American Indian Tribe – a definable group with sociological, cultural, and familial links who resides on one reservation


“1. Broadly, a discrete group of people characterized by sociological, cultural, and familial links <Celtic tribes of Gaul>.  *  A tribe is not necessarily a united and cohesive sociological group.  The term is also used loosely to refer to any group, such as a family <the Kincaid tribe>.”

Indian tribe:

(18c) A group, band, nation; or other or organized group of indigenous American people, including any Alaskan native village, that is recognized as eligible for the special programs and services provided by the U.S. government because of Indian status (42 USCA § 9601(36); such group having a federally recognized governing body that carries out substantial governmental duties and powers over an. area (42 USCA§ 3001(14); 40 CFR § 146.3).  *  A tribe may be identified in various ways, especially by past dealings with other tribes or with the federal, state, or local government, or by recognition in historical records. aka federally recognized tribe.

(definition pertaining to American Indian law)

2. American Indian law. A definable group or organized band or pueblo of American Indians, especially those residing on one reservation.  See 25 USCA § 479.” [1]

     “By a ‘tribe’ we understand a body of Indians of the same or a similar race, united in a community under one leadership or government, and inhabiting a particular though sometimes ill-defined territory; by a ‘band,’ a company of Indians not necessarily, though often of the same race or tribe, but united under the same leadership in a common design.” [2]


[1]: Black’s Law Dictionary Deluxe Tenth Edition by Henry Campbell Black, Editor in Chief Bryan A. Garner. ISBN: 978-0-314-61300-4 

[2]:  Montoya v. U.S., 180 U.S. 261, 266, 21 S.Ct. 358, 359 (1901).


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