Reservations by Tribe
US Indian Reservations by Tribe
In this section we sorted indian reservations by tribe or tribal affiliation so you can easily see which tribes live on a particular reservation. Sometimes an indian reservation bears the name of the principal tribe, but other tribes also live on that reservation.
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 several.
The Blackfoot Confederacy or Niitsítapi (meaning “original people”) is the collective name of three First Nations bands in Alberta, Canada and one Native American tribe in Montana, United States. The US – Canadian international border divided their territory.
The Blackfeet Reservation in Montana is home to the Blackfeet Tribe of Montana, who are primarily Southern Siksika peoples. Of the approximately 15,560 enrolled Blackfeet tribal members, there are about 7,000 living on or near the reservation. About 27% of the enrolled members are at least 3/4 blackfeet. They were originally part of the Canadian tribes, but got split by the US – Canadian border. The US Government changed their name from Blackfoot to Blackfeet, probably because of a clerical error.
Approximately 5,000 Northern Cheyenne, along with members of other tribes and with non-Native Americans, live on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation in Montana. Lame Deer is the tribal and government agency headquarters.
The Chippewa or Ojibway Indians are one of the largest groups of American Indians in North America. There are nearly 150 different bands of Chippewa in the northern part of the United States and in southern Canada (especially in Ontario, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan), living on many different reservations and reserves.
The Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians are based on the Turtle Mountain Indian Reservation in Belcourt, North Dakota.
The Red Lake Indian Reservation (Miskwaagamiiwi-zaaga’igan) is made up of numerous holdings but the largest section is an area around Red Lake, in north central Minnesota.
The second-largest section is in the Northwest Angle of Lake of the Woods County near the Canadian border. It has no permanent residents. Between these two largest sections are hundreds of mostly small, non-contiguous reservation exclaves in the counties of Beltrami, Clearwater, Lake of the Woods, Koochiching, Roseau, Pennington, Marshall, Red Lake, and Polk.
Home to the federally recognized Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians, it is unique as the only “closed reservation” in Minnesota. In a closed reservation, all land is held in common by the tribe and there is no private property. The tribe claims the land by right of conquest and aboriginal title; they were not reassigned to it by the United States government.
The Red Lake Band of Chippewa refused to join with six other bands in organizing as the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe in the mid-1930s; at the time, its people wanted to preserve their traditional system of hereditary chiefs, rather than forming an electoral government.
The Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians of Michigan (pronounced “Soo Saint”), commonly shortened to Sault Tribe of Chippewa Indians or just Sault Tribe, is located in the upper peninsula of Michigan. The Sault Tribe is the largest federally recognized tribe east of the Mississippi River, made up of more than 40,000 members. Roughly 11,000 of them live within the “service area,” which is the seven eastern counties in the Upper Peninsula.
During the migration of the Chippewa from Canada, they paused at Sault Ste. Marie, and then split into two groups, one going into Canada along the north shore of Lake Superior, and the other moving westward along the south shore into Wisconsin and Minnesota.
The Saginaw-Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan is headquartered on the Isabella Reservation, adjacent to the city of Mt. Pleasant, Michigan. The Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe is comprised mainly of the Saginaw, Black River, and Swan Creek Ojibwe bands.
Garden River First Nation and the Batchewana First Nation in Canada?
The Ojibway First Nation in Canada live primarily in Ontario, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan.
The Bad River Band Of Lake Superior Tribe of Chippewa Indians is located on a 125,000+ acre reservation in Northern Wisconsin on the south shore of Lake Superior (Known by the tribe as Gichi Gami) in Ashland and Iron Counties. Territory ceded by the tribe to the U.S. government includes the upper one third of what is now the State of Wisconsin.
The Bad River Band is one of six Ojibwe bands in Wisconsin that are federally recognized tribes, four set aside reservation treaty lands in the Treaty of 1854. These four are Bad River, Red Cliff, Lac Du Flambeau and Lac Courte Oreilles; the other two bands are St. Croix and Mole Lake.
The Leech Lake Tribe holds the smallest percentage of its reservation of any of the state’s tribes. County, state, and federal governments owned well over half of the original land. Of the 864,158 original acres, nearly 300,000 acres are surface area of the three big lakes. The National Chippewa Forest has the largest portion of the land. Seventy-five percent of the National Forest is within the reservation. This leaves less than 5% of land owned by the Band.
The Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, comprised of the Bois Forte, Fond du Lac, Grand Portage, Leech Lake, Mille Lacs, and White Earth reservations, is a federally recognized tribal government.
Chief Moses’ band of Pembina Chippewa, now known as the Moses-Columbia (Sinkiuse-Columbia) indians, are one of the twelve tribes now on the Colville Reservation. The community of Disautel on the Collville reservation is also made up primarily of a Chippewa band.
The Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa & Chippewa Indians live on the Grand Traverse Indian Reservation in northern Michigan. Referring to themselves as Anishinaabeg or Three Fires Confederacy, the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians includes members of the Odaawaa/Odawa (Ottawa), the Ojibwe (Ojibwa/Chippewa) and Boodewaadami/Bodéwadmi (Potawatomi) peoples.
The Bay Mills Reservation is located on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, near Sault Ste. Marie.
Rocky Boy’s Indian Reservation is home to the Chippewa-Cree. It is the smallest reservaton in Montana. Rocky Boy’s unusual name came about from the English mistranslation of the name of the tribal chief, Asiniiwin (Chippewa). His name was closer in meaning to “Stone Child.”
The Grand Portage Reservation is in Minnesota. The name Grand Portage comes from the nine-mile portage necessary to bypass the cascading waters of the Pigeon River to get inland to the lakes and rivers leading to the fur-rich areas of northern Minnesota. The Grand Portage Band of Chippewa of Lake Superior are the principal tribe. The Grand Portage Indians were members of the Lake Superior Band but were not participants in the early Ojibwe treaties with the United States.