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My Tribal Area

This glossary provides definitions of the American Indian and Alaska Native geographic areas that are represented in this tool.

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.

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.

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, off-reservation trust lands, or OTSAs. The Census Bureau obtains the boundary and name information for tribal subdivisions from tribal governments.

Alaska Native Regional Corporations (ANRCs): ANRCs are corporate entities organized to conduct both for-profit and non-profit affairs of Alaska Natives pursuant to the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act. ANRCs have legally defined boundaries that subdivide all of Alaska into twelve regions (except for the area within the Annette Island Reserve). The non-profit officials of ANRCs review their legal boundary and may, in the absence of participation by the Alaska Native village official, act as proxy in the delineation of ANVSAs in their regions.

Alaska Native Village Statistical Areas (ANVSAs): ANVSAs are statistical geographic entities representing permanent and/or seasonal residences of Alaska Natives who are members of, or receive governmental services from, the defining Alaska Native village (ANV). ANVSAs are intended to 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.

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.

Oklahoma Tribal Statistical Areas (OTSAs): OTSAs are statistical areas that were identified and delineated by the Census Bureau in consultation with federally recognized American Indian tribes based in Oklahoma. An OTSA is intended to represent the former American Indian reservation that existed in Indian and Oklahoma territories prior to Oklahoma statehood in 1907. OTSAs are intended to provide geographic entities comparable to the former Oklahoma reservations so that statistical data can be viewed over time. OTSAs were referred to as Tribal Jurisdiction Statistical Areas (TJSAs) in the 1990 Census data products.

State Designated Tribal Statistical Areas (SDTSAs): SDTSAs are statistical geographic areas identified and delineated for state recognized tribes that are not federally recognized and do not have an American Indian reservation or off-reservation trust land. The Census Bureau works with a governor appointed state liaison to delineate statistical areas for state-recognized tribes. SDTSAs do not cross state lines and are limited to the state in which the respective tribe is officially recognized. SDTSAs provide state recognized tribes without reservations statistical data for a geographic area that encompasses a substantial concentration of tribal members. SDTSAs were called State Designated American Indian Statistical Areas (SDAISAs) for Census 2000.

Tribal Designated Statistical Areas (TDSAs): TDSAs are statistical geographic entities identified and delineated for the Census Bureau by federally recognized American Indian tribes that do not currently have an American Indian reservation and/or off-reservation trust land. A TDSA is intended to encompass a compact and contiguous area that contains a concentration of individuals who identify with the delineating federally recognized American Indian tribe. TDSAs are also intended to be comparable to American Indian reservations within the same state or region and provide a means for reporting statistical data for the area.


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