American Indian Tribes

The indigenous people, who lived in the regions of North America including the continental United States , and parts of Alaska , ages before the arrival of Christopher Columbus in 1492, are known as “American Indians.” American Indians are also termed as the “Native Americans.”

Indigenous population is found in the US and several inhabited insular regions, which are not part of the continental U.S, but the Inuit, Yupik Eskimos, and Aleuts are not always counted as “Native Americans.” The American Indian population is comprised of a large number of ethnic groups and american indian tribes including some of the large tribes, such as Navajo, Cherokee, Choctaw, Sioux, Chippewa, Apache, Lumbee, Blackfeet, Iroquois, and Pueblo.

There are many tribes that have tribal sovereignty and have their respective self-governments. The US recognizes 563 Federal tribal governments. The federal government recognizes these tribes’ right to self-government, and endorses their tribal sovereignty and self-determination. These tribes have 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. The tribal powers of self-government also do have the same limitations applicable to states, such as, neither tribes nor states have the power to make war, engage in foreign relations, or coin money. Besides, there are a large number of tribes that have got recognition from individual states, but not but the federal government. The rights and benefits of these tribes vary from state to state.

According to the 2003 United States Census Bureau estimates, a little over one third of the 2,786,652 American Indians in the United States live in three states: California at 413,382, Arizona at 294,137 and Oklahoma at 279,559. According to the 2005 Census estimates, the population of American Indians and Alaska Native descent constitutes 1.0% of the US population.