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Indian Claims Insight Help Files: Content Types

About the Content Types page

This page contains descriptions for the content types listed on the Advanced Search page of Indian Claims Insight. Read the descriptions to learn more about the content types featured in the product.

Jump to:    Miscellaneous Docket Material | Briefs  | Decisions | Docket Books | Docket History | Executive Branch Publications | Exhibits and Testimony | Journals | Legislative Branch Publications | Maps | Nation/Tribe History | State/Territory History |  Stipulations |  Treaties 

Miscellaneous Docket Materials  

This content type includes docket materials from federal agencies such as the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Department of Interior. 


Briefs are documents submitted by lawyers on behalf of their clients for various reasons. We include briefs, petition briefs, amended and supplemental briefs, plaintiff and defendant answers, plaintiff and defendant finding of facts, and a variety of party motions, such as motions for new trial which are accompanied with a brief.


This content type includes decisions, opinions, an orders issued by the Indian Claims Commission.

Docket Books  

Docket books show the sequence of documents, filings, proceedings, from the Indian Claims Commission.

Docket History  

What is a Docket History? 

A Docket History shows you the complete legal process for an individual claim including treaties, briefs, exhibits, testimony, decisions and more. It also enables you to filter and search precisely within all these related documents.

Content included in our Docket Histories

Full text publication types associated with Histories include:  Docket books, treaties, decisions, briefs, exhibits and testimony, maps, journals, agency docket materials, legislative and executive branch publications.

Our Nation Tribe History Process

Our nation histories attempt to create a full history of dockets and treaties pertaining to an Indian nation. We use “nation” in the sense of a people who historically occupied the same land and identified as a single group. These histories encompass all the tribes and bands that are a part of the nation, and the treaties and land claims that they made with, and on, the U.S. government.

Executive Branch Publications  

The executive branch material included is executive orders and presidential proclamations.

Exhibits and Testimony  

This content type includes expert testimonial documents, including land appraisals, and timber, mineral, water, and other natural resource assessments; and oral transcripts of the Court of Claims proceedings. Exhibits may also include correspondence between various people and agencies, including but not exclusive to tribal delegates, attorneys, the various Indian Agencies administered by the Dept. of Interior.



The journal is a continuous 32 page document that contains a daily listing of the findings, opinions, and final awards made by the Indian Claims Commission.

Legislative Branch Publications  

This includes documents from Statutes at Large, House and Senate Reports and Documents, Reports on Public Bill, Hearings Published and Unpublished.


Maps may be included as plaintiff and defendant exhibits in Indian Claims Commission dockets, with a wide variety of map styles. This includes Royce Maps which identify, through assigned Royce Area Numbers, the treaty or the other legislative mechanism that created that cession.

About Royce Maps:  Charles C. Royce (1845-1923) compiled The Schedule of Indian Land Cessions and 67 maps outlining those land cessions as the second part of the two-part Eighteenth Annual Report of the Bureau of American Ethnology to the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, 1896-1897. Part two was also printed as House Document No. 736 of the U.S. Serial Set, 56th Congress, 1st Session. 

A bit more about the Royce maps:  "Royce Maps, are named after Charles Royce, an 19th century researcher who set out to collect the information about land cessions of American Indian Nations from the year 1784 through 1894. His final report was completed in the 1890s and included the treaty and legislative information for the release of land across the country as well as maps designating boundaries of Native American tribes. The treaty and legislative information included dates of cession, Native Tribal affiliations, boundaries, as well as historical notes about circumstances and descriptions of the cessions. There are maps for all of the relevant States and the reports are digitized."  [From an article by Blair Zaid at Michigan State University. Click here to read the article.]

Nation/Tribe History  

What is a Nation/Tribe History?

A Nation/Tribe History includes all the related dockets and publications for a nation/tribe. It provides a comprehensive view into the entire history of treaties, claims, testimony and decisions related to a federally recognized Indian nation.

Content included in our Nation/Tribe Histories

Full text publication types associated with Histories include: Docket books, treaties, decisions, briefs, exhibits and testimony, maps, journals, agency docket materials, legislative and executive branch publications.

Our Nation Tribe History Research Process

  • When our researchers begin to compile a docket history, one of the first things they look at is the docket book. The Indian Claims Commission maintained a docket book for each docket, containing chronological information about all actions on a case: briefs and exhibits filed, orders issued, other dockets that were consolidated with the one in question, awards, dismissals, etc. It’s from this resource that they pull the filing date, the disposition, and information about any related dockets.
  • Next, the researcher finds the petition brief, if available. The petition brief is a document filed by the plaintiff that presents the claim (or claims) and explains the background. From this document, the researcher obtains the geographic information about the claim, as well as the treaties that the claims are based on.
  • The Indian Claims Commission documents are brought into a docket history if they are a part of the docket in question.
  • Our researchers note the different names used by or applied to Native American groups and plaintiffs over time.  These names are added to a hierarchical master authority list for Indian entities. This list is what is used to facilitate our product’s baseline search and filtering functionalities.

State/Territory History  

What is a State/Territory History? 

A State/Territory History includes key information about a state/territory, such as maps, treaties, links to relevant nation/tribes and dockets, and historical events . It also enables you to filter and search within all these related documents.

Content included in our State/Territory Histories

Publication types associated with Histories include:  Related nation/tribe histories and docket  histories, maps, treaties, expert testimony and oral transcripts.


Documents that detail a condition or requirement that is specified or demanded as part of an agreement.


Treaties between the Indian Nations and U.S. Government. Treaties may also be found in the Legislative documents as some are pulled from Statutes at Large, American State Papers, and Senate Executive Documents.