members add their own recollections of family members and ancestors represented in the pages of these periodicals.