Chief George Manuel


An Open Request for Document Submissions by Tribal Governments and Organizations

TO: Circulation
FROM: Rudolph C. Rÿser, Chairman
RE: Document Submissions to the FWDP

The Center for World Indigenous Studies has in its files and electronic archives the largest collection of tribal and tribally related documents anywhere. I want to invite you to become an "Official Source" by making documentary contributions to our growing archives.

In 1979 the Conference of Tribal Governments hosted by the Shoalwater Bay Tribe passed a resolution sponsored by the Muckleshoot Tribe urging the establishment of a documents and research center to advance Indian rights and strengthen Indian Governments. To fill this important need Chief George Manuel (Shuswap) and Rudolph C. Rÿser (Cowlitz) joined by Russell Jim (Yakama), Dr. Kenneth Benshoof, Ralph Eluska (Aleute) and Joseph Ryan founded the Center For World Indigenous Studies (CWIS) as a non-profit research and education organization.

Over the past eleven years CWIS has archived thousands of documents generated by tribal governments, inter-tribal organizations, county, state and federal governments and international bodies like the United Nations. The idea was that researchers, Indian governments, tribal schools and colleges and interested persons could have access to documents once they were collected. The Center's archive is unique in that it forms an historical record of the advances made by Indian Nations throughout the Western Hemisphere. Documents held in the Center's archives record important decisions, issues and data reflecting tribal efforts to regain sovereignty, strengthen tribal cultures and build economies. Many tribal governments and inter-tribal organizations have made contributions to the CWIS archives. CWIS became the repository for a rich collection of historical documents, records, reports, proposals, and publications generated by and about Indian nations.

In 1992 the CWIS organized the Fourth World Documentation Project (FWDP) to make documents and information more accessible to tribal governments and researchers by making documents available via the Internet and other online computer services. Tribal Officials and researchers can now have direct access to a growing number of documents either by calling the CWIS Bulletin Board in Olympia directly or by going to the Center's page or the Fourth World Documentation Project's page on the World Wide Web accessible through the Internet. Currently there are over 500 documents online ranging from tribal government resolutions to NCAI position papers. The FWDP forms an electronic library of tribal documents and documents important to tribal governments. Since its inception, the FWDP has become a primary information resource to a number of Universities, state and federal agencies, as well as Indian scholars and tribal councilmen.

We at CWIS invite the you to become an "official source" for the Fourth World Documentation Project by sending documents for archiving on a regular basis. Documents may be resolutions, position papers, reports, policy analysis, speeches, etc. They may be on hard copy (paper) or soft copy (on disk). It is important that the positions taken by tribal governments and inter-tribal organizations be carefully archived for present and future policy-makers and researchers. We think you will agree that the FWDP is an important tribal initiative that warrants wide tribal support. I believe the Fourth World Documentation Project will become one of the most useful resources available to tribal leaders and researchers. Your contributions to the FWDP electronic archives will ensure researchers and tribal officials future access to these important documents.

If you would like to become an "Official Source" or have any questions, please contact us.

Rudolph C. Rÿser
Rudolph C. Rÿser
Center For World Indigenous Studies