Federally Recognized Indian Tribes
The U.S. government officially recognizes 574 Indian tribes in the contiguous 48 states and Alaska. These federally recognized tribes are eligible for funding and services from the Bureau of Indian Affairs, either directly or through contracts, grants, or compacts.
The Bureau of Indian Affairs provides contact information for each tribe's Tribal Leader.
Cultural Resources for Native Americans
The National Park Service (NPS) Tribal Preservation Program helps Indian tribes protect resources and traditions important to them. The program funds Tribal Heritage grants for federally recognized Indian tribes to help them with cultural and historic preservation projects.
The program also funds Tribal Historic Preservation Officers, who:
- Inventory tribal historic properties
- Prepare and carry out a tribal-wide historic preservation plan
- Assist federal agencies with reviewing projects on tribal lands
When a federal agency reviews a project on tribal land, it must consult:
- The Tribal Historic Preservation Officer (for federally recognized tribes), or
- A designated representative (for tribes that are not federally recognized).
Federal agencies also must consult with Indian tribes that attach religious and cultural importance to historic properties. It doesn't matter where the properties are located.
The Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act:
- Requires federal agencies and museums to inventory and identify Native American human remains and cultural items in their collections
- Requires federal agencies and museums to consult with federally recognized Indian tribes on the return of those objects
- Authorizes grants to document and return human remains and cultural objects to their native people
As part of its archeology program, the National Park Service protects historic sites and shares the past with visitors.
The federal Advisory Council on Historic Preservation assists tribes with critical issues. The nonprofit National Association of Tribal Historic Preservation Officers also helps with this effort.
Other Cultural Resources