Opatas Library

In the process of digital repatriation of our culture, the need arose to have a library given the amount of compiled documents which today we call “Library of the Opatas”, its name is due to the fact that most of these documents contain information mainly about us, the Opatas and other Nations or entities that are directly or indirectly related to us.

To serve, enrich, and enhance the lives of the Opata Nation members (Tegüimas, Tegüis, Eudeve, Heve, Dohema, Jova, and Caüinachis).

The mission of Opata Library is to be a place that promotes and preserves Opata knowledge and culture, inspires community members to continuously achieve higher levels of education, and enhances personal/community development to enrich and improve the quality of life for all Opata people. 

Opata Library goal
To promote the Opata Cultural Awareness and provide access to electronic resources, such as books, magazines, pictures, audio, videos, newspapers, and computer/internet access primarily related to the Opata Indigenous people from the Mexican State of Sonora, the U.S. state of Arizona, and the Opata diaspora around the world with an Indigenous Approach.

With this repository, we will try to guarantee one point of access to all Opata documents ever written and published in one place with an Indigenous Approach through purchase and digital preservation, while honoring the rights of creators and expanding their online reach. We will work with worldwide libraries and organizations to serve the Opata people, the Opata diaspora around the world, chroniclers, historians, independent researchers, and writers by building the online equivalent of an Indigenous public library.


This Opata library uses an adapted version of the Brian Deer Classification System, a cataloging system created in 1974 by Deer, a librarian from Kahnawake Mohawk. The system incorporates indigenous perspectives when classifying books.

Deer designed his classification system while working in the National Indian Brotherhood library from 1974 to 1976. Instead of using a standard library classification scheme, he created a new system to organize the library’s historical research materials and documents. He then went to work at the Cultural Center in Kahnawake and at the Kahnawake branch of the Mohawk Nation Office, creating new schemes for his collections. The systems that Deer created were designed specifically for the materials in each collection according to the concerns of the local indigenous peoples at that time; For example, the categories include land claims, treaty rights, resource management and stories of the elderly.

Although the Brian Deer Classification System was not created as a universal classification solution for indigenous resources, it has provided a basis for specialized libraries like ours.

-Tagging the collection by Indigenous People’s geographic location.
-Using in the real names of the Native American nations and not the Westernized labels.
-Including other categories, such as “Land claims”, “Treaty Rights”, “Resource management”, “Elders’ stories” and “Opata articles”

Request to be registered for an online reader account, wait for the approval notice, log in from anywhere, and learn.

Please send the following data to

This will depend on a case-by-case basis and taking into account the Fair Use doctrine. All materials that we are able to make available for downloading and printing we will do so.
-Most books published prior to 1923 should be available for download, but there could be some exceptions.

-Books published after 1923 will be available to be borrowed (print disabled and not available for download) with some exceptions through our platform as soon as we acquire a physical copy or partner up with Institutions or Universities.

-For other books, like any library, if available, any member will be able to request printed copies of specific pages.

It is a doctrine of Fair Use to make digital copies of collection items that are likely to deteriorate or that exist only in difficult-to-access formats, for purposes of preservation, and to make those copies available as surrogates for fragile or otherwise inaccessible materials.

-Due to funding limitations, preservation copies will not be made when a fully equivalent digital copy is commercially available at a reasonable cost.

-Due to copyright restrictions, on certain books, this library will have one electronic copy per physical copy of a book/material in storage (one electronic lend of a book at a time, as it does occur in any traditional library).

-Off-premises access to preservation copies circulated as substitutes for original copies will be limited to authenticated members of the library’s patron community, e.g., students, faculty, staff, affiliated scholars, and other accredited users

No, this tribal library from Sonora, Mexico is a free-access online library after the registration request has been approved.

The registration is intending to protect the access to the material without the option to download it unless the publisher of the material grants the permission.

Also, the E-book hosting plan from librarika honors copyright and DRM protection law.


-Faster deployment.

-World wide access.

-Simple and User-friendly.

-Multiple language support.

-Unlimited members.

-Built-in OPAC.

Mainly by individual donations via platforms like

It does depend on the type of book. Prior to any material donation, it is critical to send an email with the book details to to receive further instructions and confirmation.

Do you have a list of needed books?
Yes, we have created the following list of books that we are looking to acquire a copy for future research and enrichment of our culture:
Missing books

Where can I find books to donate?
Since the books, documents, magazines related to us and our region (Sonora-Arizona-Chihuahua) are more likely to be old rare publications, these are the list of sites where any other day we could find such gems:

Please do visit the following link for further details on regards the donations made to our Opatas Library project: link.