Part 1: In a Nutshell

  • The best way to refer to American Indians is by their tribes.
  • The history, language, and culture of each tribe is different from that of other tribes.
  • A nation is a large group of people organized under one government.
  • A sovereign nation governs itself.
  • Before Europeans came to North America, more than 300 sovereign nations, or tribes, were already on this continent.
  • Tribal members are citizens of two nations—the United States and their own tribal nation.
  • Each tribal chair (chief) ranks equally with the governor of the state.
  • Each tribe is headquartered on a reservation.
  • The state in which a tribe is located does not have authority over the tribe.
  • North Dakota has five nations, or tribes, located within its borders:
    1. Three Affiliated Tribes;
    2. Spirit Lake Nation;
    3. Standing Rock Sioux Tribe;
    4. Sisseton-Wahpeton Sioux Tribe;
    5. Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa