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Indigenous Materials in Special Collections

Government Relations and Tribal Sovereignty

Federally recognized tribes are those that maintain government-to-government relationships with the United States. These tribes are eligible for funding and services offered through the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs, and are allotted federal reservations that operate outside the jurisdiction of the state. Those tribes that are not federally recognized, but state recognized, may be allotted state reservations. These reservations are exempt from state tax, but are subject to state law. With federal recognition comes the ability for a tribe to self-govern. Many tribes struggle to gain federal recognition, as the application and review process take years to complete, and there are many criteria that a tribe must meet in order to be considered eligible. 

In Louisiana, there are four federally recognized tribes (the Chitimacha Tribe of Louisiana, the Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana, the Jena Band of Choctaw Indians, and the Tunica-Biloxi Indian Tribe of Louisiana) and eleven state recognized tribes (the Adai Caddo Indians of Louisiana, the Bayou Lafourche Band of BCCM, the Choctaw-Apache Tribe of Ebarb, the Clifton Choctaw Tribe of Louisiana, the Four Winds Cherokee Tribe, the GrandCaillou/Dulac Band of BCCM, the Isle de Jean Charles Band of BCCM, the Louisiana Band of Choctaw, the Natchitoches Tribe of Louisiana, the Point au Chien Tribe, and the United Houma Nation). Chief executives and tribal councils preside over tribal governments, and are the elected individuals who speak on behalf of their tribes in dealings with the state and federal governments. 

Subject Headings and Search Terms

Subject Headings

Indians of North America -- Government relations.

Indians of North America -- Louisiana -- Government relations.

Indians of North America -- Treaties.

Search Terms

Louisiana Indian Affairs

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