Restricted access to the American Indian Records Repository (AIRR) poses significant problems for expert witness historians working outside the federal government, as well as for academic historians and tribes. The authors discuss the creation of the AIRR in 2004, the records housed there, and the challenges they have experienced as expert witnesses seeking access to the AIRR. Although the AIRR preserves a far greater volume of federal records than might have otherwise occurred, the lack of public access may ultimately impede historians’ ability to examine modern topics in Native American history and United States-tribal relations.

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