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Indigenous Studies in the Americas: Home

This is a guide about indigenous studies in the Americas, with resources from UNC and beyond.

What Is Indigenous Studies?

Native American and Indigenous Studies logoIntroduction

Indigenous Studies, also known as Native American or Native Studies, focuses on the past and present of native and indigenous people, also known as First Peoples. These cultures were the first known inhabitants of later colonized land, most commonly in the Western Hemisphere but also in other former European colonies like Australia. Its goal is to uncover, celebrate, and tell the stories of indigenous cultures that have been historically erased from mainstream history, anthropology, literature, and political science. It is interdisciplinary and includes legal and political studies, linguistics, art and anthropology, and modern indigenous civil and environmental rights movements.


Picture credit: Native American and Indigenous Studies Association

For more information:

  • The University of New Mexico and University of Virginia have multiple LibGuides on Native American and Indigenous subjects, including Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, environmental activism, legal and governmental histories with Native nations, and more. 
  • Wilson Library's special collections have a significant amount of resources on indigenous peoples in North Carolina, with an accompanying LibGuide.
  • The UNC Catalog contains multiple resources about indigenous studies, including:

Collection Description

The Latin American and Iberian collections of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill support the broad range of research needs of Carolina's faculty and students in these world areas. Our holdings of over 500,000 volumes are primarily held in Walter Royal Davis Library, the central library for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  The strength of the collections complements the research interests of the many graduate programs in the humanities and social sciences.  In addition to acquiring materials in Spanish and Portuguese, our collections include volumes in several of the Maya languages, Guaraní, Galician, Catalán and Haitian Creole, among others.

Based on a long-standing cooperative agreement with Duke Univerity, UNC-Chapel Hill collects core materials from all Latin American countries, as well as research-level materials from Argentina, Brazil (humanities and literature), Chile, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Paraguay, Puerto Rico, Uruguay and Venezuela.

Researching Latin America

To learn more about the collection and how to research subjects in LAIR, see the Guide to Latin American & Iberian Library Resources.

Teresa Chapa, Latin American, Iberian and Latina/o Studies Librarian

Teresa Chapa's picture
Teresa Chapa
Davis Library Global Resources & Area Studies

(919) 962-3948