US Tribes A to Z (Federally Recognized)

US Tribes A-Z
Indigenous peoples in what is now the contiguous United States are commonly called “American Indians”, or just “Indians” domestically, but are also often referred to as “Native Americans”. In Alaska, indigenous peoples, which include Native Americans, Yupik and Inupiat Eskimos, and Aleuts, are referred to collectively as Alaska Natives.
Native Americans and Alaska Natives make up 2 percent of the U.S. population, with more than 6 million people identifying themselves as such, although only 1.8 million are recognized as registered tribal members. Tribes have established their own rules for membership, some of which are increasingly exclusive. More people have unrecognized Native American ancestry together with other ethnic groups. A minority of U.S. Native Americans live in land units called Indian reservations. Some southwestern U.S. tribes, such as the Yaqui and Apache, have registered tribal communities in Northern Mexico. Similarly, some northern bands of Blackfoot reside in southern Alberta, Canada, in addition to within US borders.
A number of Kumeyaay communities may be found in Baja California del Norte.
Indian tribes are unique legal entities in the United States and are distinct political communities with extensive powers of self-government. Tribal sovereignty predates the U.S. government. Treaties, federal statutes and executive agreements over the past 200 years have established a special trust relationship between tribes and the federal government. The federal Bureau of Indian Affairs (B.I.A.) has been designated by the Secretary of the Interior as the primary agency to protect tribal interests and administer trust responsibilities.
Federal Tribes (F)
Federal tribes followed by (F) have recognition by the US. Government. Recognized Indians are those who are enrolled members of tribes from whom the federal government has acknowledged treaty or statutory obligations. There are 566 federally recognized indian tribes (as of January 14, 2015).
State Tribes (S)
State tribes marked with an (S) have recognition at the state level, but may or may not have federal recognition by the US Government.
Terminated Tribes (T)
During the 1950s, in a move to assimilate Native Americans into mainstream America, the U.S. government ended federal trusteeship of roughly three percent of the country’s Native American population through a process called termination. Of the terminated tribes, 62 were native to Oregon and 41 were in California. Others were in Kansas, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, New York, North Dakota, Utah, and Wisconsin. Even though the tone of the termination legislation was emancipation, the net effect of the policy on terminated tribes was cultural, political and economic devastation. In recent years, however, vigorous efforts have been mounted by terminated tribes to reestablish or restore the trust relationship. Terminated tribes are marked with (T).
UnRecognized Tribes (U)
Un-recognized tribes marked with (U) are historical indian tribes or people with Indian ancestry who are not recognized by either the Federal Government or any state government entity. Unrecognized Indians include those from tribes with whom federal relations have been severed by congressional action (termination) and those whose tribe has never been recognized by the federal government. They also include persons of indian ancestry who, for fear of persecution, fled or hid their Indian ancestry during the time the early Indian Rolls were being taken in the mid to late 1800s and early 1900s.
Petitioning Tribes (P)
Many of the Terminated Tribes and Unrecognized tribes are today petitioning to again be recognized as tribal governments with sovereign nation status or to be included in tribes they were previously terminated from. Those petitioning tribes are marked with a (P), where known. Inclusion on this site does NOT mean an endorsement has been made for recognition of any particular tribe. All entities claiming to be US indian tribes that we are aware of have been included for completeness. Where known, we have indicated official tribal status with our Key Chart. In many cases we have not verified the validity of the claim of tribal status, and leave it to your own common sense or further research to validate tribal claims.Alternate names in parenthesis are either older names that were once used to identify that tribe, shortened common names, or they are misspellings.


N -O-P

Most Recent Articles:

Keechy Tribe

April 30, 2017

The Keechy Tribe was a Native American Southern Plains tribe that lived in Texas, Louisiana, and Oklahoma. Also known as the Kichai, they were most closely related to the Pawnee.

Unrecognized Tribes K to M

Koroa Indians

January 1, 2017

The Koroa Indians are one of many “small tribes” of the Southeastern United States that are mentioned briefly in historic accounts and then fade from the records during the colonial period. There is evidence that some Koroa may have resided in present-day Arkansas in the late seventeenth century, but the ancestral homeland, cultural roots, and historic fate of the Koroa remain issues of disagreement among today’s scholars.

Extinct American Indian Tribes K to M

Beothuk Indians

September 26, 2016

The Beothuk were the aboriginal inhabitants of Newfoundland when Europeans arrived, and were the first indigenous people the Europeans encountered in North America. They are now an extinct tribe, at least as a culture. Recently, dna has been found in Iceland that indicates, they may, indeed, have some descendants still living.

Extinct Native American Tribes A-C

Duwamish Tribe

August 21, 2016

The Duwamish Tribe are an unrecognized Lushootseed Native American tribe in western Washington, and the original indigenous people of metropolitan Seattle. The Duwamish tribe descends from at least two distinct groups from before intense contact with people of European ancestry—the People of the Inside (the environs of Elliott Bay) and the People of the Large Lake (Lake Washington).

Unrecognized Tribes D-G
August 19, 2016

The  Juaneño Band of Mission Indians is recognized by the State of California, but is not federally recognized.  They traditionally lived along the coast in what is now Orange and San Diego counties in California.

State Tribes H-J
December 8, 2015

The Choctaw Apache Tribe of Ebarb is located in western Sabine Parish, Louisiana. They are recognized by the state of Louisiana and have petitioned for federal recognition.

State Tribes C-D
February 19, 2015

The Pensacola Indians were a Native American people who lived in the western part of what is now the Florida Panhandle and eastern Alabama for centuries before first contact with Europeans until early in the 18th century. They spoke a Muskogean language. They are the source of the name of Pensacola Bay and the city of Pensacola. They lived in the area until the mid-18th century, but were thereafter assimilated into other groups.

Extinct Native American Indian Tribes N-P
February 12, 2015

The Biloxi-Chitimacha Confederation of Muskogee were recognized as a tribe by the state of Louisiana in 2005. They previously split off from the United Houma Nation, Inc., and applied for Federal Recognition in 2008. Their application is still waiting for review.

State Tribes A-B
January 27, 2015

The Cher-O-Creek, Intra Tribal Indians bloodlines are composed of more than one Native Blood of the Five Civilized Tribes indigenous to the State of Alabama, primarily Creek and Cherokee.  Many of Cher-O-Creek members have both Creek and Cherokee bloodlines.

State Tribes C-D
January 27, 2015

The Cherokee Tribe of Northeast Alabama (CTNEAL) is  recognized by the State of Alabama, and has a representative on the Alabama Indian Affairs Commission and the Inter-Tribal Council of Alabama. It is one of nine state-recognized tribes. The federally recognized Cherokee Nation has disputed the validity of this and other state-recognized tribes claiming Cherokee descent.

State Tribes C-D
January 11, 2015

The Meherrin Indian Tribe are the only non-reservation Indians in North Carolina who still live on their original Reservation lands. They were  recognized by the state of NC in 1986. The Meherrin Nation is one of eight state-recognized Nations of Native Americans in North Carolina. They reside in rural northeastern North Carolina, near the river of the same name on the Virginia-North Carolina border.

State Tribes K-M
January 11, 2015

The Lumbee Tribe is the largest indian tribe in North Carolina, the largest tribe east of the Mississippi River and the ninth largest tribe in the nation that does not have Federal Recognition. They have been recognized by the State of North Carolina since 1885.

State Tribes K-M

Coharie Tribe

January 9, 2015

The Coharie Indian Tribe is recognized as an indian tribe by the State of North Carolina. They are descended from the  Iroquoian-speaking Neusiok and Coree, as well as the Carolinan Iroquoian Tuscarora, and the Siouan Waccamaw, who occupied what is now the central portion of North Carolina. The Coharie have intermarried predominantly with the Lumbee and Tuscarora Indians of Robeson County, as well as with the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.

State Tribes C-D
January 8, 2015

The Echota Cherokee Tribe of Alabama are the descendants of those Indian people who escaped the infamous “Trail of Tears” by hiding out in the mountainous backwoods and lowlands of the Southeast. Others fled from the march after it began and others simply walked away and came home after reaching Indian Territory. They are state recognized by the State of Alabama.

State Tribes E-G
January 8, 2015

The MOWA Band of Choctaw Indians are a state-recognized American Indian tribe located in southern Alabama, primarily in Washington and Mobile counties. The MOWA Choctaw Reservation is located along the banks of the Mobile and Tombigbee rivers, on 300 acres near the small southwestern Alabama communities of McIntosh, Mount Vernon and Citronelle, and north of Mobile.

State Tribes K-M
January 6, 2015

The Beaver Creek Indians are the descendents of some thirty odd mixed-blood South Carolina tribes that merged together after smallpox and measles epidemics, and through intermarriage with other tribes, Europeans, and African Americans.

State Tribes A-B
January 6, 2015

Adai Caddo Indian Nation is the name of a Native American people of northwestern Louisiana and northeastern Texas with a Southeastern culture. They are recognized as an indian tribe in the state of Louisiana.

State Tribes A-B

Shawnee Tribe

November 29, 2014

The Shawnee Tribe is one of three federally recognized Shawnee tribes. They were the last Shawnee to relinquish their Ohio territory, and the last Shawnee tribe to gain federal recognition.

US Tribes Q-S
September 15, 2014

Present-day Lipan Apaches mostly live throughout the U.S. Southwest, in Texas, and on the San Carlos Apache Indian Reservation in Arizona, as well as with the Mescalero tribe on the Mescalero Reservation in New Mexico. The San Carlos and Mescalero tribes have federal recognition.  The Lipan Apache Tribe is a state-recognized tribe headquartered in McAllen, Texas. Some Lipans also live in urban and rural areas throughout North America (Mexico, United States and Canada).

State Tribes K-M
June 20, 2014

The earliest history of the Nehalem country is so closely entwined with that of the Clatsops of the north and the Tillamooks of the south that its separation is impossible. From the very earliest written record of the Clatsop and Nehalem people, they are described as being culturally, economically, and socially integrated with one-another.

Unrecognized Tribes A to C

Calusa Indians

May 16, 2014

The Calusa Indians were a formidable Florida tribe who formerly held the southwest coast from about Tampa Bay to Cape Sable and Cape Florida, together with all the outlying keys, and extending inland to Lake Okeechobee. They also claimed authority over the tribes of the east coast, north to about Cape Canaveral.

The city of Tampa, Florida is named after and on the site of one of their principle villages.

Extinct Native American Tribes A-C
April 21, 2014

The Mattaponi were one of six tribes inherited by Chief Powhatan in the late 16th century. The tribe spoke an Algonquian language, like other members of the Powhatan Chiefdom. The paramount chiefdom of the Powhatan numbered more than 30 tribes by the time the English arrived and settled Jamestown in 1607.

In addition, a Mattaponi band had long been settled outside the reservation at an unincorporated hamlet called Adamstown, located on the upper reaches of the Mattaponi River. This has been identified as Indian land in records dating to the 17th century. In 1921, the Upper Mattaponi Tribe of Adamstown organized as an official group separate from the main Mattaponi population who resided on the reservation.

State Tribes T-V
April 15, 2014

 The Chinook Indian Nation consists of the western most Chinookan people. This tribe includes bands of Lower Chinook, Clatsop, Willapa, Wahkiakum and Cathlamet. They have always resided in the lower Columbia River region.

Unrecognized Tribes A to C
March 3, 2014

The Acolapissa disappeared as a separate tribe during 1765, and their subsequent history is identical with the Houma with whom they merged. The Houma remained in Ascension Parish until 1776 when they were overrun by settlement. They sold their land to two French Creoles that year, but small groups of them remained in the vicinity until 1840. However, by 1785 the majority had moved southwest and concentrated in La Fourche and Terrebonne Parishes (Houma, Louisiana) about 25 miles from New Orleans.

Extinct Native American Tribes A-C
February 23, 2014

The Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians was considered to be part of the Lake Superior Band of Chippewa, but was not a party to the treaties that group signed. Since 1934, it has been one of the six bands making up the federally recognized Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, which wrote a constitution and initiated its new government in 1936.

US Tribes E to G
December 11, 2013

The Muwekma Ohlone Tribe comprises all of the known surviving Native American lineages indigenous to the San Francisco Bay region who trace their ancestry through the Mission Dolores, Mission Santa Clara and Mission San Jose and who descend from members of the historic Federally Recognized Verona Band of Alameda County.

They received a favorable opinion from the U.S. District in Washington, D.C., of their court case to expedite the reaffirmation of the tribe as a federally recognized tribe on September 21, 2006. The Advisory Council on California Indian Policy assisted in their case. They lost the case in 2011, and have filed an appeal. 

Unrecognized Tribes K to M
December 10, 2013

Originally hunter-gatherers, the Chimariko are possibly the earliest residents of their region in California. They had good reliations with Wintu people and were enemies of the Hupa, a Southern Athabaskan people. Conflict between Chimariko and white miners led to almost total extinction of the entire population. The surviving Chimariko fled to live with the Hupa and Shasta and became extinct by 1900.

Extinct Native American Tribes A-C
November 12, 2013

The Wyandot Nation is one of the most traveled Indian tribes in the history of the North American continent. This tribe is composed of remnants of three related tribes who once occupied portions of the provinces of Quebec and Ontario, Canada. The three tribes, the Hurons, the Nation du Petun, and the Neutral Nation, were all members of the Iroquoian linguistic family.

US Tribes W to Z
October 22, 2013

The members of the Blue Lake Rancheria include people with Wiyot, Yurok, Tolowa, and Cherokee ancestry. This tribe is made up of the remnant survivors of the people who once lived along the Eel and Mad Rivers in northern California. Priror to Euro-American settlement, the ancestors of the Blue Lake Rancheria Tribe were primarily Wiyot.

US Tribes A to B
July 28, 2012

Who are the Muscogee Creek Nation?

Early ancestors of The Muscogee Creek Nation constructed magnificent earthen pyramids along the rivers of what is now the Southeastern United States as part of their elaborate ceremonial complexes. The Muscogee later built expansive towns within these same broad river valleys in the present states of Alabama, Georgia, Florida and South Carolina.

US Tribes K to M