Frequently Asked Questions

How many American Indians reside in North Carolina?

There were 122,110 American Indians located in the state of North Carolina when the 2010 US Census was conducted.

How many state and federally recognized tribes are located in the state of North Carolina?

There are eight (8) state-recognized tribes located in North Carolina. The Eastern Band of Cherokee is fully recognized by the federal government. The Lumbee tribe has partial federal recognition as a result of the Lumbee Act of 1956. Click here for a complete listing of the state and federally-recognized tribes located in the state of North Carolina.

How does a tribe get state recognition?

Contact the North Carolina Commission of Indian Affairs by calling 919-807-4440 to request a copy of the state recognition procedures.

How does a tribe get federal recognition?

Contact the Bureau of Indian Affairs in Washington, DC to request a copy of the federal recognition criteria.

How can I obtain a tribal enrollment card?

Contact the specific tribe of your origin and ask what their procedures are for obtaining a tribal enrollment card. The tribe will require individuals seeking a tribal enrollment card to provide documentation of their family genealogy, which describes how one is connected to the tribe by blood or marriage. The North Carolina Commission of Indian Affairs does not issue tribal enrollment cards.

What services am I eligible to receive as a result of being enrolled in a state or federally recognized tribe?

The eligibility requirement for tribal programs and services differ from tribe to tribe. However, to be eligible you must have a tribal enrollment card. If you have a tribal enrollment card, then you must meet the eligibility requirement required by each program. Generally, the eligibility requirement for most programs is based on family income. You must contact specific tribes to obtain information on the eligibility requirement for each tribal program.

Do American Indians receive free health services?

No. However, some tribes do administer health programs, mostly the federally-recognized tribes. We recommend that you contact the tribe for additional information.

Do American Indians pay state and federal income taxes?

Yes. American Indians are United States citizens and they do pay income taxes, except for wages paid to them by some federally-recognized tribes.

Do American Indians receive a cash payment from the United States Government?

No. However, the federal government might pay certain tribes' royalties for leased properties, mining rights, water rights, etc. Such funds are usually paid directly to federally-recognized tribal governments and are disbursed as they see fit.