Fort Totten Indian Agency (North Dakota)

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Fort Totten Indian School was founded in 1890. In 1906, it was merged with the Devils Lake Agency and the name of the agency was changed to the Fort Totten Indian Agency. The new agency inherited the records of Devils Lake and continued to compile records as outlined by the Office of Indian Affairs (later the Bureau of Indian Affairs).

In 1910, a separate agency was established for the Turtle Mountain Chippewa. From 1947 to 1949, Fort Totten was part of the Turtle Mountain Consolidated Agency; thereafter, it was again independent.

Some of the historical textual records of the Fort Totten Agency are now housed at the Central Plains Regional Archives of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) in Kansas City. Among those records, of particular value for genealogical and historical research, are:

  • Sanitary reports, 1876-1905
  • Record of employees, 1883-1913
  • Records relating to land allotments, 1890-1906
  • Lists of students arriving and departing, 1897-1910
  • Student record folders, ca. 1910-35
  • Birth and death certificates, 1919-45
  • Birth and death registers, 1924-33
  • Vital statistics register, 1927-30
  • Burial and removal permits, 1934-40

Some of these agency records have been microfilmed and are available at the Family History Library and through its system of family history centers (their microfilm numbers 1205538-1205539, 1023369-1023371, 1205152-1205155).

Annual Indian Census Rolls were taken at this agency from 1906 thru 1939. These rolls have been microfilmed by the National Archives as part of their Microcopy Number M595, rolls 162-164. Copies of these records are also available at the National Archives, their Regional Archives, the South Dakota State Archives (their microfilm roll numbers 9653 and 9654) and at the Family History Library and its family history centers (their microfilm numbers 575850 thru 575853). These census rolls are also available online at's subscription web site.