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American Indians and Alaska Natives - What are State Recognized Tribes?

Published: March 19, 2014
Fact Sheet
  • State recognized tribes are Indian tribes and heritage groups that are recognized by individual states for their various internal state government purposes.
  • State recognition does not confer benefits under federal law unless federal law authorizes such benefits, as is the case for state recognized tribes under ANA’s Native American Programs Act (NAPA).
  •  According to a 2013 listing of the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), there are sixteen states that have recognized Indian tribes (i.e., Native American groups with self-government authority) outside of the federal processes—Alabama, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington. See
  • State recognized Indian tribes are not federally recognized, but federally recognized tribes may also be state recognized.