Indians of Arizona

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Online Resources

Learn about the Indians of Arizona, list and links to the Federally recognized tribe, historical tribes, the reservations and agencies, Indian school records and repositories for record availability.

To get started in American Indian Research

Click here for a map of Federal Lands and Indian Reservations

Arizona has 21 federally recognized tribes. Some sources count the Pueblo of Zuni as an Arizona tribe. However, the Pueblo of Zuni lands are primarily in New Mexico, with only a small portion in Arizona. If the Pueblo of Zuni is included there would be 22 tribes.

The state is home to over 294,000 Native Americans. [1] To learn how to get started with American Indian research, find research facilities, and American Indian websites click here.

Current Federally Recognized Tribes

A federally recognized tribe is an American Indian or Alaska Native tribal entity that is recognized as having a government-to-government relationship with the United States, with the responsibilities, powers, limitations, and obligations attached to that designation, and is eligible for funding and services from the Bureau of Indian Affairs.[2] The following is a list of the currently federally recognized tribes in the State of Arizona:[3]. The list links go to the pages for the tribe as opposed to reservation links shown below.

Ak-Chin Indian Community, Arizona (Tribe)
Yavapai-Apache Nation, Arizona (Tribe)
Navajo Nation, Arizona (Tribe)
Cocopah Indian Reservation, Arizona (Tribe)
Colorado River Indian Tribes, Arizona (Tribe)
White Mountain Apache Tribe, Arizona (Tribe)
Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation, Arizona (Tribe)
Fort Mojave Indian Tribe, Arizona (Tribe)
Gila River Indian Community, Arizona (Tribe)
Havasupai Indian Reservation, Arizona (Tribe)
Hopi Tribe, Arizona (Tribe)
Hualapai Tribe, Arizona (Tribe)
Kaibab-Paiute Tribe, Arizona (Tribe)
Pascua Yaqui Tribe, Arizona (Tribe)
Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, Arizona (Tribe)
San Carlos Apache Reservation, Arizona (Tribe)
Tohono O’odham Nation, Arizona (Tribe)
Tonto Apache Tribe, Arizona (Tribe)
Yavapai-Prescott Indian Tribe, Arizona (Tribe)
Fort Yuma-Quechan Tribe, Arizona (Tribe)
San Juan Southern Paiute Tribe, Arizona (Tribe)

Some Historical Tribes and Bands of Arizona

The following list of American Indians who have lived in Arizona has been compiled from older sources, such as Hodge's Handbook of American Indians...[4] and from Swanton's The Indian Tribes of North America[5]. Some may simply be variant spellings for the same tribe.

As you can see from the following list, some of the historical names of the tribes have changed and some are no longer in common usage:
See also Arizona Indian Tribes

The individual Apache Tribes have the following websites"

Nnee-San Carlos Apache
Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation
Mescalero Nation
White Mountain Apache Tribe
Chiricahua Apache Nde Nation
Jicarilla Apache Nation
Lipan Apache Tribe of Texas
Yavapai Prescott Indian Tribe
Yavapai-Apache Nation
Tonto Apache Tribe

The following websites contain information on the named individual tribes 

The following websites contain information on those groups defined as "bands" in the older sources:

Padre Eusebio Francisco Kino was said to have visited the following tribes in the area now called Arizona:

The tribes Father Kino met with are the Cocopa, Eudeve, Hia C-ed O'odham (called Yumans by Kino), Kamia, Kavelchadon, Kiliwa, Maricopa, Mountain Pima, Opata, Quechan, Gila River Pima, Seri, Tohono O'odham, Sobaipuri, Western Apache, Yavapai, and the Yaqui (Yoeme).

About Reservations

Wikipedia has more about this subject: Indian Reservation

There is a clear distinction between the Indian Tribes and the Indian Reservation System. A federal Indian reservation is an area of land reserved for a tribe or tribes under treaty or other agreement with the United States, executive order, or federal statute or administrative action as permanent tribal homelands, and where the federal government holds title to the land in trust on behalf of the tribe.[6]

From the mid-1800s, the official policy of the United States government toward the American Indian was to confine each tribe to a specific parcel of land called a reservation. Agencies were established on or near each reservation. A government representative, usually called an agent (or superintendent) was assigned to each agency. Their duties included maintaining the peace, making payments to the Native Americans based on the stipulations of the treaties with each tribe, and providing a means of communication between the native population and the federal government.

Sometimes, a single agency had jurisdiction over more than one reservation. And sometimes, if the tribal population and land area required it, an agency may have included sub-agencies.

The boundaries of reservations, over time, have changed. Usually, that means the reservations have been reduced in size. Sometimes, especially during the later policy of "termination," the official status of reservations was ended altogether. Compiling a list of reservations is difficult because several reservations extend into more than one state.

The State of Arizona does not tax Indian lands and Indian owned property on reservations. Incomes of Indians residing on reservations are not taxed by the State if wholly derived from reservation sources. The Federal Government does not exempt individual Indians from income or other federal taxes. Indian people of Arizona are also exempt from state and local sales taxes on consumer goods purchased on the reservation, unless such taxes are imposed by the tribal government. However, the State of Arizona collects taxes from reservation residents on sales of gasoline, electricity, natural gas, and telephone service.[7]

Reservation Map - Arizona - Indian Reservations - Federal Lands and Indian Reservations. by the U.S. Department of Interior and U.S. Geological Survey.

Arizona Tribal Lands and Reservations. EPA. United States Enviromental Protection Agency

Arizona's Indian Reservations Map. by Arizona Geographic Alliance

Arizona's Native American Tribes by Economic Development Research Program, The University of Arizona.

BIA Reservation map Wester Region: Arizona, Nevada and Utah

Current List of Reservations:

Agencies of the Bureau of Indian Affairs

The majority of records of individuals were those created by the agencies. Some records may be available to tribal members through the tribal headquarters.They were (and are) the local office of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and were charged with maintaining records of the activities of those under their responsibility. Among these records are:

The following list of agencies that have operated or now exist in Arizona has been compiled from Hill's Office of Indian Affairs...[8], Hill's Guide to Records in the National Archives Relating to American Indians[9], and others.

A brief history of each agency and an explanation of the availability of at least some records for each are listed on the page for the agency.


Allotment Records

The General Allotment Act was passed by the U.S. Congress in 1887, marking the establishment of the allotment of land to individuals as the official and widespread policy of the federal government toward the Native Americans. Under this policy, land (formerly land held by the tribe or tribal land) was allotted to individuals to be held in trust until they had shown competency to handle their own affairs. The Bureau of Indian Affairs was the trustee.

Individual American Indians were given a prescribed amount of land on a reservation based upon what land was available and the number of tribal members living on that reservation. Generally, the amount of land allotted was 160 Acres for each head of family, 80 Acres for each single person over eighteen years of age, 80 Acres for each orphan child under eighteen years of age, and 40 Acres for each single person under eighteen years of age. This was dependent upon there being sufficient land available on the existing reservation. If the total acreage on the reservation was insufficient, the amounts of land were pro-rated accordingly.

Not all tribes and reservations were allotted.

Allotted Tribes of Arizona

Indian Schools

The Office of Indian Affairs (now the Bureau of Indian Affairs) established a network of schools throughout the United States, beginning with Carlisle Indian School, established in 1879. Some of these schools were day schools, usually focusing on Indian children of a single tribe or reservation. Some were boarding schools which served Indian children from a number of tribes and reservations.

In addition, other groups such as various church denominations established schools specifically focusing on American Indian children. (read more...)

The following list of Indian Schools in Washington has been compiled from Hill's Office of Indian Affairs...[10], Hill's Guide to Records in the National Archives Relating to American Indians[11], and others.

Many school records are included in the agency records.

Indian Health Agencies

Other Repositories

Labriola National American Indian Data Center

The Labriola National American Indian Data Center is a research collection with current and historic information on government, culture, religion and world view, social life and customs, tribal history, and information on individuals from the United States, Canada, Sonora, and Chihuahua, Mexico.
The Labriola Center is located on the second floor of Hayden Library on the Arizona State University Tempe campus.

Northern Arizona University, Cline Library, Special Collections

The Cline Library may have the largest collection of material on Indians of northern Arizona. Check the library catalog at Cline Library Home.

The Doris Duke American Indian Oral History Project

From 1966 to 1972, several universities conducted oral history interviews with Native Americans. The project was funded by Doris Duke, heiress of the Duke tobacco family. The University of Oklahoma was one of the universities that participated in the project. Transcripts] of those interviews are online through the University of Oklahoma in Norman. See American Indian Oral Histories


Family History Library

Histories of Arizona Indians are listed in the FamilySearch Catalog under ARIZONA - MINORITIES, as well as under ARIZONA - NATIVE RACES. Other records of American Indians are listed in the Subject Search of the FamilySearch Catalog under the names of the tribes.
For a complete list of available records utilize the FamilySearch by Tribe and locality

See Also


Bureau of Indian Affairs

The Family History Library has microfilm copies of Bureau of Indian Affairs records, such as pre-1940 census, school, and vital records, for a few agencies, including the Fort Apache, Pima, and Yuma. The original documents are at the National Archives— Pacific Region (Laguna Niguel)



See the Bibliography of Native North Americans an online resource available at many libraries. This is a product of EBSCO Publishing.

Vol. 1 -- Northeast, Southeast, Caribbean
Vol. 2 -- Great Basin, Southwest, Middle America
Vol. 3 -- Arctic, Subarctic, Great Plains, Plateau
Vol. 4 -- California, Pacific Northwest, Pacific Islands
Volume 1 -- Not yet published
Volume 2 -- Indians in Contemporary Society (pub. 2008) -- WorldCat 234303751
Volume 3 -- Environment, Origins, and Population (pub. 2006) -- WorldCat 255572371
Volume 4 -- History of Indian-White Relations (pub. 1988) -- WorldCat 19331914; FHL book 970.1 H191h v.4.
Volume 5 -- Arctic (pub. 1984) -- WorldCat 299653808; FHL book 970.1 H191h v.5.
Volume 6 -- Subarctic (pub. 1981) -- WorldCat 247493742; FHL book 970.1 H191h v.6.
Volume 7 -- Northwest Coast (pub. 1990) -- WorldCat 247493311
Volume 8 -- California (pub. 1978) -- WorldCat 13240086; FHL book 970.1 H191h v.8.
Volume 9 -- Southwest (pub. 1979) -- WorldCat 26140053; FHL book 970.1 H191h v.9.
Volume 10 -- Southwest (pub. 1983) -- WorldCat 301504096; FHL book 970.1 H191h v.10.
Volume 11 -- Great Basin (pub. 1986) -- WorldCat 256516416; FHL book 970.1 H191h v.11.
Volume 12 -- Plateau (pub. 1998) -- WorldCat 39401371; FHL book 970.1 H191h v.12.
Volume 13 -- Plains, 2 vols. (pub. 2001) -- WorldCat 48209643
Volume 14 -- Southeast (pub. 2004) -- WorldCat 254277176
Volume 15 -- Northwest (pub. 1978) -- WorldCat 356517503; FHL book 970.1 H191h v.15.
Volume 16 -- Not yet published
Volume 17 -- Languages (pub. 1996) -- WorldCat 43957746
Volume 18 -- Not yet published
Volume 19 -- Not yet published
Volume 20 -- Not yet published

  1. 2010 Census Data, U.S. Census Bureau,
  2. US Department of the Interior, Indian Affairs
  3. Economic Development Research Program, The University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona
  4. Hodge, Frederick Webb. Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico. Washington D.C.:Smithsonian Institution, Bureau of American Ethnology, Bulletin #30 1907. Available online.
  5. Swanton John R. The Indian Tribes of North America. Smithsonian Institution, Bureau of American Ethnology, Bulletin #145 Available online.
  6. US Department of The Interior, Indian Affairs
  8. Hill, Edward E. The Office of Indian Affairs, 1824-1880: Historical Sketches, Clearwater Publishing Co., Inc. 1974. (Family History Library book 970.1 H551o.)
  9. Hill, Edward E. (comp.). Guide to Records in the National Archives of the United States Relating to American Indians. Washington DC: National Archives and Records Service, General Services Administration, 1981. (FHL book 970.1 H551g.)
  10. Hill, Edward E. The Office of Indian Affairs, 1824-1880: Historical Sketches, Clearwater Publishing Co., Inc. 1974. (Family History Library book 970.1 H551o.)
  11. Hill, Edward E. (comp.). Guide to Records in the National Archives of the United States Relating to American Indians. Washington DC: National Archives and Records Service, General Services Administration, 1981. (FHL book 970.1 H551g.)
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