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Cherokee Tribes

Under current law, there are only three Cherokee tribes that are recognized as sovereign nations by the United States. The three federal tribes represent around 300,000 Cherokee people across the United States. The remainder of Cherokee organizations are only recognized at the state level and are not entitled to most federal benefits.




Eastern Band of Cherokee

Cherokee, North Carolina


Cherokee Nation

Tahlequah, Oklahoma


United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians

Tahlequah, Oklahoma


State Tribes

There are over 200 organizations across the country who identify themselves as being Cherokee tribes. The three federal tribes are actively fighting against the recognition of these groups.

On April 9th, 2008, at the Joint Council of the Cherokee Nation and the Eastern Band of Cherokee, the federal tribes passed Resolution #00-08 which resolved "that no 501(c)(3) organization, state recognized or unrecognized groups shall be acknowledged as Cherokee."

You can read the full text of these resolutions by visiting our page on the legal battle between Federal and State tribes.

It is important to note that not qualifying to be a Cherokee citizen does not mean that you don't have a Cherokee heritage.

See our page dedicated to the Citizenship Debate for more information on this topic.

The Cherokee Nation has a section of their web site on the topic of "fraudulent" Cherokee Tribes