This is a list of federally recognized tribes in the contiguous United States of America. There are also federally recognized Alaska Native tribes. As of 19 February 2020 [update] , 574 Indian tribes were legally recognized by the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) of the United States. Of these, 231 are located in Alaska.
In the United States, the Indian tribe is a fundamental unit, and the constitution grants Congress the right to interact with tribes. More specifically, the Supreme Court of the United States in United States v. Sandoval , 231 U.S. 28 (1913), warned, "it is not... that Congress may bring a community or body of people within range of this power by arbitrarily calling them an Indian tribe, but only that in respect of distinctly Indian communities the questions whether, to what extent, and for what time they shall be recognized and dealt with as dependent tribes" (at 46). Federal tribal recognition grants to tribes the right to certain benefits, and is largely controlled by the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA).
While trying to determine which groups were eligible for federal recognition in the 1970s, government officials became acutely aware of the need for consistent procedures. To illustrate, several federally unrecognized tribes encountered obstacles in bringing land claims; United States v. Washington (1974) was a court case that affirmed the fishing treaty rights of Washington tribes; and other tribes demanded that the U.S. government recognize aboriginal titles. All the above culminated in the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act of 1975, which legitimized tribal entities by partially restoring Native American self-determination.
Following the decisions made by the Indian Claims Commission, the BIA in 1978 published final rules with procedures that groups had to meet to secure federal tribal acknowledgement. There are seven criteria. Four have proven troublesome for most groups to prove: long-standing historical community, outside identification as Indians, political authority, and descent from a historical tribe. Tribes seeking recognition must submit detailed petitions to the BIA's Office of Federal Acknowledgment. Consequently, the Federal Acknowledgment Process can take years, even decades; delays of 12–14 years are not uncommon. The Shinnecock Indian Nation formally petitioned for recognition in 1978 and was recognized 32 years later, in 2010. At a Senate Committee on Indian Affairs hearing, witnesses testified that the process was "broken, long, expensive, burdensome, intrusive, unfair, arbitrary and capricious, less than transparent, unpredictable, and subject to undue political influence and manipulation."
In July 2018 the United States' Federal Register issued an official list of 573 tribes that are Indian Entities Recognized and Eligible To Receive Services From the United States Bureau of Indian Affairs.The number of tribes increased to 567 in May 2016 with the inclusion of the Pamunkey tribe in Virginia who received their federal recognition in July 2015. The number of tribes increased to 573 with the addition of six tribes in Virginia under the Thomasina E. Jordan Indian Tribes of Virginia Federal Recognition Act of 2017, signed in January 2018 after the annual list had been published. The Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians became the 574th tribe to gain federal recognition on December 20, 2019. The website USA.gov, the federal government's official web portal, also maintains a constantly updated list of tribal governments. Ancillary information present in former versions of this list but no longer contained in the current listing has been included here in italics print.
The Federal Register is used by the BIA to publish the list of "Indian Entities Recognized and Eligible To Receive Services From the United States Bureau of Indian Affairs". Tribes in the contiguous 48 states and those in Alaska are listed separately.
The Northern Paiute people are a Numic tribe that has traditionally lived in the Great Basin region of the United States in what is now eastern California, western Nevada, and southeast Oregon. The Northern Paiutes' pre-contact lifestyle was well adapted to the harsh desert environment in which they lived. Each tribe or band occupied a specific territory, generally centered on a lake or wetland that supplied fish and waterfowl. Communal hunt drives, which often involved neighboring bands, would take rabbits and pronghorn from surrounding areas. Individuals and families appear to have moved freely among the bands.
The Shoshone or Shoshoni are a Native American tribe with four large cultural/linguistic divisions:
Blood quantum laws or Indian blood laws are laws in the United States and the former Thirteen colonies that define Native American status by fractions of Native American ancestry. These laws were enacted by the American government as a way to establish legally defined racial population groups; by contrast, many tribes and nations do not include blood quantum as part of their own enrollment criteria.
An Indian colony is a Native American settlement associated with an urban area. Although some of them become official Indian reservations, they differ from most reservations in that they are placed where Native Americans could find employment in mainstream American economy. Many were originally formed without federal encouragement or sanction.
The Mono are a Native American people who traditionally live in the central Sierra Nevada, the Eastern Sierra, the Mono Basin, and adjacent areas of the Great Basin. They are often grouped under the historical label "Paiute" together with the Northern Paiute and Southern Paiute - but these three groups, although related within the Numic group of Uto-Aztecan languages, do not form a single, unique, unified group of Great Basin tribes.
The Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria, formerly known as the Federated Coast Miwok, is a federally recognized American Indian tribe of Coast Miwok and Southern Pomo Indians. The tribe was officially restored to federal recognition in 2000 by the U.S. government pursuant to the Graton Rancheria Restoration Act
The Guidiville Rancheria of California are a Pomo tribe located in Mendocino County, California.
The 70-acre (280,000 m2) Coyote Valley Reservation in Redwood Valley, California is home to about 170 members of the Coyote Valley tribe of the Native American Pomo people, who descend from the Shodakai Pomo. They are a federally recognized tribe, who were formerly known as the Coyote Valley Band of Pomo Indians of California.
Indian termination was the policy of the United States from the mid-1940s to the mid-1960s. It was shaped by a series of laws and policies with the intent of assimilating Native Americans into mainstream American society. Assimilation was not new since the belief that indigenous people should abandon their traditional lives and become what the government considers "civilized" had been the basis of policy for centuries. However, what was new was the sense of urgency, that with or without consent, tribes must be terminated and begin to live "as Americans." To that end, Congress set about ending the special relationship between tribes and the federal government.
The Redwood Valley Rancheria is the land reservation where the Native American community known as The Redwood Valley Band of Pomo Indians resides. It is located northeast of the town of Redwood Valley in Mendocino County, California.
The Big Valley Band of Pomo Indians of the Big Valley Rancheria is a federally recognized tribe of Pomo and Pit River Indians, with a reservation located in Lake County, California, near the town of Finley. They conduct tribal business from Lakeport, California.
The Sherwood Valley Rancheria of Pomo Indians of California is a federally recognized tribe of Pomo Indians in California.
The Cold Springs Rancheria of Mono Indians of California is a federally recognized tribe of Mono Native Americans. Cold Springs Rancheria is the tribe's reservation, which is located in Fresno County, California. As of the 2010 Census the population was 184.
The Potter Valley Tribe is a federally recognized tribe of Pomo people in Mendocino County, California. They were previously known as the Little River Band of Pomo Indians and Potter Valley Rancheria of Pomo Indians of California. The tribe is descended from the first-known inhabitants of the valley, which the Pomo called Ba-lo Kai. Europeans first settled there, at the headwaters of the East Fork of the Russian River, in 1852.