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Mailbag Questions Archive

In this section, we answer questions from our readers about Native American Indians.


Article Index:

Are any of the natives in Alaska recognized as a sovereign nation? What does sovereignty mean?


1.  Are any of the natives in Alaska recognized as a sovereign nation?  For instance, can they issue their own passports?
2.  I have read a little about Faith Braswell of the Kitoi tribe — a friend pointed me to this article:
Have you heard of her or of this tribe and if so, where are they located?

     ~Submitted by Steven J

Hi Steven,
There are 229 federally recognized indian tribes in Alaska. The Alaskan tribes speak 20 different languages, belong to five geographic areas, are organized under thirteen Alaska Native Regional Corporations and have eleven different cultures. Alaskan natives make up 20% of the population of the state of Alaska.

All federally recognized tribes are sovereign nations, but they don’t issue passports. (Some tribes in the lower 48 states do issue driver’s licenses and car license plates, but not all of them.) Anyone can visit an indian nation without a passport both in Alaska and the lower 48 states. The only “border crossing” is a road sign saying you are entering such and such reservation. (In Alaska, they probably don’t even have signs, since the only way in to many of the indian villages is by dogsled or plane because they don’t have roads over much of Alaska.)
Are there any indian reservations in Florida?


Are there any indian reservations in Florida? We heard there was a tribe in Ormond Beach, Florida but cannot get any info on them.
–Submitted by Marie F.


There are indian reservations in Florida, but I don’t know of an Indian tribe with a reservation in Ormond Beach, Florida. There is a pow wow held there. It’s called the Native American Festival and is held at the Casement Cultural Center.

Are Zia Indians American Indians?


I am doing an assignment on american indians. I was just woundering if Zia indians (Zia Pueblo tribe) were american indians? Some of the information on the net is a bit confusing. –Submitted by Jaspa K.


Hi Jaspa,

Yes, the Zia Pueblo Indians are american indians. “Pueblo Indians” is a broad term that includes many separate tribes (villages) named after the pueblos (multi-story communal houses which form a village) they lived in, who were all related by common ancestors in ancient times. The Pueblo Indians are the descendants of the Hohokam, Mogollon, Keresan, and the Anasazi prehistoric cultures of the Southwestern United States and Mexico.

Benefits and services available to native americans
Can you get me my Indian enrollment card?
Can you help me find appropriate representations of Chief Washakie?
Cherokee and Sioux courtship and wedding customs
Could Geronimo be my great-great uncle?
Did the Apache and Sioux intermarry?
Did the Blackfeet Indians develop a particular breed of horse?
Do any american indian tribes still own their original homelands?
Do indian reservations need summer volunteers?
Do Indians still live on reservations in America today?
Do native americans celebrate the 4th of July?
Do you have any information on the Choctaw tribe?
Do you know anything about Chief Washita’s family?
Foods Native Americans consider taboo
Half the Top 20 Poorest Counties in America are included in Indian reservations
How can Maashkinoozhe mean ‘Ugly Pike’ when Maash means ‘flower’?
How did the Lytton Indians get their name?
How do I go about researching my Algonquin genealogy?
How do I know if ‘Indian Jewelry’ is authentic and made by a real indian?
How do native americans celebrate Christmas?
How does the wedding vase ceremony go?
How long have indian tribes been making jewelry?
How many Apache sub-tribes were there and where were they located?
How many native americans have played major league baseball?
How much financial support do Indians get from the federal government?
I am looking for hunting opportunities on the Crow Creek Reservation
I am looking for my native language. Can you help me?
I would like to know more about the ceremony performed for those who have passed over due to suicide.
I’m related to Pocahontas. Can I enroll in her tribe?
Is it possible to find native american genealogy information online without paying for it?
Is this an authentic native american artifact?
Is this earring an authentic Mohican design?
Shawnee spirits and burial sites
Were the Arickaree tribe from the Kansas City, Kansas area?
What are some of the most commonly held misconceptions about native american indians both in the past and in the present?
What are the origins of the game called Stick Ball?
What can you tell me about Cahokian pottery?
What can you tell me about the Lummi Indians from the San Juan Island (WA) area?
What can you tell me about the the Algonquain Indians?
What can you tell me about the Wincot tribe?
What do the flags in a grand entry mean?
What does a storyteller look like?
What does the hummingbird represent to native american people?
What does the word ‘Washoe’ mean?
What indian tribes originated in Kansas?
What is the cultural significance of pronghorns to native americans?
What is the meaning of Indian jewelry?
What is the meaning of the words Wha-she-sho-wee-ko?
What is the underlying significance of the birth of the white buffalo ?
What local issues are the Caribou Inuits facing today?
What native american foods do we eat today?
What percentage Indian do you have to be in order to be a member of a Tribe or Indian Nation?
What tribes were affected by Hurricane Katrina?
When did native americans get the right to vote and drink alcohol?
When did the western shoshone first make contact with europeans?
When is the creation story told?
Where can I buy smudge sticks?
Where can I find a spiritual leader to study under?
Where can I find a war tomahawk?
Where did the Blackfoot Sioux live in the 1700-1800s?
Where is Geronimo buried?
Where is Sitting Bull buried?
Which is the correct spelling, Lakhota or Lakota?
Which, if any, of the following Indian tribes are extinct?
Who do I need to contact to find out about college financial aid for Indian students?
Who were the first people in the world to start smoking?
Who were the Wakashan Kwakiutl?
Why do people yell Geronimo?
Will a DNA test prove my blood quantum for enrollment in the Seminole tribe?
Will native americans be offended if I sell a catlinite fetish effigy?