The Rhode Island Commission for Indian Affairs was created per Executive Order No. 39, December 7, 1976 within the Department of Community Affairs. Per Public Law 1985 Chapter 181 the Department of Community Affairs was disbanded and the Commission for Indian Affairs came under the jurisdiction of the Department of Human Services. The Commission disbanded as of July 1, 1987, but was officially abolished in 1995 per the Governor’s Executive Order (95-8) Abolition of Certain Executive Boards and Commissions.
The Commission's purpose was to investigate problems common to persons of American Indian heritage who are residents of this State, both urban and rural. The Commission also provided assistance to Indian organizations and individuals in their dealings with agencies of federal, state, and local government and gaining access to social services, education, employment opportunities, health, housing, civil rights, and other services and programs and their funding.
Scope and Contents: The records of the Commission are primarily arranged by subject and include correspondence, annual reports, by-laws, meeting minutes, reference files, and documentation on activities with various federal and state agencies including The Bureau of Indian Affairs, The Rhode Island Indian Council (proposals and grants), and The Narragansett Tribe (needs assessment questionnaires, land claim settlement). Other records relate to various projects including the Narragansett Tribal Education Project, the South County Project, and the establishment of the Tomaquag Indian Memorial Museum.