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Indigenous 101

DID YOU KNOW?

Within the boundaries of North Dakota, there are five federally-recognized tribes. In total, there are more than 31,000 Indigenous people living in North Dakota, making up approximately 5% of our state’s total population. While almost 60% live on reservation lands, a common misunderstanding or misconception is that all Native American people live on reservations. In reality, many Indigenous people – enrolled members of tribes or non-enrolled - live off reservations and are our neighbors in communities and more urban areas of our state and nation.

It is important to note that each tribal nation sharing geography with North Dakota has stated that, historically during national census-counting, Native American people are undercounted due to multiple factors, including distrust of and their historical relationships with the federal government, housing challenges, transient population, and inauthentic engagements with tribal nations and tribal leadership.

The five tribal nations sharing geography with North Dakota are:


Mandan, Hidatsa, & Arikara (Sahnish) Nation (Three Affiliated Tribes): 16,862 enrolled members with an estimated population of 8,350 primarily living on the Fort Berthold reservation in west-central North Dakota.









The Spirit Lake Nation: 6,748 enrolled members with an estimated population of 3,787living on the Spirit Lake reservation near Devils Lake in east-central North Dakota.








The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe: 16,000 enrolled members with an estimated population of 3,898 living on the Standing Rock reservation. This land is located south of Mandan and straddles the North Dakota and South Dakota border.









The Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa: 30,995 enrolled members with an estimated population of 5,113living on the Turtle Mountain reservation south of the Canadian/US border in north-central North Dakota.










The Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate Nation: 11,763 enrolled members with an estimated population of 10,922 living on the Lake Traverse Reservation. This land is located in the southeast corner of the state and straddles the North Dakota and South Dakota border, with an estimated population of 206 enrolled members living on the North Dakota side of the land.









TO LEARN MORE: CREA will dive deeper and share specific information about each of these tribal nations in the future, but for basic information about these five federally-recognized tribes, visit the ND Indian Affairs Commission.


GIVE THIS a TRY: Impart the basic knowledge of each North Dakota tribal nation to your students by including the names, locations, and flags of each tribe. Print and post this map in your classroom so all North Dakota students become more familiar with the independent nations located right here within our state’s borders!

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