Tribal Contacts

The following information provides guidance to selected parties who need to consult with American Indian tribes. While the Texas Historical Commission provides these guidelines to help facilitate consultations, responsibility for consultation rests on federal, state, and local government agencies, as well as other organizations with consultation requirements.

Determining Tribal Contacts

Federal law and policy requires consultation to occur with Indian tribes that have been federally recognized. Federally-Recognized Indian Tribes are those that have been formally acknowledged by the Bureau of Indian Affairs' Office of Federal Acknowledgment, the U.S. Congress, or a federal court as descendants of an historical Native American tribe. Federally-Recognized Indian Tribes have rights of self-governance and are eligible to receive services and participate in programs offered by the federal government. Federal agencies and those to whom they delegate their responsibilities for consultation are not required to consult with non-federally recognized groups; however, these groups may have valuable insight that pertains to specific projects. Non-federally recognized groups have a legal right to comment on projects as "interested parties."

Currently, Texas has three tribal communities living within state boundaries and at least 26 other communities with ties to Texas. Depending on the scope and nature of your project, you may have to consult with multiple tribes.

To determine the tribes with which you should consult:

  • Refer to tribal Area of Interest Maps.
  • Consult the National Park Service (NPS) NAGPRA database or tribal websites for contact information.
  • Contact the Southern Plains Regional Office of the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
  • Browse local historical and archival documents for references to Indian tribes that have inhabited the project area.

Many tribes have appointed Tribal Historic Preservation Officers (THPOs) or other representatives to oversee preservation efforts on tribal and ancestral lands and coordinate repatriation programs. The National Association of Tribal Historic Preservation Officers maintains a list of THPOs recognized by the NPS as having assumed the duties of State Historic Preservation Officers on tribal lands.

  • If a tribe has a designated THPO or point of contact for historic preservation activities, contact that individual about the project first.
  • Additionally, contact the tribe's elected executive officials, such as a tribal council chairperson, governor, or president.

Area of Interest

Of the 29 Federally-Recognized Tribes that maintain a connection to the State of Texas, only three are located in the state. Please be aware that tribal interest areas may change as new discoveries provide information about historic tribal territories. Below is a list of tribes with known interests in Texas. (Refer to Tribal Contacts List.)

  • Absentee Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma
  • Alabama-Coushatta Tribe of Texas
  • Alabama-Quassarte Tribal Town
  • Apache Tribe of Oklahoma
  • Caddo Nation
  • Cherokee Nation
  • Cheyenne & Arapaho Tribes
  • Choctaw Nation
  • Comanche Nation
  • Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana
  • Delaware Nation
  • Jena Band of Choctaw Indians
  • Jicarilla Apache Nation
  • Kialegee Tribal Town
  • Kickapoo Traditional Tribe of Texas
  • Kickapoo Tribe of Oklahoma
  • Kiowa Tribe of Oklahoma
  • Mescalero Apache Tribe
  • Muscogee (Creek) Nation
  • Osage Nation
  • Quapaw Tribe
  • Seminole Nation of Oklahoma
  • Shawnee Tribe
  • Thlopthlocco Tribal Town
  • Tonkawa Tribe
  • Tunica-Biloxi Tribe
  • United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians
  • Wichita and Affiliated Tribes
  • Ysleta Del Sur Pueblo

Download the current Tribal Contacts list.