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Native American Heritage

Regions and Tribes

Map of the artic

The Arctic

The indigenous peoples of the North American Arctic include the Eskimo (Inuit and Yupik/Yupiit) and Aleut; their traditional languages are in the Eskimo-Aleut family. Many Alaskan groups prefer to be called Native Alaskans rather than Native Americans; Canada’s Arctic peoples generally prefer the referent Inuit. 

Map of the subarctic region

The Subarctic

Prominent tribes include the Innu (Montagnais and  Naskapi), CreeOjibwaChipewyanBeaverSlaveCarrierGwich’inTanaina, and Deg Xinag (Ingalik). Their traditional languages are in the Athabaskan and Algonquian families.

Map of the Northeast territory

The Northeast

Prominent tribes include the AlgonquinIroquoisHuronWampanoagMohicanMoheganOjibwaHo-chunk (Winnebago), SaukFox, and Illinois. The traditional languages of the Northeast are largely of the Iroquoian and Algonquian language families.

Map of the Southeast territory

The Southeast

Perhaps the best-known indigenous peoples originally from this region are the CherokeeChoctawChickasawCreek, and Seminole, sometimes referred to as the Five Civilized Tribes. Other prominent tribes included the NatchezCaddoApalacheeTimucua, and Guale. Traditionally, most tribes in the Southeast spoke Muskogean languages; there were also some Siouan language speakers and one Iroquoian-speaking group, the Cherokee.

Map of the Plains

The Plains

The indigenous peoples of the Plains include speakers of SiouanAlgonquianUto-Aztecan, Caddoan, Athabaskan, Kiowa-Tanoan, and Michif languages. Plains peoples also invented a sign language to represent common objects or concepts such as “buffalo” or “exchange.”

Map of the Southwest territory

The Southwest

Best known among the agriculturists are the Pueblo Indians, including the Zuni and Hopi. The YumansPima, and Tohono O’odham (Papago) engaged in both farming and foraging, relying on each to the extent the environment would allow. The Navajo and the many Apache groups usually engaged in some combination of agriculture, foraging, and the raiding of other groups.

Map of the Great Basin

The Great Basin

The Great Basin is home to the Washoe, speakers of a Hokan language, and a number of tribes speaking Numic languages (a division of the Uto-Aztecan language family). These include the MonoPaiuteBannockShoshoneUte, and Gosiute.

Map of California


California includes representatives of some 20 language families, including Uto-AztecanPenutian, Yokutsan, and Athabaskan; American linguist Edward Sapir described California’s languages as being more diverse than those found in all of Europe. Prominent tribes, many with a language named for them, include the HupaYurokPomoYukiWintunMaidu, and Yana.

Map of the Northwest territory

The Northwest Coast

This culture area is home to peoples speaking Athabaskan, Tshimshianic, Salishan, and other languages. Prominent tribes include the TlingitHaidaTsimshianKwakiutlBella CoolaNuu-chah-nulth (Nootka), Coast Salish, and Chinook.

Map of the Plateau

The Plateau

Most of the languages spoken in this culture area belong to the Salishan, Sahaptin, Kutenai, and Modoc and Klamath families. Tribes include the SalishFlatheadNez PercéYakamaKutenaiModoc and Klamath, Spokan, Kalispel, Pend d’Oreille, Coeur d’AleneWalla Walla, and Umatilla.

Tribal Organization Information


Tribal Organizations

Regional Intertribal Organizations

Affiliated Tribes of the Northwest Indians
Alliance of Colonial Era Tribes (ACET)
Alaska Federation of Natives
Alaska Inter-Tribal Council
All Indian Pueblo Council
California Association of Tribal Governments
California Tribal Business Alliance
Council of Confederated Chilocco Tribes
Eight Tribes Intertribal Council  
Great Lakes Intertribal Council
Great Plains Tribal Chairman's Association  
Intertribal Council of Arizona
Intertribal Council of California
Intertribal Council of Michigan, Inc.
Intertribal Council of Nevada
Intertribal Council of Northeast Oklahoma  
Intertribal Council of the Five Civilized Tribes  
Midwest Alliance of Sovereign Tribes
Montana-Wyoming Tribal Leader's Council
Southern California Tribal Chairmen's Association
Tribal Alliance of Sovereign Indian Nations
United South and Eastern Tribes
United Tribes of Michigan
United Tribes of North Dakota


National Indian Organizations

American Indian Alaska Native Employee Association
American Indian Business Leaders
American Indian College Fund
American Indian Higher Education Consortium
American Indian Science and Engineering Society
American Indian Society
Americans for Indian Opportunity
Association on American Indian Affairs
Center for Indigenous Law, Governance & Citizenship  
Center for Native American Youth
Center for World Indigenous Studies
Council for Hawaiian Advancement
Council for Tribal Employment Rights
Council of Energy Resource Tribes
Council of Large Land Base Tribes  
First Nations Development Institute
First Nations Oweesta Corporation

First Peoples Fund



Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development
Honoring Contributions in the Governance of Native Nations
Indian Land Tenure Foundation
Indian Land Working Group
Indian Law Resource Center
Indian Nations Conservation Alliance
Institute for Indian Estate Planning and Probate
Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals
Intertribal Agriculture Council
InterTribal Buffalo Council
Intertribal Council on Utility Policy
Intertribal Tax Alliance
Intertribal Timber Council
Intertribal Transportation Association  
Intertribal Trust Fund Monitoring Association
National American Indian Court Judges Association
National American Indian Housing Council


National Association of Tribal Historic Preservation Officers
National Caucus of Native American Legislators
National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development
National Congress of American Indians
National Council of Urban Indian Health
National Indian Business Association
National Indian Child Welfare Association
National Indian Council on Aging
National Indian Education Association
National Indian Gaming Association
National Indian Health Board
National Indian Justice Center
National Native American AIDS Prevention Center
National Native American Bar Association
National Native American EMS Association
National Tribal Air Association
National Tribal Environmental Council
Native American Boys and Girls Club of America
Native American Contractors Association
Native American Finance Officers Association


Native American Fish & Wildlife Society
Native American Journalists Association
Native American Public Telecommunications
Native American Rights Fund
Native Americans in Philanthropy
Native Arts and Culture Foundation
Native Community Development Financial Institutions Network  
Native Nations Institute
Native Nations Law and Policy Center  
Native Public Media
Native Workplace
Self-Governance Communication and Outreach Consortium
Seventh Generation Fund for Indian Development, Inc.
Society of American Indian Government Employees
The Institute for Tribal Government-The Hatfield School of Government
Tribal Child Care Technical Assistance Center
Tribal Law and Policy Institute
United National Indian Tribal Youth, Inc. (Unity)
Women Empowering Women for Indian Nations - WEWIN