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Indian Commission

Sepia image of Sarah Winnemucca

Voice of the Paiutes: Sarah Winnemucca Hopkins

Northern Paiute activist, author, and educator (circa 1880).
State Archives control number (PER-0090)

Records of the Nevada Indian Commission (NIC) consist of minutes of meetings, correspondence, reports created by NIC, materials created by or sent to the governor, and reference and subject files. Minutes and correspondence files are chronological; reference and subject files are alphabetical according to general subject, author or title.

Topics represented within this collection which are of special interest to Nevada Indians include: children (the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978); civil rights; compacts between tribes, states, and the United States; tribes located in what is now Nevada; reservations and allotments; economic development for Indians; education; gaming; health care; historic preservation; housing; hunting and fishing; land; law and order; tribal courts and jurisdiction; nuclear waste; religious freedom for Native prison inmates; retrocession; Stewart Indian School; substance abuse; taxes; tobacco sales; water and water rights; Truckee River water negotiations; and Western Shoshone legal issues.

To learn more about the agency, download the history here:

Contents Dates Extent


NIC correspondence is arranged chronologically and covers the general activities of the Commission. Included are budget, audit and status reports for 1975-1976 and 1980. Occasionally, correspondence is included in the subject files.


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NIC minutes document agendas and meetings. The Nevada State Library and Archives received minutes from the NIC in two parts. The largest consisted of binders (contents now in folders) of agendas and minutes, with few supplementary materials. The dates for these materials are September 21, 1965 to 2002. The second group of minutes was originally housed in folders and included backup materials as well as agendas and minutes. These minutes appear to be for special meetings held throughout Nevada from July 31, 1976 until July 11, 1981. Two additional folders are undated but appear to be from 1980 and/or 1981.


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Subject and Reference Files:

The Nevada Indian Commission made a concerted effort to develop files which could serve as an information source for topics of interest and concern to the Nevada Indian community. These files were generally grouped by major topic, such as "water" or "compacts." Within each major topic the arrangement was alphabetical by title or author. The contents included reports, government publications (both State of Nevada and the U.S. governments), journal articles, scholarly essays on individual issues, newspaper clippings, environmental impact statements, and Nevada legislative minutes and backup materials. Additionally, the NIC collected printed findings of state and national law courts; constitutions, ordinances, and enrollment lists of Nevada Indian tribes and bands; educational materials from seminars and specialized post-graduate training courses; election materials for the issue of retrocession; copies of compacts between tribes and Nevada and the federal government; surveys to collect data on Nevada Indians; and land claim settlements.


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