August 25, 2017
How many Apache sub-tribes were there and where were they located?
~Submitted by Mindy D.
The original homelands of the Apache Indians were in Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, western Oklahoma, Western Texas, and Northern Mexico. The Jicarilla also ranged into what is now Kansas. The Apache tribe consists of six subtribes: the Western Apache, Chiricahua, Mescalero, Jicarilla, Lipan and Kiowa. Each subtribe is from a different geographial region.
August 23, 2017
What percentage Indian do you have to be in order to be a member of a Tribe or Indian Nation?
~Submitted by Sonny S.
Every tribe has its own membership criteria; some go on blood quantum, others on descent, but whatever the criteria for “percentage Indian” it is the tribe’s enrollment office that has final say on whether a person may be a member. Anyone can claim Indian heritage, but only the tribe can grant official membership.
Tribal Nations are the only recognized arbiter of belonging to or being a member of a tribe. No other agency or arm of any government has that responsibility, other than the particular tribe to which a person claims to belong.
Here is a list of some tribes that claim blood quantum / percentage Indian requirements:
February 12, 2016
My name is Kaela, I am 26 years old. My father (Eddie Brafford) told me I was Apache. He told me that Geronimo was my great-great uncle. I have never been to a reservation and I am not sure what part of Apache I accend from. I have always been interested in learning about my heritage and I would love to visit a reservation that I belong to. How do I find my tribe and get permission to see my people?
September 12, 2014
What benefits are available to native americans because of their federal tribal status?
~Submitted by Katie D.
Indian Affairs, through its government-to-government relationship with federally recognized tribes, carries out the Federal Government’s unique and continuing relationship with and responsibility to tribes and Indian people. Indian Affairs programs support and assist federally recognized tribes in the development of tribal governments, strong economies, and quality programs.
The scope of Indian Affairs programs is extensive and includes a range of services comparable to the programs of state and local government, e.g., education, social services, law enforcement, courts, real estate services, agriculture and range management, and resource protection.
July 12, 2013
Do native americans celebrate the 4th of July?
~Submitted by Betty G.
To answer, let’s turn back the pages of time. A reasonable chapter to begin in is July 1776, when the Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence and 13 colonies became the United States of America. With the emergence of a nation interested in expanding its territory came the issue of what to do with American Indians. History tells us that as the American non-Indian population increased, the indigenous population greatly decreased, along with their homelands and cultural freedoms.
From the beginning, U.S. government policy contributed to culture and land loss. Keeping our focus on the 4th of July, however, let’s jump to the early 1880s, when Secretary of the Interior Henry Teller developed what has come to be called the Religious Crimes Code—regulations at the heart of the Department of Interior, Office of Indian Affairs, Code of Indian Offenses that prohibited American Indian ceremonial life.
August 15, 2010
1. Are any of the natives in Alaska recognized as a sovereign nation? For instance, can they issue their own passports?
2. I have read a little about Faith Braswell of the Kitoi tribe. Have you heard of her or of this tribe and if so, where are they located?
~Submitted by Steven J
There are 229 federally recognized indian tribes in Alaska. The Alaskan tribes speak 20 different languages, belong to five geographic areas, are organized under thirteen Alaska Native Regional Corporations and have eleven different cultures. Alaskan natives make up 20% of the population of the state of Alaska.
All federally recognized tribes are sovereign nations, but they don’t issue passports. (Some tribes in the lower 48 states do issue driver’s licenses and car license plates, but not all of them.) Anyone can visit an indian nation without a passport both in Alaska and the lower 48 states. The only “border crossing” is a road sign saying you are entering such and such reservation. (In Alaska, they probably don’t even have signs, since the only way in to many of the indian villages is by dogsled or plane because they don’t have roads over much of Alaska.)
August 5, 2010
I am writting a short story for school about the relationship Sioux Indians had with their horses in 1867. Is there any further information you can provide for me? I’ve read that Sioux Indians thought of curly horses as sacred. Why is this? What type of indian names did the Sioux Indians have? What were medicine men like? What were the Sioux Indians’ villages like? Thank-you for your help.
~Submitted by Leah
June 29, 2010
Are there any areas in Kentucky that are considered sacred ground?
~Submitted by Brooks D.ANSWER:
Wickliffe Mounds is a prehistoric, Mississippian culture archaeological site located in Ballard County, Kentucky, just outside the town of Wickliffe. Operated today as a State Historical Park, Wickliffe Mounds are about 30 miles west of Paducah, Kentucky on Highways 51-60-62 West, near the confluence of the Mississippi and Ohio rivers.
May 2, 2010
I am currently writing a science fiction book with a strong apache male as the main character in my book. i chose the white mountain apache because i grew up near the white mountains here in New Hampshire. I need to know the following information:
(1) What is the current langauge used by the peoples of the White Mountain Apache Tribe?
(2) Where may i find a dictionary with english translations of this langauge?
(3) Where may i find a list of male and female Apache names?
(4) If a young male child were to be raised by a traditional Apache grandfather, what kinds of things would the grandfather teach his grandson?
(5)What tradition is used in the naming of Apache children?
~Submitted by Walter
January 24, 2010
Hi, I am an Australian woman of aboriginal decent who would dearly love to visit your country to learn more of this beautiful culture, Could you recommend any native American tours or places to visit where i can absorb some of your culture?
~Submitted by Rain C.
Hi Rain, I’d suggest attending an authentic native american pow wow. There is a pow wow somewhere almost every weekend of the year, although the summer is the peak pow wow season. …More about pow wows
November 5, 2009
Question: Can you tell me what cultural and religious significance the pronghorn antelope has for Native Americans in the West? (I know the answer will have to be general but if you have examples from different tribes that would be great!). ~Submitted by Hans S.
February 27, 2009
Hi Folks ! Where can i Find a war tomahawk? I guess the Indians didn’t fight with a Tomahawk, which is at the same time a peacepipe. The hole throughout the shaft for smoke would make the Tomahawk weak. The back of the blade (Tomahawk) must have been a sharp peak or dull, to crush human head.
Have you a good picture for a Tattoo? I need one as well aa an origanal picture of a Peace pipe. I know the end of a pipe was make of a special stone. What is the name of it? I would be very happy if you can find anybody to send a few pictures of these two things.
~Submitted by Micky From Stockholm, Sweden
Actually the combined pipe-tomahawk, or Pipe Hawk as they were referred to in the trade jargon of the Old West, was a popular item in trading with indian tribes of the Plains in the late 1700s to mid 1800s. Often the pipe stem was made of metal as well as the tomahawk/pipe bowl end. The metal shaft was then circled by a wood sleeve so it wouldn’t burn your hand holding on to the metal when the pipe was lit, and giving you a good grip if you needed to use the business end of the weapon, and doubling its strength.
If the shaft was solid wood, it was usually made from a hardwood like hickory or ironwood, so it was still strong even though it was hollowed out for the pipe stem. Ironwood is difficult to cut even today with modern tools becuase of it’s density. So technically, the pipehawk would have been strong enough to use as a weapon. However, you are correct, they usually weren’t used in battle, for other reasons.
December 22, 2008
QUESTION: Is the earring worn by Russel Means in the role of Chingachgook in the 1992 movie, The Last of the Mohicans, an authentic Mohican design? ~Submitted by Keith H ANSWER: THE LAST OF THE MOHICANS is the second part of a five-book series written by author James Fenimore Cooper called The Leatherstocking Tales. Leatherstocking […]
December 4, 2008
I am doing some research on the Muskellunge. Every web site I go to says the word was based on the Ojibwe word Maashkinoozhe and they say Maashkinoozhe means Ugly Pike. That does not make sense because Maash means flower in Ojibwe. I was wondering if you can tell me what the aborigional word for Muskellunge is?
~Submitted by Gary
October 2, 2008
I have been searching for information on the significance of Lakota jewelry in the past. I am a teacher and during watching a film on Lewis & Clark, which included some references to the Lakota, some students were very interested in the pictures of the beautiful bear claw necklaces, etc. They wanted to know what the jewelry really meant. So far, I’ve had no luck with internet searches. Can you help?
~Submitted by Jewell S.
July 26, 2008
QUESTION: My sister taught school on the reservation in Pine Ridge (Porcupine) about 20 years ago. She will be 50 this year. I am looking to buy her turquoise jewelry. I’d like to know it’s authentic and made by the Indians. She would hold this as being very special. I understand that some jewelry has […]
July 2, 2008
QUESTION: When did it become legal in Arizona for Native Americans to buy alcohol and to vote?~Submitted by Mel H.
May 16, 2008
I know this may be a strange question and i am sorry if it seems not right to ask, but i was wondering if there had been any sioux – apache weddings? Meaning the girl was apache and the boy sioux? There is a very valid reason for this question but I am not allowed to talk about it. Only to ask. Please can you go back as to 14-15 hundred years. Or after.
~Submitted by Kerry S.
I suppose it could be possible, through trade routes or captive prisoners taken in raids and later traded, but 14-1500 years ago the Apache and Sioux tribes lived in very different regions of the US, separated by mountain ranges and great distances, and they were neither neighbors, enemies or friends. There was very little, if any, contact between those two tribes before the reservation era.
In ancient times, the Apache people were once a part of the Navajo tribe. Traditional Apache territory was in Arizona, New Mexico and Old Mexico, while the Sioux were originally from Minnesota and around the great lakes in Michigan and Wisconsin.
May 8, 2008
Do indian reservations need summer volunteers? I am a 17 year old junior in high school and would like to do some volunteer work this summer with another culture.
~Submitted by Cindy T.
Yes, there are many opportunities to volunteer on indian reservations. These volunteer programs usually charge a nominal fee to cover your food and housing during your stay, and you have to pay your own transportation, which is usually tax deductible as a charitable donation. You will be expected to work a set number of hours each week you are there, but will also have the opportunity to interact with the community and learn something about their culture.
Here is a partial list:
May 4, 2008
QUESTION: We have recently traced my husband’s roots to Pocahontas. His Grandmother had always told him there was a relation, but he never had any proof. He is now interested in joining a tribe. Is this something that is completed in the state we reside? We have found that there is a Accohannock Tribe in […]
April 8, 2008
QUESTION: Were the Arickaree Indians ever in Kansas City, Kansas in Wyandotte County? We live in a housing addition called Arickaree Addition on the papers from when we purchased the house. A woman said the Arickarees were never in Kansas. ~Submitted by Frances W.
February 29, 2008
My family is descended from the Algonquin’s. If I were to try to get in touch with a member of the tribe to learn more about where my family comes from how would I go about it?
~Submitted by Grace K.
Tribes don’t usually offer any genealogy services, at least none that I am aware of. The tribe will not be able to “look you up” and see if you are a descendent of theirs. You will need to do this work yourself or hire a professional genealogist to do the work for you, which is not usually cheap.
February 9, 2008
QUESTION: Greetings ~ I am interested in learning about the nation(s) that inhabited a particular area – specifically what is now known as the counties of Leavenworth and Jefferson in the NE corner of the state of Kansas (map: http://skyways.lib.ks.us/counties/). Is there such a resource that documents, even roughly, what nations might have occupied this […]
December 27, 2007
QUESTION: Is GERONIMO buried at Fort Sill or was he moved to another place? Is it posible to get in contact with some of his ancestors? ~Submitted by Ronny W. This article has moved to our new Apache section. Please see wives and burial place of Geronimo.
December 16, 2007
Is it possible to find native american genealogy information online without paying for it? Where do I start?
~Submitted by Craig G.
Yes, it definitely is. Here is my short list of my ten favorite genealogy sources in general and my ten favorite native american genealogy resources in particular. These sources will give you starting points for just about any ancestry search, not just for native american ancestry specifically, but they hold a wealth of free genealogy information about native american ancestry, too.
December 3, 2007
Question: I am writing a paper for college on how two different native american tribes traditionally explain creation or how life came about. I have found some information but would like to know if anyone could tell me when this would be typically told to someone? As a yound child? In a Ceremony? Does it […]
November 21, 2007
In the very near future, I am planning on asking a woman of mixed Sioux and Cherokee descent to marry me. Her family history is obscure but I would like to recognize her partial native american heritage by making a traditional request for her hand, if such a tradition exists. If you could point me in the proper direction, I would be apppreciative.
~Submitted by Jim M.
Most of the customs of the Cherokee and Sioux that would be practiced today apply more to the wedding ceremony than the courtship period.
In the old days, marriages were usually arranged by the parents in both Sioux and Cherokee society, and the formal request for a bride was made by presenting gifts (the bride price – usually food, blankets, and fine clothing, and later horses) to the bride’s parents, who made the decision to accept or reject the marriage proposal for the girl.
Most marriages were arranged this way, although there were a few romantic marriages instigated by the young people.
November 1, 2007
QUESTION: My son asked me if Jacoby Ellsbury is the first Native American in the majors. I could think of Chief Bender, Louis Sokalexis, Jim Thorpe, and Allie Reynolds, but I wondered where I could find a comprehensive list. And perhaps someone has written a book on the topic. Please help. Thank you. ~Submitted by […]
October 23, 2007
QUESTION: I am a descendant of Adrienne Lucier-Lachapelle. She is my fourth great grandmother. Her parents are Etienne Lucier, a French Canadian fur trapper who worked with the Hudson Bay Company. He was part of the Astorians of 1881. He married Josephte. I have seen her surname as Nouite and Noutie. The work Nation has […]
October 1, 2007
Do the American Indians today own land that was once their own land prior to the coming of the White man? What reservations existed prior to the defeat of Custer? and where did Sitting Bull’s men go to in Canada after the battle of the Little Big Horn? –Submitted by J. McAuliffe, Australia
Reservations in the United States
There are 561 federally recognized tribal governments in the United States, and dozens more state recognized and unrecognized american Indian tribes in the US who are currently fighting (through a lengthy legal appeal process that can take 20 or more years) for recognition.
The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) is the US government agency responsible for the administration and management of the 55.7 million acres of land held in trust by the United States for American Indians, Indian tribes, and Alaska Natives. This is approximately 2.3% of all the land in the United States.
September 4, 2007
Question: What are some of the most commonly held misconceptions about native american indians both in the past and in the present?
Submitted by Jennie T.
Probably the biggest misconception non-indians have about native american indians is that they are all the same, that they share a common culture, common beliefs, and a common governmental structure. Many people picture the Plains Indian tribes as representative of all Indians because of their romanticized portrayal in Hollywood movies.
July 24, 2007
QUESTION: I have been researching a turtle I bought at a garage sale last weekend. The label reads “Indian Made Pipestone Craft.” It measures about 2 3/4 inches long and 2 inches across the shell. I do not feel right about selling it on ebay. I will if there isn’t an issue. Please let me […]
July 14, 2007
I am doing a research project for my nutrition class and have to find out about foods that were prohibited for native americans but have had no luck so far, could you give some information or point me in the right direction?
~Submitted by Gabriela L.
July 3, 2007
Today’s Mailbag Question: Would you tell me, how Shawnee spirits would react to houses being built on a burial site? ~Submitted by Rose M Answer: I don’t know if the Shawnee spirits would object, but consider whether or not you would be willing to build your house on top of your own relative’s grave. Native […]
May 13, 2007
In lieu of a mailbag question this week, we are featuring non-profit organizations which work with and seek volunteers to work on impoverished Indian reservations. Nearly a third of all American Indian and Alaska Native children live in poverty. Of the top 100 poorest counties in the US, four of the Top 5 and ten of the Top 20 are on indian reservations. In all, 24 counties with high Indian populations made the Top 100 Poorest Counties list based on the 2000 Census.
April 10, 2007
QUESTION: I am looking at going to an artifact auction advertised at www.biddersandbuyers.com/sleeper to get a chanupa (pipe) and a shield and put them where they need to be, which is back in a ceremonial family’s care and not in someone’s collection. The shield looks to be a ghost dance shield. They say it is […]
March 3, 2007
Who were the first people in the world to start smoking? Also, did theAmerican Indians introduce smoking to the white man or vice versa? –Submitted by Bob A.
February 24, 2007
–Submitted by Juanita C. Answer: Hi Juanita, Over the course of thousands of years, many, many plant species were domesticated, bred and cultivated by the indigenous native american peoples of the American continent. Many of these cultivars spread throughout the American continent and are presently common staples in diets worldwide.
February 24, 2007
Question Submitted by: Dmbad5 The White Buffalo Calf Woman Prophesy The Lakota religious system and White Buffalo prophesies are based on a messiah who appeared to them about 2,000 years ago called the White Buffalo Woman, or PtesanWi, as she is called in the Lakota language. (The “Calf” part of her name was added later […]
January 7, 2007
QUESTION: How do native americans celebrate Christmas? –Submitted by Tifany J.
January 7, 2007
We are producing a television programme in the U.K. covering the subject of ‘Traditional team sports played throughout the world’. We are interested in filming a documentary about the traditional sport ‘Stickball’ and would like to speak to someone involved in the organisation of this sport. Could you possibly let me know someone I could […]
January 7, 2007
QUESTIONS I am looking to buy smudge sticks or products to relieve my home of a spirit family. I was told to go to a reserve in Arizona and buy from an old woman behind the counter. I have no clue as to where this is. Tell me, where are the directions to this place? […]
January 7, 2007
I know the Blackfeet Indians had a reputation as fierce warriros and excellent horsemen. But did they develop a particular breed of horse?
–Submitted by John L.
The Blackfoot Buffalo Horse is a descendant of the Spanish Mustang.
The popular opinion is that all Indian horses descended from animals brought to the Americas by Columbus, and Cortez in the early 1500s, and Ponce de Leon and other later explorers and immigrants. However some Indian tribes say they had horses before Europeans came. The Blackfoot tribes have their own legends about how the blackfoot aquired the horse.
January 7, 2007
QUESTION:I want to bring my daughter, (social security number removed) who is 17 years old, to your Cherokee Tribe office to get a photo id and information about what we have to do to get her money for college. Who do I need to call to find out about college financial aid ? –Submitted by […]
January 7, 2007
QUESTION:I have three pieces of pottery I want to give to the Cahokian Indians. I’ve been told they are authhentic, and I bought them at a local flea market . I have not had them authenticated , but the person I bought them from said he dug them himself. If they are, I do want […]
January 7, 2007
Are there any indian reservations in Florida? We heard there was a tribe in Ormond Beach, Florida but cannot get any info on them.
–Submitted by Marie F.
There are indian reservations in Florida, but I don’t know of an Indian tribe with a reservation in Ormond Beach, Florida. There is a pow wow held there. It’s called the Native American Festival and is held at the Casement Cultural Center.
January 7, 2007
QUESTION:I’m currently doing some research on the Lummi Indians within the San Juan Island (WA) area. I’d appreciate learning about their general customs, health rituals/medicines & their symbols. Thanx for responding at your earliest convenience. –Submitted by Deb L..
January 7, 2007
Question: I am a non-denominational wedding minister in North Carolina. I have a bridal couple that want to include the wedding vase in their ceremony. Do you have the wording that you can share for this ceremony? We would greatly appreciate your help. Thank you. –Submitted by Bonnie C.
January 7, 2007
QUESTION:Native american indian jewelry is so beautiful. How long have indian tribes been making jewelry? What are the meanings of turquoise and the squash blossom necklace? How can I tell what tribe a piece of sterling silver jewelry is from?–Submitted by Ardith R.
January 7, 2007
I’m doing research on American Indian tribes. Could you tell me which if any of the following tribes are extinct:
“Abenaki” – spelled variously as: Abenaqui, Abnaki, Alnanbal, Benaki, Oubenaki, Wabanaki, Wippanap;
Owenunga; and Skacewanilom (Iroquois)
Also, are the Abnaki, also known as Abenaki, considered an official native American tribe by the United States government?
–Submitted by Randy K.
The many, many names of the north american indians who make up the group of indians known as the Abenaki can be quite confusing. All of the names you mentioned are actually just various names for the Abenaki indians in the Wabanaki Confederacy, or place names related to them.