National Congress of American Indians

The National Congress of American Indians is the oldest, largest and most representative American Indian and Alaskan Native organization serving the broad interests of tribal governments and communities.

Available online:

It is included in the CJS Resource Library under the categories listed below. Select a link to find other resources in that category.

  • Environmental Issues: At the heart of the National Congress of American Indians’ advocacy work is the connection between native people and their land and natural resources.
  • Governance: From 1944 to the modern era of government relations between tribal governments and U.S. governments, the National Congress of American Indians has been a leading force and voice in protecting tribal sovereignty. The organization engages in both legislative and administrative advocacy on behalf of its membership.
  • Legal Issues: The National Congress of American Indians’ legal filings database includes amicus briefs and documents relevant to judicial matters affecting Indian Country as well as important documents from the Tribal Supreme Court Project.
  • Preparedness / Emergency Response: Beyond supporting tribal nations during times of crisis, the National Congress of American Indians focuses on proactively equipping tribal leaders before challenges arise.
  • Rural / Small Jurisdictions: Currently, 566 sovereign tribal nations (variously called tribes, nations, bands, pueblos, communities, and native villages) have a formal nation-to-nation relationship with the U.S. government and are defined as “federally recognized tribes.” Two-hundred-and-twenty-nine of these tribal nations are located in Alaska; the remaining tribes are located in 34 other states.
  • Tribal Issues: The National Congress of American Indians was founded in response to the emerging threat of termination. The founding members stressed the need for unity and cooperation among tribal governments and people for the security and protection of treaty and sovereign rights, while also committing to the betterment of the quality of life of native people.