Lists of recognized tribal nations
List of Laws and Treaties between the U.S. and Tribal Nations
- Indian Affairs: Laws and Treaties. Vol. II (Treaties) in part. Compiled and edited by Charles J. Kappler. Washington : Government Printing Office, 1904.
Published by the Bureau of Indian Affairs Office of Indian Services, Division of Tribal Government Services, the Directory is used by federal, state and local governments, news media, business, researchers, and the general public to connect with Indian Country. For more information, contact the Division of Tribal Government Services at (202) 513-7641.
NOTE: Tribal elections and other changes in tribal leadership occur throughout the year. The information contained in this edition was the most current information available at the time of publication.
When establishing descent from an AI/AN tribe for membership and enrollment, an individual must provide genealogical documentation that supports his or her claim. Such documentation must prove that the individual is a lineal descendent of an individual whose name can be found on the tribal membership roll of the federally recognized tribe from which the individual is claiming.
To determine if you are eligible for membership in a tribe, you must be able to:
establish that you have a lineal ancestor – biological parent, grandparent, great-grandparent and/or more distant ancestor – who is an American Indian or Alaska Native person from a federally recognized tribe in the U.S.,
identify which tribe (or tribes) your ancestor was a member of or affiliated with, and
document your relationship to that person using vital statistics records and other records a tribe may require or accept for purposes of enrollment.
The Commission to the Five Civilized Tribes was appointed by President Grover Cleveland in 1893 to negotiate land with the Cherokee, Creek, Choctaw, Chickasaw and Seminole tribes. It is called the Dawes Commission, after its chairman, Henry L. Dawes, but the "Final Rolls of the Citizens and Freedmen of the Five Civilized Tribes in Indian Territory". Tribe members were entitled to an allotment of land, in return for abolishing their tribal governments and recognizing Federal laws. In order to receive the land, individual tribal members first had to apply and be deemed eligible by the Commission. The first application process for enrollment began in 1896, but was declared invalid. So the Dawes Commission started all over again in 1898. People had to re-apply in order to be considered, even if they had already applied in 1896. The Commission accepted applications from 1898 until 1907, with a few additional people accepted by an Act of Congress in 1914. The resulting lists of those who were accepted as eligible became known as the Dawes Rolls.
The Bureau of Indian Affairs provides answers to frequently asked questions including Why Do Tribes Exist in the U.S.? * What are Treaty Rights? * What does SOVEREIGNTY mean? * What is a federal Indian reservation? * Are there other types of "Indian Lands"?