Federal recognition, but not for everyone.

Every day, millions of Native Americans live without validation of their ancestry because the federal tribal recognition system doesn’t recognize them as “native enough.” I wanted to shed some light the scale of the issue—on just how many unrecognized tribes could be found on the West Coast.

I started with a list of federally unrecognized tribes in each state and looked for that tribe’s listed headquarters or main contact. Many of the tribes listed have a website, and some list information about their ancestral range which made placement relatively straightforward. Other tribes either listed no such information or had no website.

Download this map as a PDF