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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

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

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Tribal Organizations

Regional Intertribal Organizations

Affiliated Tribes of the Northwest Indians www.atnitribes.org
Alliance of Colonial Era Tribes (ACET) www.ACET-Online.org
Alaska Federation of Natives www.nativefederation.org
Alaska Inter-Tribal Council www.aitc.org
All Indian Pueblo Council www.20pueblos.org
California Association of Tribal Governments www.catg.us
California Tribal Business Alliance www.caltba.org
Council of Confederated Chilocco Tribes www.chiloccotribes.org
Eight Tribes Intertribal Council  
Great Lakes Intertribal Council www.glitc.org
Great Plains Tribal Chairman's Association  
Intertribal Council of Arizona www.itcaonline.com
Intertribal Council of California www.itccinc.org
Intertribal Council of Michigan, Inc. www.itcmi.org
Intertribal Council of Nevada www.itcn.org
Intertribal Council of Northeast Oklahoma  
Intertribal Council of the Five Civilized Tribes  
Midwest Alliance of Sovereign Tribes www.m-a-s-t.org
Montana-Wyoming Tribal Leader's Council www.mtwytlc.com
Southern California Tribal Chairmen's Association www.sctca.net
Tribal Alliance of Sovereign Indian Nations www.tasin.org
United South and Eastern Tribes www.usetinc.org
United Tribes of Michigan www.unitedtribesofmichigan.org
United Tribes of North Dakota www.uttc.edu

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National Indian Organizations

American Indian Alaska Native Employee Association www.aianea.com
American Indian Business Leaders www.aibl.org
American Indian College Fund www.collegefund.org
American Indian Higher Education Consortium www.aihec.org
American Indian Science and Engineering Society www.aises.org
American Indian Society www.aisdc.org
Americans for Indian Opportunity www.aio.org
Association on American Indian Affairs www.indian-affairs.org
Center for Indigenous Law, Governance & Citizenship  
Center for Native American Youth www.cnay.org
Center for World Indigenous Studies www.cwis.org
Council for Hawaiian Advancement www.hawaiiancouncil.org
Council for Tribal Employment Rights www.ctertero.org
Council of Energy Resource Tribes www.certredearth.com
Council of Large Land Base Tribes  
First Nations Development Institute www.firstnations.org
First Nations Oweesta Corporation www.oweesta.org

First Peoples Fund

www.firstpeoplesfund.org

 

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Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development www.hks.harvard.edu/hpaied
Honoring Contributions in the Governance of Native Nations www.hks.harvard.edu/hpaied
Indian Land Tenure Foundation www.iltf.org
Indian Land Working Group www.indianlandworkinggroup.wordpress.com
Indian Law Resource Center www.indianlaw.org
Indian Nations Conservation Alliance www.inca-tcd.org
Institute for Indian Estate Planning and Probate www.indianwills.org
Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals www.nau.edu/itep
Intertribal Agriculture Council www.indianaglink.com
InterTribal Buffalo Council www.itbcbison.com
Intertribal Council on Utility Policy www.intertribalcoup.org
Intertribal Tax Alliance www.indiantax.org
Intertribal Timber Council www.itcnet.org
Intertribal Transportation Association  
Intertribal Trust Fund Monitoring Association www.itmatrustfunds.org
National American Indian Court Judges Association  www.naicja.org
National American Indian Housing Council www.naihc.net

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National Association of Tribal Historic Preservation Officers www.nathpo.org
National Caucus of Native American Legislators www.nativeamericanlegislators.org
National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development www.ncaied.org
National Congress of American Indians www.ncai.org
National Council of Urban Indian Health www.ncuih.org
National Indian Business Association www.nibanetwork.org
National Indian Child Welfare Association www.nicwa.org
National Indian Council on Aging www.nicoa.org
National Indian Education Association www.niea.org
National Indian Gaming Association www.niga.org
National Indian Health Board www.nihb.org
National Indian Justice Center www.nijc.org
National Native American AIDS Prevention Center www.nnaapc.org
National Native American Bar Association www.nativeamericanbar.org
National Native American EMS Association www.nnaemsa.org
National Tribal Air Association www.ntaatribalair.org
National Tribal Environmental Council www.ntec.org
Native American Boys and Girls Club of America www.naclubs.org
Native American Contractors Association www.nativecontractors.org
Native American Finance Officers Association www.nafoa.org

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Native American Fish & Wildlife Society www.nafws.org
Native American Journalists Association www.naja.com
Native American Public Telecommunications www.nativetelecom.org
Native American Rights Fund www.narf.org
Native Americans in Philanthropy www.nativephilanthropy.org
Native Arts and Culture Foundation www.nativeartsandcultures.org
Native Community Development Financial Institutions Network  
Native Nations Institute www.nni.arizona.edu
Native Nations Law and Policy Center  
Native Public Media www.nativepublicmedia.org
Native Workplace www.nativeworkplace.com
Self-Governance Communication and Outreach Consortium www.tribalselfgov.org
Seventh Generation Fund for Indian Development, Inc. www.7genfund.org
Society of American Indian Government Employees www.saige.org
The Institute for Tribal Government-The Hatfield School of Government www.tribalgov.pdx.edu
Tribal Child Care Technical Assistance Center www.nccic.org/tribal
Tribal Law and Policy Institute www.tlpi.org
United National Indian Tribal Youth, Inc. (Unity) www.unityinc.org
Women Empowering Women for Indian Nations - WEWIN www.wewin04.org