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Native American Nations - Introduction: 1,000s of Groups in the Americas and Worldwide

A descendant of Mohawk Nation and trained in anthropology, Patty has researched and reported on indigenous peoples for over four decades.

Blackfoot Tipis

Blackfoot Tipis

Native North Americans Live in thousands of Tribes and Groups.

Thank you,niawen (in a Mohawk language), for asking this question, jimmythejock.

The answer will comprise several Hubs and I hope that you find the series informative and enjoyable. Recognizing Indigenous Groups at the Federal, State, and emerging levels is an ongoing process. Since preparations for the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics, the number of groups in British Columbia alone jumped from some 200 to over 600 separate entities.

The series is a large undertaking, based in part on my 40 years of study of Indigenous Peoples around the world. Today's anthropologists, archaeologists, historians, the related National Geographic - Smithsonian Institution - IBM Human Genome Project, and our innumerable tribal leaders have not yet completed a total description of all groups and habitats. New information emerges monthly.

Ties between New World and Old World peoples are increasing in numbers and evidence that the First Nations/Native Americans of North America traveled even into Iceland is certain. Evidence is discussed throughout the last Hubs in the series. Thanks for reading.

Ties between New World and Old World peoples are increasing in numbers.

Arapahoe Tipis in camp

Arapahoe Tipis in camp

Traditional Prayer

(...Native American Indian Center of Central Ohio and other groups)

" Oh Great Spirit, Whose Voice I Hear in the wind, Whose breath gives life to the world, hear me. I come to you as one of your many children, I am small and weak, I need your strength and wisdom. May I walk in beauty, make my eyes behold the red and purple sunset, make my hands respect the things that you have made, and my ears sharp to hear your voice. Make me wise so that I may know the things that you have taught your children, the lessons that you have hidden in every leaf and rock. Make me strong...not to be superior to my brothers but to be able to fight my greatest enemy.. myself. Make me ever ready to come to you with straight eyes so that when life fades as the faded sunset, my spirit will come to you without shame. "

How Many Nations?

How many blades of grass?

We have 1,000+ Native American Nations within the United States alone.

Native Americans in North America are members of at least

  • 579 federally recognized Native American Nations,
  • 17 nations that are recognized only in several US States, and
  • Several nations (or tribes) not yet recognized by any American government other than their own community; for example,
  • 228 separate Native American entities in Alaska alone that are not recognized by the US federal government.

Considering all of this, we have at least 807 Native American Nations that are known in the 50 United States, with many more in Canada, Mexico, Central America, and South America.

It has been popular and incorrect to consider "North American Indians" a group of 500 nations. The nearly 1,000+ separate tribes and smaller communities consider themselves separate entities.

Many of these groups have applied for US federal recognition successfully and many more may be accepted. Some researchers, even of Native American blood, group some nations together, but these nations do not group themselves together. They define their own being.

Complicating the documentation process is the fact that approximately 50% of Native Americans do not live on reservations. There are many other people that do not know that they have Native American heritage! Add to this a sizeable group of people that believe that they are Native American, but are actually not, and we have a large documentation and tracking task.

Recent publications have not addressed all of these 1,000 Native American Nations. These particular and recent books include:

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1) 200 tribes discussed:

  • Encyclopedia of Native American Tribes by Carl Waldman. New Your: Fact on File [2006]

3) 500 tribes discussed:

  • 500 Nations: An Illustrated History of North American Indians by Alvin M. Jr Josephy. New York: Gramercy [2002]

2) 400 tribes discussed

  • The Gale Encyclopedia of Native American Tribes by Sahron Malinowski. Detroit; Gale [1998]

Meanwhile, The Smithsonian Institution Museum of the American Indian and large scientific DNA/RNA tracking projects are discovering other tribes or nations and introducing them to the world.

Methods for Documenting Native American Nations

How can we know about the locations of Native Americans? There are at least four ways:

  • Information from the oral traditions of the Native Peoples..
  • Information from archaeological finds.
  • Evidence from molecular genetics.
  • Evidence in linguistics.


An early example from the tracing of linguistics among Sioux-related tribes follows below. The map following that, though first shown in 1999, is outdated.

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

God Is Red

Native American Cultures and Religions

Much is to be learned about Native Americans from archaeological finds and anthropological research and one segment of this is the religious element of life among indigenous peoples. The following is a controversial book that has provided much discussion about tribes and religions.

God Is Red: A Native View of Religion, 30th Anniversary Edition; Vine Deloria, Jr.

Review of "God Is Red"

  • God is Red
    Vine Delores, Jr. compares Native American and First Nations with Christians, Jews and Muslims.

An Inuit Woman

Around 1907 (public domain)

Around 1907 (public domain)

Hubs in this Series:

© 2007 Patty Inglish MS

Comments & Experiences

Blackspaniel1 on November 27, 2014:

Interesting, and informative. I am aware of several local tribes that are not known well elsewhere. This is always an interesting topic to learn more of such groups.

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on May 17, 2012:

That's what I hope as well. We can get pretty far separated from relatives!

Doris James MizBejabbers from Beautiful South on May 17, 2012:

I really enjoyed this because you are a true scholar on Native Americans. Thank you for the information. I will explore your hubs further. It is very interesting to me because both my husband I are descendants whose Native American ancestors shunned reservation life, and now we are not recognized. I am hoping the Genome Project will eventually bring us all back together.

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on February 24, 2012:

Yes, and there is so much more to do. You can write on Hubpages for 20 years and still find more to do!

Maree Michael Martin from Northwest Washington on an Island on February 24, 2012:

Wow! I love all the information you give us on your hubs! This is a great piece of history I am going to keep for a long time. Another thing I love about HubPages is 4 years later, here I am posting a comment, and the story is still very relevant. Thanks Patty for sticking with it. Gives me encouragement to keep going.

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on May 17, 2011:

Some of the similarities are astonishing, aren't they? Thanks for sharing that!

ahbless on May 17, 2011:

I am 1/8th Cheeroke Indian and I lived in Anchorage, Alaska for 28 years. I went to the native heritage center and it was amazing because it showed all of the different ways that Alaska natives lived in different parts of Alaska and that some tribes in America are the same as in Alaska

BevsPaper from Central Indiana on May 05, 2010:

Extraordinary! Such a wealth of information. Thank you for sharing your knowledge.

Celticgreen on February 28, 2010:


Don A. Hoglund from Wisconsin Rapids on December 06, 2009:

Very informative. I share your interest but pobably not your knowledge.

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on October 21, 2009:

Thanks for reading. I'm always finding out something new in this topic.

AppGal330 on October 20, 2009:

very good hub Patty Inglish :) i'm a mixblood NAI & always looking to learn about the People of the Nations :) great stuff!

Carolyn Augustine from Iowa on September 23, 2009:

As usual I am late to the party, but enjoyed and learned from this informative hub.

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on September 15, 2009:

Thanks, divine...! - I've been studying and collecting information about this since college. It's pretty interesting.

divinemercylover1 on September 15, 2009:

WOW!!!Your research is quite extensive and you are a superb writer. I love Native America as well as the spirtual side to mysticism from a western Christian perspective. May be an oxymoron of sorts but thus lyes my passions. I love to write...poetry, short biographies, and my absolute favorite must be about Nature and Her true beauty.

Any advice would gratefully be appreciated. Bless you for such hard work and creative blessings you embrace. Kind Regards.....John

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on August 23, 2009:

Spiritwind - I have read that some nations at least, have accepted DNA evidence from some DNA tests for tribal membership; and I don't have a list of those tribes. You could contact the Nat. Amer. nation you are thinking about and ask them their qulaifications for membership - a certain guileline on percentage native blood may be needed and I don't know how mach that % varies by tribe. Some may stil l require paper doumentation like birth certificates, tribal records and other.

Let us know how this works out for you and others you may know.

Spiritwind on August 22, 2009:

Does the dna testing get you automatically recognized by a tribe

nafeesatk on December 20, 2008:

This is so much

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on December 05, 2008:

It is very large and I'm adding to the Hubs all the time. There are always new communites being recongized.

Moon Daisy from London on December 05, 2008:

This is a very interesting hub. I've been interested in Native American Culture and Religion for a while now, and it seems as if you're a real expert. I'm sure that I'll also enjoy reading your other hubs in this series. It sure is a very big subject!

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on August 25, 2008:

People are asking interesting questions, which adds to my organizing to write more about it. :)

Jerilee Wei from United States on August 25, 2008:

Great hub! Looking forward to reading more along this line.

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on August 25, 2008:

Statement from a one who knows the history:

"They have long ago, created their lies about the Pembina Chippewa Indians of North Dakota, who originally lived in western Wisconsin in the 17th century. The whites have infused the unfortunate history of the white French Canadians who lived on the plains of Canada before England conquered Quebec in 1763. For some reason the whites are claiming those white French Canadians were mix bloods which is a bunch of bull. By 1750, the Iron Confederation (in 1736 the Chippewa merged with the already existing alliance of the Assiniboine and Cree to form the Iron Confederation) had invaded the plains of North Dakota. By 1800, the Pembina Chippewa's had invaded the Rocky Mountains of Montana and were at war against the Arapaho (the Gros Ventre as well) and the Blackfoot Confederation. From there they would invade northern Idaho and Oregon and Washington. The evidence and signs are there for those who want to research this subject. The most important being the last battle of the 1877 Nez Perce War, which was fought at or near, the present day Rocky Boy Chippewa and Cree Reservation in Montana. Unfortunately, the whites are claiming that the present day Turtle Mountain Reservation is an mix blood Reservation, which is a bunch of crap. If its an mix blood Reservation than its an white French Canadian Reservation. Any present day Anishinabe Indians living on the Turtle Mountain Reservation in North Dakota, who cling on to an Indian identity will be extremely wise to distance themselves from those whites who are claiming this and that, in order to create an white history for the Turtle Mountain Anishinabek. It is a no, no!"

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on August 25, 2008:

Their Community College: 


BLOGS about Turtle Mountain:

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on August 25, 2008:

Turtle Mountain Chippewa Renewal Community:


Chippewa Language is related to the Ojibwe group, thus other nations may be closely related as well. All fo the Indigenous People across Canada and the north of USA are closely related.

Tribal health center:

License Plates:

Sky Dancer Casino ( they own many bsinesses):

Their Constitution and Bylaws:

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on August 25, 2008:

These are the Turtle Mountain Band (a division) of the Chippewa Nation and have their own Reservation in North Dakota at

Official Web Site:   Link with some pictures:  Call the officers listed on two these sites for more information, because they are all tribal members. They may keep their own geneaology logs - many nations and bands do!

The bands within the Chippewa Nation have split and rejoined in different configurations, especially over the past 300 years.  

North Dakota is known, for 4 groups:

Devils Lake Sioux Tribe a.k.a. Mni Wakan Oyate Tribe

Standing Rock Sioux

The Three Affiliated Tribes - Fort Berthold Reservation

Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa

Thre may have been some intermarriage. Also, migration back and forth to Canada.

wammytk from Iowa on August 25, 2008:

Awsome job!!! I have been trying to research the Turtle Indians. My soon to be daughter-in-law is 1/2 turtle and her Grandparents are somewhere up in North Dakota. She does not know much about the people but she is starting to get very interested. If you have any ideas where I can find anything about them I would love it.

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on August 16, 2008:

I'll keep adding as I gather more infomration, historical records and personal interviews. Thanks for the visit!

DNKStore from Mississippi USA on August 15, 2008:

Wonderful, very educational hub!

Just what you would expect from an obviously talented, dedicated individual like Ms. Inglish!

So nice to see historical information about the Native American peoples being preserved online.

Thank you Patty!

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on April 04, 2008:

Graceful Guardian, thank you for your support. I will add additional information to these Hubs as I find it and place a full index at the end of this Hub for easier access.

Blessings to you.

Graceful Guardian on April 04, 2008:

The Great Spirit gave you A Great Gift to write about Our Peoples,All Our Brothers and Sisters,Fathers and Mothers,Grandfathers and Grandmothers,and Ancestors of the Great Earth.I am so thankful for this.

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on January 07, 2008:

I think you might be able to start on any page, whish is great at Hubpages.

Someday I'll visit Australia!

AuraGem from Victoria, Australia on January 07, 2008:

Patty, I know I am reading all this back to front. I began with Part V and now I am reading this one. I am Australian, far away from this world, but the rich spirit of this world you have given me. And it feels just a breath away! Awesome!

Smiles and Light (Part 2 coming up! lol!)

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on November 09, 2007:

Yes Kenny, it can be adopted by all. Thanks for liking this; it is truly powerful.

Ashok Rajagopalan from Chennai on November 08, 2007:

" spirit will come to you without shame." Powerful, moving prayer! A prayer that can be adopted by all. My spirit embraced my Native American brethren's by the power of those words!I loved that part of your informative hub best.

Thanks, Patty! 

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on November 08, 2007:

Zsuzsy and Earth Angel, thanks! I'd been trying to figure away to touch on all the infomration in a single Hub, and foudn it could not be done. But, I think this is a good start and I really like the first photo at the top.

I did not find out about my Native American heritage until after graduating from colelge and workign a few years. I've recently come across the physical characteristcs that are directly lated and I'll list them on one of the other Hubs. It's info about teeth and hair growth and such.

Earth Angel on November 08, 2007:

GREAT Hub Patty!! I couldn't take my eyes off of all the wonderful information!! Although I am blonde-blue-eyed I have native blood from my great grandmother!! I think many of us do!! I look forward to reading more!! You are a jewel for dispensing sooooooooooo much really GREAT information to us all!! Blessings on your day!! Earth Angel!!

Zsuzsy Bee from Ontario/Canada on November 07, 2007:

Patty! You don't do things in part, the whole "shabang" or nothing. Looking forward to the next segment.

Awesome Hub

regards Zsuzsy

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on November 07, 2007:

I am SO glad you are liking this information, jimmy. When I began college, I took a series of anthropology classes concerning native peoples in the Western Hemisphere and it was overwhelming. Now there is even more information, I'll continue to find out all I can for many years. :) Thanks very much for the comment.

Jimmy the jock from Scotland on November 07, 2007:

Wow! Patty, when I posted the request, i didn't expect such a fantastic response, this page is filled with great information and i have enjoyed reading it, and I get a bonus too, this is only part one, I look forward to reading the remaining page(s) that you are yet to publish, Thankyou for a very comprehensive answer.....jimmy

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