Project: Native Americans

Categories: Native Americans | Native Americans Project | North American First Peoples

Welcome to the Native Americans Project



WikiTree's Native Americans Project, as named, covers the lower 48 states of the current United States plus Alaska. The time frame covered by this project includes pre-colonial times through the present.

The mission of the project is to add and improve profiles of the first peoples of the land now bounded by the United States. Project members take primary responsibility for relevant profiles or family groups and work on merging duplicates, cleaning up profiles, adding sources, removing incorrect information and offering research assistance as needed. The project has a number of Teams, according to tribe or nation, event or other area of historical or cultural interest.

About the name of the project. We recognize that this term ("Native American") is not accepted by all people descended from the original peoples of what is now the United States. We had initially called the project "American Indians," but had so many complaints that we changed it to its current name. See this old discussion thread. Respecting that no one term will ever be acceptable to all, members of the project and others using WikiTree are encouraged to use the terminology that is most appropriate to their identity or culture.

How to Join

We ask everyone who wants to join the project to meet the following requirements before they request to join:
* be an honor-code-signing member of WikiTree for at least 30 days
* make at least 100 contributions to WikiTree profiles
* successfully complete the Pre-1700 Quiz
* find a Natives Americans Project Team you'd like to join.
* post your interest to the project's join thread in G2G, be sure to include a profile you've created or edited that demonstrates your understanding of WikiTree editing generally, and NA guidelines, research and sourcing.
Are you interested in the Native Americans Project?


Our project goals are:

  • To bring together WikiTreers interested in improving profiles and connecting Native American families to the Global Family Tree.
  • To improve profiles of the descendants of the people who resided in what are now the United States of America prior to the arrival of Europeans
  • To create accurate, culturally-sensitive, and documented profiles for Native Americans
  • To provide and maintain a logical and organized structure to help individuals identify their ancestors and celebrate their history
  • To identify and mark profiles that are mythical or fictional

Native American profiles should strive to:

  • have information from reliable sources
  • include documentation for facts
  • strive for historical accuracy
  • avoid stereotyping
  • present material in a non-biased, culturally-sensitive manner
  • separate fact from fiction

Other activities in support of these goals include:

  • All duplicates should be merged
  • Appropriate categories should be added
  • Biographies should be written using the WikiTree Style Guide, and citing the best available sources
  • Track edits to profiles managed or watched by the project through the Native Americans Project Activity Feed
  • Track and respond to questions posted to the G2G discussion forum that are marked with the native_americans tag

To-Do List/Tasks

To participate in the project, we have a list of tasks that we need accomplished. To see details about the task, volunteer, participate in the discussion, or ask questions about it, click on the link, which will take you to the G2G thread about the task. Be sure to post on that thread if you complete the task so we can take it off the list!

Coming soon!



This team, in collaboration with the Categorization project, reviews and updates category usage pertaining to profiles of Native Americans. There is quite a lot of work to be done here so if you enjoy categories, this could be the team for you.

NOTE: Both the project box and the project sticker use the "tribe=" parameter. This generates a category. Please exclude the term "Tribe" or "Nation" from the parameter text; for example, use tribe=Cherokee, not tribe=Cherokee Nation. Thank you.

Myths & Legends

Coordinator: Kathryn Parks

There are quite a few fictional, fraudulent, or mythical people who have been included as Native American or married to a Native American. If you would like to work with this team in identifying and correcting those profiles, contact the coordinator and let them know you would be willing to help.

Profile Management & Improvement

Coordinator: Jillaine Smith

The goal of the Native Americans Project is to raise Native American profiles to the highest standard possible and make Native American profiles the best that they can be. This Team is on the front line of the coordinated effort to achieve this. Whether it be through working through the Project Maintenance Category, sourcing, profiling, connecting or data-doctoring, profilers are making contributions to improve Native American profiles all the time. In addition to this, the Native American Project manages a number of profiles where extra focus is given. Further still are the PPPs (Project Protected Profiles). The criteria for these is that the profile must be at least 200 years old or notable, and it must be contentious or duplicated. If you would like to work on this team, contact the coordinator and let them know you would be willing to help.

Resources & Integration

If you enjoy researching, locating and organizing resources related to Native Americans, this is the team for you. As you come across project resources relating to Native Americans in general or a specific Tribe, add them to our reliable Native American resources page.

Do you live in or near an area where Native Americans live or lived? Have the time to do some research for other WikiTreers? This might be a good place for you to contribute to the Native Americans project.

You might be able to answer project-related questions posted to G2G with the native_american or native_americans tag. If you don't know the answer, point to a person or project who might know the answer. If the person needs a little profile help, show them how to do whatever it is they are stumbling on.

Notable Lines

Tribes & Nations

We are in the process of developing teams for tribes and nations based on where there seems to be common interest.

Currently, we have:


Project Boxes

The Project Box is intended for Project Managed Profiles, as in the Native Americans Project Profile would manage (along with existing profile managers) any profile needing Project Protection and Project Box. All other profiles should have the Project Sticker.

Project Boxes will be added to profiles by Project Leaders and Coordinators. If you are Profile Manager for a profile you feel needs Project Protection, please contact: wikitree-native-americans-project @

Note that we do not use the word "Tribe" or "Nation" in the project box tribe parameter.

Update: Both the project box and the project sticker generate a category.

Project Sticker

On profiles not requiring project protection, please use the Sticker template. This should be placed below the Biography header).

Sample usage:
{{Native American Sticker|tribe=Ojibway}}
... was Ojibway.

Note that we do not use the word "Tribe" or "Nation" in the sticker tribe parameter.

Update: Both the project box and the project sticker generate a category.

Additional Project Info

Name Fields Guidelines

WikiTree's underlying technology requires an entry in the "Last Name at Birth" field. It is the policy of WikiTree's Native Americans project to use this field to record the tribe or nation name for those individuals born before the introduction of surnames. For example, Pocahontas was a member of the Powhatan people. Her profile is Powhatan-3.

NEW: (18 Dec 2022) We sometimes encounter differences in tribe names. For modern tribal entities, we seek to use the name as it is officially recorded in the Bureau of Indian Affairs Federal Register; for historical tribes, we seek to use the name that is most often used in historical records, understanding that these names are not necessarily what members of that tribe would have used and that it’s often impossible to connect a person to a specific band, clan, or other smaller grouping so we use broader terminology. If you have a question about tribal names being used, please start a discussion in G2G's Discussion Forum; be sure to add the tag "native_american" (with the underscore, but without the quotation marks).

Reliable Sources

We are in the process of creating a list of Native Americans Project Reliable Sources. This is a work in process. If you have any sources you can add, please let us know. It is advised that you check here for information on adding sources to profiles you are editing.

Oral Tradition: WikiTree places a strong emphasis on Sources, especially for vital statistics and relationships. We realize that this emphasis sometimes conflicts with oral tradition often associated with Native American ancestry. We try to reflect oral tradition in the narrative while at the same time following WikiTree's standards for sourcing when it comes to relationships and vitals.

DNA: Regarding DNA and Native Americans, WikiTree's Native Americans project follows the expertise of Roberta Estes. You can find out more about her work (including DNA testing sites she recommends) here. See also this particular article.

Sample Profiles of Native Americans

Red Bullet Sitting Bull - was a Hunkpapa Lakota holy man, who led his people as a tribal chief during years of resistance to United States government policies.
Red Bullet Red Cloud - was a war leader and a chief of the Oglala Lakota. He was chief from 1868 to 1909. He led a successful campaign in 1866–1868 known as Red Cloud's War over control of the Powder River Country in northeastern Wyoming and southern Montana.
Red Bullet Rain in the Face - was a warchief of the Lakota tribe of Native Americans. He was one of the Indian leaders who defeated George Armstrong Custer, and the U.S. 7th Cavalry Regiment at the Battle of Little Big Horn in 1876 .
Red Bullet Geronimo - Geronimo was a leader of the Bedonkohe Apache. He led his people against the military of the United States during the Apache Wars.
Red Bullet Luis - was one of two Miwok American Indians who were guides for the infamous Donner Party in 1846. They were both shot and killed for food.
Red Bullet Joseph Nez Perce - was known as Chief Joseph ,he is remembered for his resistance to the U.S. Government's attempts to force his tribe onto reservations. After months of fighting and forced marches, many of the Nez Perce were sent to a reservation in what is now Oklahoma, where many died from malaria and starvation.
Red Bullet Sacagawea - was a Lemhi Shoshone woman, who accompanied the Lewis and Clark Expedition, acting as an interpreter and guide, between 1804 and 1806.
Red Bullet Salvador - was one of two Miwok American Indians who were guides for the infamous Donner Party in 1846. They were both shot and killed for food.
Red Bullet Sam Starr - was a Cherokee Indian. He was the husband of the notorious American outlaw Belle Starr. He was a horse thief, outlaw, gun fighter and bootlegger.

This page was last modified 12:57, 21 May 2023. This page has been accessed 43,930 times.