Tribes by State

These Tribes by State pages are indexes to all the native American Indian tribes in each state, whether they are federally recognized, state recognized, terminated, unrecognized, or extinct tribes. They also outline a brief history timeline of all the tribes who have lived in each state from pre-historic times to the present.
The rights and benefits associated with state recognition vary from state to state. Of the 567 federally recognized tribes, approximately 24 of them have tribal areas that span across at least two states, and approximately 5 of them have areas that span across 3 states.
Top 10 States with the largest native American populations
As of 2010, California was the state with the most individual native american and Alaskan native people (723,225), followed by Oklahoma (482,760), Arizona (353,386), Texas (315,264), New York (221,058), New Mexico (219,512), Washington (198,998), North Carolina (184,082), Florida (162,562) and Michigan (139,095).
States with no native American tribes
Virginia has no federally recognized tribes, largely due to Walter Ashby Plecker. In 1912, Plecker became the first registrar of the state’s Bureau of Vital Statistics, serving until 1946. Plecker believed that the state’s Native Americans had been “mongrelized” with its African American population. A law passed by the state’s General Assembly recognized only two races, “white” and “colored”. Plecker pressured local governments into reclassifying all Native Americans in the state as “colored,” leading to the destruction of records on the state’s Native American community. The state of Maryland also has no federally recognized indian tribes, but does have one unrecognized tribe.
5 States with the least Indian tribes
The states with the least federally recognized indian tribes, following the two states with no tribes, are West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio, New Hampshire, and Kentucky.
As of May 2016, there are 567 federally recognized indian tribes in the United States. There are hundreds more indian tribes who are state recognized, petitioning for recognition, or unrecognized.
Top 5 Cities With The Most Native Americans
American cities with the largest native American and Alaska Native populations as of 2010 were New York, New York (111,749); Los Angeles, California (54,236); Phoenix, Arizona (43,724); Oklahoma City, Oklahoma(36,572); and Anchorage, Alaska(36,062).
Federally recognized Indian tribes
Federally recognized indian tribes have special immunities and privileges due to their government to government relationship with the United States, as well as the responsibilities, powers, limitations, and obligations that go along with their status as sovereign nations. Members of these tribes have dual citizenship with both the United States and their respective tribes.These tribes possess the right to form their own government, to enforce laws (both civil and criminal), to tax, to establish membership, to license and regulate activities, to zone and to exclude persons from tribal territories. Limitations on tribal powers of self-government include the same limitations applicable to states; for example, neither tribes nor states have the power to make war, engage in foreign relations, or coin money (this includes paper currency).Many Native Americans and advocates of Native American rights point out that the US Federal government’s claim to recognize the “sovereignty” of Native American peoples falls short, given that the US still wishes to govern Native American peoples and treats them as subject to US law. True respect for Native American sovereignty would require the United States federal government to deal with Native American peoples in the same manner as any other sovereign nation, handling matters related to relations with Native Americans through the Secretary of State, rather than the Bureau of Indian Affairs.The Bureau of Indian Affairs reports on its website that its “responsibility is the administration and management of 55,700,000 acres (225,000 km²) of land held in trust by the United States for American Indians, Indian tribes, and Alaska Natives.”Many Native Americans and advocates of Native American rights believe that it is condescending for such lands to be considered “held in trust” and regulated in any fashion by a foreign power.Federally recognized indian tribes are eligible to receive funding and services from the United States Bureau of Indian Affairs, commonly referred to as the B.I.A., as stipulated in their respective treaties with the United States government.Many tribes also have their own independant commercial enterprises which generate additional income for the tribe’s infrastructure, and in some cases for individual tribal members in the form of per capita payments. In recent years, tribal casinos have provided employment for tribal members and a modest profit which supports community programs. A few tribes in urban areas have become rich from their casino’s earnings, however, those tribes are the exception rather than the norm.Several tribes have had name changes in the last few years. In those instances, both the old name and the new official name are given.
Largest Native American Tribes
As of 2000, the largest tribes in the U.S. by population were (in this order) Navajo, Cherokee, Choctaw, Sioux, Chippewa, Apache, Lumbee, Blackfeet, Iroquois, and Pueblo. In 2000, eight of ten Americans with Native American ancestry were of mixed blood. It is estimated that by 2100 that figure will rise to nine out of ten.
Tribes by State

July 27, 2017

Hundreds of Diverse Cultures

The early Native California Indian communities were astonishingly diverse in culture and way of life, ranging from the seafaring Chumash to the agricultural Yuma to the nomadic Modoc.

Native California groups numbered more than 500 individual tribes or bands, spoke at least 100 different mutually unintelligible languages, ate different foods, and practiced different religions. These communities had no alphabets and left no written records for historians to interpret, so what we know about Native Californians before the arrival of Europeans is based on four sources:

  1. archaeological evidence;
  2. early records of European explorers and colonists;
  3. oral histories given by tribal elders in the early 20th century; and
  4. oral traditions passed down to later generations of Native Californians.
    California Indian Tribes
July 26, 2017

California Indian Languages

Before European contact, native Californians spoke over 300 dialects of approximately one hundred distinct languages. All but sixty-four are extinct today, with many more languages likely to disappear in our lifetime.

California Indian Tribes
May 14, 2017

There were seven major Indian Wars fought in Colorado between 1864 and 1879.

The Colorado region was part of the Viceroyalty of New Spain from 1535 to 1682, New France from 1682 to 1762, Kingdom of Spain from 1762 to 1800, French First Republic 1800 to 1803, and part of the United States of America 1803–present (boundaries were disputed by Spain).

Colorado Indian Tribes
January 1, 2017

Arkansas was home to Native Americans long before Europeans arrived. The first explorers met Indians whose ancestors had occupied the region for thousands of years. These were impressive and well-organized societies, to whom Europeans introduced new technologies, plants, animals, and diseases, setting in motion a process of population loss and cultural change that would continue for centuries.

Arkansas Indian Tribes
December 27, 2015

Idaho Indian tribes say they have occupied their homelands since time immemorial. The state of Idaho has a cultural history spanning at least 6,000 years that has been proven with modern archeology techniques.

This state spans two cultural areas: the Plateau Region in the north and the Great Basin Region in the south. Climate changes from 6000 BCE to 3000 BCE affected the original American Indian people in these two areas differently. This is called the Middle Period by archaeologists. Here is a timeline of the changes that occurred in this area.

Idaho Indian Tribes
May 19, 2015

Virginia’s original inhabitants are seeking formal recognition from the federal government, but they face opposition from casino interests and other groups.

The Pamunkey, whose most famous member was Pocahontas, and other Native American tribes in Virginia want federal recognition that would open the door for housing, education and other financial assistance.

Virginia Indian Tribes
December 16, 2007

Excerpted from The Indian Tribes of North America, by John R. Swanton The primary Indian group in the state of Illinois was the Illinois, a large native group made up of several related tribes. Their tribal name “Illiniwek” means “men” or “people.” They were of the Algonquin linguistic group and were most closely related to […]

Illinois Indian Tribes
July 25, 2006

Ten years isn’t long. Not in a history that began 9,000 years ago. But the discovery of Kennewick Man on July 28, 1996, is dramatically reshaping beliefs about how humans populated the Americas. And his skeleton may continue to raise more questions about the past than it answers.

Washington Indian Tribes
March 30, 2005

The Spanish chapter of Georgia’s earliest colonial history is dominated by the lengthy mission era, extending from 1568 through 1684. Catholic missions were the primary means by which Georgia’s indigenous Native American chiefdoms were assimilated into the Spanish colonial system along the northern frontier of greater Spanish Florida.

Florida Tribes
March 30, 2005

There have been many very notable and honored Chiefs that lived in the Arkansas Territory. Some have claimed Dangerous Man from the Cherokee legend of the Lost Cherokee resided in Arkansas for a time, however we will stick to what we know as fact, as that is usually the best policy when doing legitimate research.

Arkansas Indian Tribes
January 27, 2005

The First People entered the area we call Michigan over 10,000 years ago. They hunted and fished for thousands of years. Yet the environment showed little impact from their lives here.

When the Europeans arrived around 1620, Woodland peoples of the Algonquian language groups lived on this land that would become Michigan. This chart lists the tribes and their approximate Michigan locations.

Michigan Indian Tribes
April 27, 2003

Nestled in a beautiful, verdant valley along the Mississippi River, a great feast took place nearly 1,000 years ago.

In what appears to be something like an ancient Thanksgiving dinner – albeit with dog meat instead of turkey – people of two different cultures met, exchanged food, ideas and possibly gave birth to an entirely new cultural tradition.

Wisconsin Tribes
June 11, 2002

Author and anthropologist James Chatters knows Kennewick Man better than anyone else alive. In fact, in some ways Chatters may know the 9,500-year-old man better than he knows his own friends. Chatters says Kennewick Man was in his 40s when he died. He had arthritis in his neck. He spent a lot of time squatting. […]

Washington Indian Tribes
July 19, 2001

At the time of first sustained contact with the Indians of southern New England—that is, the early 1600s—the Pequots controlled a sizable portion of what is now eastern Connecticut. Beginning near New London, their territory extended northward along the ridge that separates the Thames and Connecticut Rivers to the headwaters of the Thames.

Connecticut Indian Tribes