Skip Main Navigation Skip To Navigation Content

Geography

You are here: Census.govGeographyReference2010 Geographic Terms and Concepts › American Indian, Alaska Native and Hawaiian Native Areas
Skip top of page navigation
Skip top of page navigation

Geographic Terms and Concepts - American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian Areas

There are both legal and statistical American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian areas (AIANNHAs) for which the Census Bureau provides data.  The legal entities consist of federally recognized American Indian reservations and off-reservation trust land areas, the tribal subdivisions that can divide these entities, state-recognized American Indian reservations, Alaska Native regional corporations, and Hawaiian home lands.  The statistical entities are Alaska Native village statistical areas, Oklahoma tribal statistical areas, tribal designated statistical areas, and state designated tribal statistical areas.   Statistical tribal subdivisions can exist within Oklahoma tribal statistical areas.  In all cases, these areas are mutually exclusive in that no AIANNHA can overlap another tribal entity, except for tribal subdivisions, which by definition subdivide some American Indian entities, and Alaska Native village statistical areas, which exist within Alaska Native regional corporations.   In cases where more than one tribe claims jurisdiction over an area, the Census Bureau creates a joint-use area as a separate entity to define this area of dual claims.  The following provides more detail about each of the various AIANNHAs.

Legal Entities

Alaska Native regional corporations (ANRCs) were created pursuant to the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA) (Pub. L. 92–203, 85 Stat. 688 [1971]; 43 U.S.C. 1602 et seq. [2000]), enacted in 1971 as a "Regional Corporation" and organized under the laws of the state of Alaska to conduct both the for-profit and non-profit affairs of Alaska Natives within a defined region of Alaska.   For the Census Bureau, ANRCs are considered legal geographic entities.  Twelve ANRCs cover the entire state of Alaska except for the area within the Annette Island Reserve (a federally recognized American Indian reservation under the governmental authority of the Metlakatla Indian Community).  A thirteenth ANRC represents Alaska Natives who do not live in Alaska and do not identify with any of the twelve corporations.  The Census Bureau does not provide data for this thirteenth ANRC because it has no defined geographic extent and thus, it does not appear in the TIGER/Line® shapefiles.  The Census Bureau offers representatives of the 12 nonprofit ANRCs in Alaska the opportunity to review and update the ANRC boundaries before each decennial census.  Each ANRC is assigned a five-digit numeric Federal Information Processing Series (FIPS) code and an eight-digit National Standard (ANSI) code.

American Indian reservations—Federal (federal AIRs) are areas that have been set aside by the United States for the use of tribes, the exterior boundaries of which are more particularly defined in the final tribal treaties, agreements, executive orders, federal statutes, secretarial orders, or judicial determinations.  The Bureau of Indian Affairs maintains a list of all federally recognized tribal governments and makes final determination of the inventory of federal AIRs.  The Census Bureau recognizes federal reservations (and associated off-reservation trust lands) as territory over which American Indian tribes have primary governmental authority.   American Indian reservations can be legally described as colonies, communities, Indian colonies, Indian communities, Indian rancherias, Indian reservations, Indian villages, pueblos, rancherias, ranches, reservations, reserves, settlements, or villages.  The Census Bureau contacts representatives of American Indian tribal governments to identify the boundaries for federal reservations through its annual Boundary and Annexation Survey.  Federal reservations may cross state and all other area boundaries.

Each federal AIR is assigned a four-digit census code ranging from 0001 through 4799 in alphabetical order of AIR names nationwide.  This nation-based census code is the primary unique identifier for the AIR.  Each federal AIR also is assigned a five-digit Federal Information Processing Series (FIPS) code and an eight-digit National Standard (ANSI) code.  Because FIPS codes are assigned in alphabetical sequence within each state, the FIPS code will be different in each state for reservations that include territory in more than one state.

American Indian reservations—State (state AIRs) are reservations established by some state governments for tribes recognized by the state.  A governor-appointed state liaison provides the names and boundaries for state-recognized American Indian reservations to the Census Bureau.   State reservations must be defined within a single state but may cross county and other types of boundaries.  Each state AIR is assigned a four-digit census code ranging from 9000 through 9499.   Each state AIR also is assigned a five-digit Federal Information Processing Series (FIPS) code and an eight-digit National Standard (ANSI) code.  To further identify and differentiate state-recognized American Indian areas from those that are federally recognized, the text "(state)" is appended to the AIR name.  

American Indian tribal subdivisions, described as additions, administrative areas, areas, chapters, county districts, communities, districts, or segments, are legal administrative subdivisions of federally recognized American Indian reservations and off-reservation trust lands or are statistical subdivisions of Oklahoma tribal statistical areas (OTSAs).  These entities are internal units of self-government or administration that serve social, cultural, and/or economic purposes for the American Indians on the reservations, offreservation trust lands, or OTSAs.   The Census Bureau obtains the boundary and name information for tribal subdivisions from tribal governments.  Each American Indian tribal subdivision is assigned a three-digit census code that is alphabetically in order and unique within each American Indian area, a five-digit Federal Information Processing Series (FIPS) code assigned alphabetically within state, and an eight-digit National Standard (ANSI) code.  Because FIPS codes are assigned in alphabetical sequence within each state, the FIPS code will be different in each state for tribal subdivisions that include territory in more than one state.  All the summary levels that include tribal subdivisions in the presentation hierarchy will only have records for the 24 American Indian areas and two OTSAs that actually have tribal subdivisions.  The list of areas and four-digit census codes is:

Code American Indian area
0335 Bois Forte Reservation, MN
0605 Cheyenne River Reservation and Off-Reservation Trust Land.   SD
0855 Crow Creek Reservation, SD
0990 Eastern Cherokee Reservation, NC
1110 Flathead Reservation, MT
1150 Fort Belknap Reservation and Off-Reservation Trust Land, MT
1160 Fort Berthold Reservation, ND
1250 Fort Peck Indian Reservation and Off-Reservation Trust Land, MT
1310 Gila River Indian Reservation, AZ
1505 Hopi Reservation and Off-Reservation Trust Land, AZ
1830 Lac Vieux Desert Reservation, MI
1860 Lake Traverse Reservation and Off-Reservation Trust Land, ND-SD
2175 Menominee Reservation, WI
2430 Navajo Nation Reservation and Off-Reservation Trust Land, AZ-NM-UT
2490 Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation and Off-Reservation Trust Land, MT
2810 Pine Ridge Reservation, SD-NE
3100 Red Lake Reservation, MN
3235 Rosebud Indian Reservation and Off-Reservation Trust Land, SD
3340 Salt River Reservation, AZ
3680 Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community, MN
3935 Spirit Lake Reservation, ND
3970 Standing Rock Reservation, SD-ND
4200 Tohono O'odham Nation Reservation and Off-Reservation Trust Land, AZ
4290 Tulalip Reservation and Off-Reservation Trust Land, WA
5550 Cherokee OTSA, OK
5590 Choctaw OTSA, OK

Hawaiian home lands (HHLs) are areas held in trust for Native Hawaiians by the state of Hawaii, pursuant to the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act of 1920, as amended.   The Census Bureau obtains the names and boundaries for HHLs from state officials.  The names of the home lands are based on the traditional ahupua'a names of the Crown and government lands of the Kingdom of Hawaii from which the lands were designated or from the local name for an area.  Being lands held in trust, HHLs are treated as equivalent to off-reservation trust land areas with the American Indian Trust Land/Hawaiian Home Land Indicator coded as "T."  Each HHL is assigned a national four-digit census code ranging from 5000 through 5499 based on the alphabetical sequence of each HHL name, a five-digit Federal Information Processing Series (FIPS) code in alphabetical order within the state of Hawaii, and an eight-digit National Standard (ANSI) code.

Joint-use areas, as applied to any American Indian area by the Census Bureau, means an area that is administered jointly and/or claimed by two or more American Indian tribes.  The Census Bureau designates legal joint-use areas as unique geographic entities equivalent to a reservation for the purpose of presenting statistical data.  Each is assigned a national four-digit census code ranging from 4800 through 4999 based on the alphabetical sequence of each joint-use area name, a five-digit Federal Information Processing Series (FIPS) code in alphabetical order within state, and an eight-digit National Standard (ANSI) code.  No joint-use areas exist in multiple states.  

Off-reservation trust lands are areas for which the United States holds title in trust for the benefit of a tribe (tribal trust land) or for an individual American Indian (individual trust land).  Trust lands can be alienated or encumbered only by the owner with the approval of the Secretary of the Interior or his/her authorized representative.  Trust lands may be located on or off a reservation; however, the Census Bureau tabulates data only for off-reservation trust lands with the off-reservation trust lands always associated with a specific federally recognized reservation and/or tribal government.  As for federally recognized reservations, the Census Bureau obtains the boundaries of off-reservation trust lands from American Indian tribal governments through its annual Boundary and Annexation Survey.   The Census Bureau recognizes and tabulates data for reservations and off-reservation trust lands because American Indian tribes have primary governmental authority over these lands.  The Census Bureau does not identify fee land (or land in fee simple status) or restricted fee lands as specific geographic areas.

Off-reservation trust lands are assigned a four-digit census code, a five-digit Federal Information Processing Series (FIPS) code, and an eight-digit National Standard (ANSI) code that is the same as that for the reservation with which they are associated.  Trust lands associated with tribes that do not have a reservation are assigned unique codes.  The census code is assigned by tribal name within the range 0001 through 4799, interspersed alphabetically among the reservation names.  Because FIPS codes are assigned in alphabetical sequence within each state, the FIPS code will be different in each state for off-reservation trust lands that include territory in more than one state.  In decennial census data tabulations, the American Indian Trust Land/Hawaiian Home Land Indicator uniquely identifies off-reservation trust lands, as well as reservation or statistical area only portions, Hawaiian home lands, and records that consist of the combination of reservation and off-reservation trust land territory.

Statistical Entities

Alaska Native village statistical areas (ANVSAs) represent the more densely settled portion of Alaska Native villages (ANVs).  The ANVs constitute associations, bands, clans, communities, groups, tribes, or villages recognized pursuant to the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971 (Public Law 92-203).  Because ANVs do not have boundaries that are easy to locate, the Census Bureau does not delimit ANVs.  Instead, the Census Bureau presents statistical data for ANVSAs that represent the settled portion of ANVs.   In addition, each ANVSA should include only an area where Alaska Natives, especially members of the defining ANV, represent a substantial proportion of the population during at least one season of the year.  ANVSAs are delineated or reviewed by officials of the ANV or, if no ANV official chose to participate in the delineation process, officials of the Alaska Native Regional Corporation (ANRC) in which the ANV is located.  An ANVSA may not overlap the boundary of another ANVSA or an American Indian reservation.  Each ANVSA is alphabetically assigned a national four-digit census code ranging from 6000 through 7999, an alphabetically assigned state-based five-digit Federal Information Processing Series (FIPS) code, and an eight-digit National Standard (ANSI) code.

Oklahoma tribal statistical areas (OTSAs) are statistical entities identified and delineated by the Census Bureau in consultation with federally recognized American Indian tribes that had a former reservation in Oklahoma.  The boundary of an OTSA will be that of the former reservation in Oklahoma, except where modified by agreements with neighboring tribes for statistical data presentation purposes.  Each OTSA is alphabetically assigned a national four-digit census code ranging from 5500 through 5899, an alphabetically assigned state-based five-digit Federal Information Processing Series (FIPS) code, and an eight-digit National Standard (ANSI) code.   Tribal subdivisions are allowed within OTSAs and exist for the 2010 Census in the Cherokee and Choctaw OTSAs.

Oklahoma tribal statistical area (OTSA) Joint-Use Areas, as applied to OTSAs by the Census Bureau, means an area that is administered jointly and/or claimed by two or more American Indian tribes that have a delineated OTSA.  The Census Bureau designates statistical joint-use areas as unique geographic entities for the purpose of presenting statistical data.  Only Oklahoma tribal statistical areas have statistical joint-use areas.  Each Oklahoma tribal joint-use area is alphabetically assigned a national four-digit census code ranging from 5900 through 5999, an alphabetically assigned state-based five-digit Federal Information Processing Series (FIPS) code, and an eight-digit National Standard (ANSI) code.

State designated tribal statistical areas (SDTSAs)—referred to as State Designated American Indian Statistical Areas for Census 2000) are statistical entities for state-recognized American Indian tribes that do not have a state-recognized land base (reservation).  SDTSAs are identified and delineated for the Census Bureau by a state liaison identified by the governor's office in each state.  SDTSAs generally encompass a compact and contiguous area that contains a concentration of people who identify with a state-recognized American Indian tribe and in which there is structured or organized tribal activity.  An SDTSA may not be located in more than one state and it may not include area within any other American Indian, Alaska Native, or Native Hawaiian area.  Each SDTSA is alphabetically assigned a four-digit census code ranging from 9500 through 9998, an alphabetically assigned state-based five-digit Federal Information Processing Series (FIPS) code, and an eight-digit National Standard (ANSI) code.

Tribal designated statistical areas (TDSAs) are statistical entities identified and delineated for the Census Bureau by federally recognized American Indian tribes that do not currently have a federally recognized land base (reservation or off-reservation trust land).  A TDSA generally encompasses a compact and contiguous area that contains a concentration of individuals who identify with a federally recognized American Indian tribe and in which there is structured or organized tribal activity.  A TDSA may be located in more than one state (although none do for 2010), but it may not include area within any other American Indian, Alaska Native, or Native Hawaiian area.  Each TDSA is alphabetically assigned a four-digit census code ranging from 8000 through 8999, an alphabetically assigned state-based five-digit Federal Information Processing Series (FIPS) code, and an eight-digit National Standard (ANSI) code.

American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian Area (AIANNHA) Codes

AIANNHAs are represented in Census Bureau products using a national four-character numeric census code field and a single alphabetic character American Indian trust land/Hawaiian home land indicator field.  The census codes are assigned in alphabetical order in assigned ranges by AIANNHA type nationwide, except that joint-use areas appear at the end of the code range.  Off-reservation trust lands are assigned the same code as the reservation with which they are associated.  Trust lands associated with tribes that do not have a reservation are assigned codes based on tribal name.  Federal Information Processing Series (FIPS) codes for all AIANNHAs range from 00001 through 89999, without differentiation among the many types of areas.

The type of AIANNHA can be identified either by the census code or by the FIPS class code.  The range of census codes allocated to each AIANNHA and the valid FIPS class code(s) associated with each are as follows:

AIANNHA type Census Code Range Valid FIPS class code(s)*
Federal American Indian Reservation (AIR)/Off-Reservation Trust Land 0001 to 4799 D1, D2, D3, D5, D8
Joint-Use Federal AIR 4800 to 4999 D0
Hawaiian Home Land 5000 to 5499 F1
Oklahoma tribal statistical area (OTSA) 5500 to 5899 D6
Joint-use OTSA 5900 to 5999 D0
Alaska Native village statistical area (ANVSA) 6000 to 7999 E1
Tribal designated statistical area (TDSA) 8000 to 8999 D6
State AIR 9000 to 9499 D4
State designated tribal statistical area (SDTSA) 9500 to 9998 D9
* Refer to the Data Dictionary for specific value descriptions.

AIANNHA Type American Indian, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian Area Indicator
Hawaiian home land T
American Indian Reservation including associated Off-Reservation Trust Land M
American Indian Reservation or Statistical Entity only R
Off-reservation trust land only T

Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Geography | (301) 763-1128 |  Last Revised: December 06, 2012