In operation since 1958, the Colorado River Indian Tribes Library is known as the first Tribally funded library in the United States. Instrumental in its development were the late Dr. Spencer Hatch and his wife Emily. In tribute to their oustanding contributions to the Colorado River Indian Tribes, the Tribal Council adopted Dr. & Mrs. Spencer Hatch as honorary members on December 1, 1962. This action reflected the gratitude of Tribal Members for both Dr. Hatch and Emily, and has been the only time constituents of the Caucasian race have been adopted as honorary members of the Tribe.
In 1966, books were moved from the first library, at the old Agency tribal office to the present facility. In September 1970, as part of the National Indian Days Celebration, the Library and Museum building were dedicated with Mrs. Hatch as Master of Ceremonies. It is the first triball owned and operated library which includes a complete archive and indian information section in the United States.
C.R.I.T. Library receives Institutional Excellence Award!
Pictured Library Staff, Front: Library Director Amelia Flores, Elvira Bailey-Holgate, Technician
Back: Gilford Harper, Computer Technology Specialist Anna Scott, Library Archivist
Oklahoma City, OK, April 17, 2012 - The Association of Tribal Archives, Libraries, and Museums (ATALM) today announced the winners of its 2012 Guardians of Culture and Lifeways International Awards.
Established in 2007, the awards program identifies and recognizes organizations and individuals who serve as outstanding examples of how indigenous archives, libraries, and museums contribute to the
vitality and cultural sovereignty of Native nations.
Archives Institutional Excellence, which recognizes indigenous archival organizations that demonstrate a significant commitment to the preservation and use of documentary heritage, is awarded to the
Colorado River Indian Tribes Library (CRIT) and its archivist Amelia Flores.
Close-up of award
Organized in 1958, the CRIT Archives was the first tribally-based archive in the state of Arizona and now serves as the central research center for knowledge about the the four tribes of the Colorado River Indian Reservation.
The CRIT Archives is a model for managing Indigenous knowledge. While embracing a spirit of inclusivity, archives staff members ensure that collections are maintained to the highest archival standards and are
accessible to the public in accordance with tribal protocols.
Archive staff members actively engage in acquiring new materials, implements community oral history and language documentation projects, and routinely contributes to educating non-tribal archivists about issues surrounding Native archival materials. The library was honored at a luncheonceremony on Tuesday, June 5, opening day of the International Conference of Indigenous Archives, Libraries, and Museums that is taking place at the Cherokee-owned Hard Rock Casino and Hotel in Tulsa, Oklahoma.The award ceremony is open to conference attendees, guests of the awardees, and credentialed media representatives. An Awards Council, consisting of 14 individuals from cultural institutions across the nation, reviewed a record number of nominations.