More on Writing in Style

A style manual will not cover all the grammatical and writing questions that you confront as someone who works for a tribal government. Even the most comprehensive guide will not tell you the proper way to address a tribal leader in a letter or which source will be used to guide you on the proper name for tribal governments.

These are questions that may require research and consultation with department heads. Once a decision is made, it should be documented in a style sheet. A style sheet is a supplement to the style manual and it should address spelling, grammar and other writing questions that cannot be answered anywhere else. It should be shared and used like any other reference.

Style sheets are fluid documents that are constantly amended and updated as needed. As with most writing style questions, there may be several correct answers. The key to a good writing style is to decide on one answer and stick to it.

Below are some useful sources that may help you in developing a style sheet for your tribal organization.

National Congress of American Indians Tribal Directory – This is updated regularly and is a good source for checking the proper spelling and preferred reference for American Indian and Alaska Native governments.

Websites for Tribal Governments

U.S. Government Web sites – These will help you with the proper titles for government officials, the spelling of names and the official names for various agencies and departments.

U.S. Department of Interior – includes the Bureau of Indian Affairs

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services – includes the Indian Health Service

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