American Indian Communities in Minnesota
This document is intended to provide background information on American Indian communities in Minnesota. The first part of the document provides descriptive information on the 11 reservations recognized by the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) and the American Indian population located in the Twin Cities Metropolitan Area. The second part of the document contains policy information on how specific laws and issues affect American Indian communities in Minnesota. Even though many of the policy issues involving American Indians are very complex in nature, the information on these issues is provided in summary form using a question-and-answer format. For more information on specific policy issues, contact our office or consult with the references listed in the document.
The first part also contains a glossary of terms used in the document. A variety of terms may be used to describe the American Indian racial group and the two broad American Indian communities in Minnesota. In this document, the term "American Indian" is used in general references to the group. Several different names may be used to describe each of the two larger American Indian communities in the state. The terms "Chippewa" and "Ojibwe" are used to refer to one large community of American Indians and the terms "Sioux," "Dakota," and "Lakota" are used to refer to the other large community. In this document, the historic terms "Chippewa" and "Sioux" are used to describe these communities. These terms were chosen because they are used in state laws that reference these communities. The two larger American Indian communities are also organized into distinct specific communities: the Chippewa are referred to as bands and the Sioux are referred to as communities. Whenever possible in this report, reference is made to specific American Indian bands or communities.
Since the census information on income and housing for American Indian reservations is from 1990 and does not necessarily reflect the current situation on specific reservations, we chose not to include the information in this report.