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Free Government Information (FGI) is a place for initiating dialogue and building consensus among the various players (libraries, government agencies, non-profit organizations, researchers, journalists, etc.) who have a stake in the preservation of and perpetual free access to government information. FGI promotes free government information through collaboration, education, advocacy and research.

USGS and Tribes Work Together to Gain Water Knowledge


Scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey are working closely with Tribal leaders around the country to address water availability and water quality issues on Tribal lands. Beyond the practical use of water data, the article below describes how water on Tribal lands often has a significant place in a Tribe’s cultural heritage. Some information on work in Washington, Oklahoma, Arizona and lots of useful links in this news story on the USGS site:

Government documents and hidden indian heroes

We all know about the Navajo Code Talkers of World War II, but did you know there were Code Talkers in World War I? Or that the very first US military code talkers were Choctaw and Comanche?

Suzanne Marshall, an MLIS student at Florida State University and reference librarian at West Florida Public Library serves up these facts and more in an article titled “A hidden story: American Indian Code Talkers” in the Winter 2012 Student Papers Issue of Dttp: Documents to the People.

The story of the Indian Code Talkers and belated efforts to honor their work is a story interesting in and of itself. But Suzanne uses this story and some unanswered questions as a springboard to explain the current state of affairs in government archival material and to argue for facilitated access to such material.

She concludes with:

Citizens rightfully own government documents and must be granted not only access but facilitated access to those documents. Important facts are, by default, invisible and virtually inaccessible without facilitated access. As this case of the American Indian code talkers highlights, we must strive to reveal the rich heritage we share in our co-owned government documents.

We agree.


Marshall, Suzanne. A hidden story: American Indian Code Talkers. Dttp: Documents to the People, v. 40, no. 4, Winter 2012, p. 27

American Indian Heritage Month

November is American Indian Heritage Month. Following are some federal sites that offer excellent information about American Indians:

Federal Resources for Educational Excellence, American Indian Heritage Month Resources

The National Museum of the American Indian

Smithsonian Education, American Indian Heritage Teaching Resources

FirstGov, Native American and Tribal Cultural Resources

And, if you’d like to include some Native American foods in your Thanksgiving celebration, the Native American Nutrition Education Database from the National Agricultural Library includes some sources with recipes.

Mitsitam! (Which, to the Delaware and Piscataway people, means “Let’s eat!”)