Reservations by Tribe
US Indian Reservations by Tribe
There are only two kinds of reserved lands that are well-known: military and Indian. An Indian reservation is land reserved for a tribe when it relinquished its other land areas to the U.S. through treaties. More recently, Congressional acts, Executive Orders, and administrative acts have created reservations. Today some reservations have non-Indian residents and land owners.
There are approximately 275 Indian land areas in the U.S. administered as Indian reservations (reservations, pueblos, rancherias, communities, etc.). The largest is the Navajo Reservation of some 16 million acres of land in Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah. Many of the smaller reservations are less than 1,000 acres with the smallest less than 100 acres. On each reservation, the local governing authority is the tribal government.
Approximately 56.2 million acres of land are held in trust by the United States for various Indian tribes and individuals. Much of this is reservation land; however, not all reservation land is trust land. On behalf of the United States, the Secretary of the Interior serves as trustee for such lands with many routine trustee responsibilities delegated to BIA officials.
The states in which reservations are located have limited powers over them, and only as provided by federal law. On some reservations, however, a high percentage of the land is owned and occupied by non-Indians. Some 140 reservations have entirely tribally owned land.
Some tribes do not have any reservation lands, while other tribes have serveral.
Most Populous Indian Reservations, 2000
Navajo Nation (Ariz.-N.M.-Utah) 175,228
Cherokee (Okla.) 104,482
Creek (Okla.) 77,253
Lumbee (N.C.) 62,327
Choctaw (Okla.) 39,984
Cook Inlet (Alaska) 35,972
Chickasaw (Okla.) 32,372
Calista (Alaska) 20,353
United Houma Nation (La.) 15,305
Sealaska (Alaska) 15,059
Pine Ridge (S.D.-Neb.) 14,484
Doyon (Alaska) 14,128
Kiowa-Comanche-Apache–Fort Sill Apache (Okla.) 13,045
Fort Apache (Ariz.) 11,854
Citizen Band Potawatomi Nation–Absentee Shawnee (Okla.) 10,617
Gila River (Ariz.) 10,578
Cheyenne/Arapaho (Okla.) 10,310
Tohono O'odham (Ariz.) 9,794
Osage (Okla.) 9,209
Rosebud (S.D.) 9,165
San Carlos (Ariz.) 9,065
Blackfeet (Mont.) 8,684
Yakima (Wash.) 8,193
Turtle Mountain (N.D.) 8,043
Flathead (Mont.) 7,883
Population listed includes only the American Indian and Alaska Native population alone or in combination with one or more races. Total population of reservation, which includes non-Indians, is not given. A reservation's total population is sometimes significantly larger than Indian population.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2000 Census of Population and Housing, Profiles of General demographic Characteristics.