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Date of this Version



Published in Government Information Quarterly 27 (2010), pp. 272–279; doi: 10.1016/j.giq.2010.01.003 Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Inc. Used by permission.


The inconsistent spelling of American Indian tribal names at the end of the nineteenth century led in part to the development within the Office of Indian Affairs of an array of 270 standardized identifiers, ranging from Absaroka to Zuñi. These efforts paralleled the simultaneous improvement of a large suite of relevant terms by the United States Board on Geographic Names. Both compilations were included in style manuals published by the Government Printing Office beginning in 1900 and approved for the use of federal agencies. In 1903 and 1904, Charles J. Kappler, in the preparation of his multi-volume Indian Affairs: Laws and Treaties, made particular use of this orthography when he created new individual titles for the recognized treaties between the federal government and the Indian Nations. Even with these coordinated attempts, however, versions of the “Names of Indian tribes and bands” register during the last century suffered both exclusions from, and an addition to, the original document from the Office of Indian Affairs.